PARIS — Airbus has set up a high-level team of three experts to boost its compliance to anti-corruption rules following British and French inquiries into alleged bribery in the sale of its airliners.
Lord Gold from Britain, Noëlle Lenoir from France and Theo Waigel from Germany will form an independent compliance review panel that will report directly to Airbus CEO Tom Enders and the board of directors, Airbus said in a May 22 statement.
Airbus last year "self-disclosed to the authorities misstatements and omissions that we had found," Enders said in a statement. The company has been cooperating fully with the resulting investigations, and Airbus now looks to improve its compliance, he added.
The panel comprises two former ministers and a senior lawyer with deep experience advising companies and governments in legal and compliance issues.
Those officials will have access to all company levels and advise on "how to further improve Airbus' compliance processes, policies, organization and culture," the company said.
The U.K.'s Serious Fraud Office opened an inquiry, joined this year by its French counterpart, last year following the company's disclosures on suspected bribery and fraud to win financial support from the United Kingdom for building its airliners.
Lenoir previously served as French minister for European Affairs and served on the Constitutional Court.
Waigel was finance minister with chancellor Helmut Kohl from 1989 to 1998 and chairman of the Christian Social Union party in Bavaria.
Gold was a solicitor at a London law firm, Herbert Smith, for 37 years and senior partner from 2005 and 2010. Gold, who sits with the Conservative Party in the British House of Lords, led a review of Rolls-Royce's anti-corruption policy and was appointed by the U.S. to monitor BAE Systems in the wake of a US $400 million settlement to a bribery case in 2010, Reuters reported.
Airbus in February denied fraud accusations from Austria concerning a 2003 order for the Eurofighter Typhoon worth €1.96 billion (U.S. $2.08 billion).