According to records released to Parliament by Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has referred 44 cases of corruption in relation to defence contracts to law enforcement agencies since 2011. Of the allegations, four related to bribery of foreign public officials and 29 related to UK companies.

The MoD stated that "while most MOD personnel would not consider committing fraud there is, unfortunately, a small minority, both Service and civilian, who do so". The MoD has a "zero tolerance approach to fraud"; however, it continues to allow companies against which allegations of corruption have been made to continue bidding on contracts, unless they have been found guilty of relevant offences.

Susan Hawley of Corruption Watch criticised this approach, stating:

"the lack of any effective action against contractors alleged to have been involved in bribery and corruption is deeply worrying. It is time that the MoD used its powers to deny companies involved in wrongdoing the right to bid for its contracts."

For further information on this topic please contact Kathleen Harris, Sean Curran, Stuart Baker or Oliver Cooke at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP by telephone (+44 20 7786 6100) or email ([email protected], [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected]). The Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP website can be accessed at