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Bain & Company: UK victory shifts fight to the USA

Former British MP Lord Peter Hain.

Former British MP Lord Peter Hain.

Published Aug 3, 2022

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The fight to ostracise consultancy group Bain goes to the USA next after the United Kingdom this week suspended it from participating in public sector work for at least three years, Lord Peter Hain said this morning.

"We are now asking the US government to do the same, I have contacted the ambassador to the UK (Jane Hartley) and I have been assured that the matter has been passed on to the administration in Washington DC. I hope President (Joe) Biden does the same," Hain said.

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As a result of Hain's advocacy role, the UK Global consultancy Bain & Company has been banned from UK government contracts for three years over the role it played in facilitating the capture of the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

Bain has in justification said in the past 10 years, it had earned R196 million from government contracts in South Africa and that about 80 percent of this, about R161 million ,came from its work at SARS between 2015 and 2017.

"The SARS fees were repaid in full plus interest in November 2018," the group said.

Reports out of the UK this week were that UK Cabinet Office minister Jacob Rees-Mogg told Bain in a letter that the company’s integrity was now "questionable" and that he was not convinced that it had taken its role in the scandal sufficiently seriously.

The three-year ban will be applied retrospectively from 4 January.

"I trust that after three years have elapsed Bain & Co will have restored its reputation," Rees-Mogg wrote.

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Whilst celebrating the UK victory, Lord Hain was incensed with the South African government and corporate sector silence on the welfare of whistleblower Athol Williams whom he said was instrumental with the forensic evidence he provided, in the making of the argument against Bain.

"It is outrageous about Athol, whom I took with me to see Cabinet Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg, that South Africa has the best constitution in the world but it will not protect this brave whistleblower. Bain acted shamefully, they hounded Williams financially and in his professional work, they even took put him under some financial sanction. He should have been held up and honoured as a symbol of what business should be,' he said.

Bain has reportedly been cumulatively awarded UK public sector contracts worth up to £63 million (around R1.2 billion) since 2018, including £40 million (around R814 million) worth of Brexit consulting work for the Cabinet Office.

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Lord Hain said money laundering was aided by the same governments that claimed to want to prevent it and said the siphoning of money out of South Africa by the Gupta Family during state capture was aided by chanells laid out by governments.

'It is a global phenomenon, trillions of dollars are laundered every year amongst countries, we want to see the UK, the US, China which is a big money laundering destination, Diubai, India, the UAE all working together to expose these channels," Lord Hain said.

LordHain, a former UK Cabinet minister with links to South Africa, recently claimed Bain was employing staff in its London office who were involved with former president Jacob Zuma, and asked the government to ban it.

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