On the 21 December 2010, BAE Systems Plc was fined £500,000 after the company admitted that it had failed to keep adequate accounting records. This follows a settlement by BAE as part of a global agreement it reached earlier last year with the Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) and the US Department of Justice (“DoJ”) concerning contracts in a number of countries. The settlement with the SFO related to the “Tanzania contract” whereby BAE agreed to make an ex-gratia payment for the benefit of the people of Tanzania of £30 million. The company was also ordered to pay £225,000 costs to the SFO. Despite the seriousness of the offence, the court decided not to impose a higher penalty as the SFO and BAE had agreed that any fine would be deducted from the £30m payout to Tanzania.

SFO Director, Mr Richard Alderman said: “I am delighted that the Judge stressed the seriousness of BAE’s actions and that he recognised that the true victims were the people of Tanzania”.

Documents relating to the case are now available on the SFO website: http://www.sfo.gov.uk/press-room/latest-press-releases/press-releases-2010/bae-fined-in-tanzania-defence-contract-case.aspx