Examination of Witness (Questions 220-225)|
20 MAY 2003
Q220 Mr Shepherd: Barnum and Bailey's
with a small West Midlands engineering company?
Mr McKittrick: We are all the
same. I do not think it should be any different whether it is
selling Tomahawk fighters, selling a little bit of consultancy
or selling whatever. If there are going to be rules, there should
be rules. As soon as you open these rules out you open them up
to people finding ways around them. I would not, I tend to lead
a pretty straight life.
Q221 Baroness Whitaker: I am not
sure that we have covered the case of subsidiaries. I just wondered
if you thought that British firms should take responsibility for
the actions in respect of corruption by companies which are their
Mr McKittrick: Without a doubt
it should be the holding company that takes ultimate responsibility.
I have got to give parent company guarantees as the holding company
of my subsidiaries, hence if corruption is happening in the subsidiary
the holding company should not be able to walk away from it.
Q222 Baroness Whitaker: Should you
be able to walk away? Are you responsible?
Mr McKittrick: If I am a director
of a subsidiary and also a director of a holding company, I have
got to take responsibility.
Q223 Baroness Whitaker: Yes. Joint
Mr McKittrick: It depends whether
they are jointly and severally bound. A joint venture is a very
difficult phrase in our industry. People use "joint venture"
loosely, they use "in association with" loosely. You
need to go behind the fabric and see if there is a legal joint
venture, a legal company.
Q224 Baroness Whitaker: So it is
the degree of association that would confer the degree of responsibility?
Mr McKittrick: Correct.
Q225 Chairman: Is there anything
that you would like to add or anything that we have not covered
or anything you have not covered?
Mr McKittrick: I do not think
so, I think we have covered a fair amount. Whether it has been
of any use to you or not, I am not sure.
Chairman: Nobody will say that your paper
was not clear or over-complex, it was extremely straightforward
and clear. You made it very apparent which clauses you think would
work and which would not. We are very grateful to you for coming.