LONDON May 8 British infrastructure company
Balfour Beatty has suspended three managers as part of
an ongoing investigation into alleged "inappropriate activity"
on a 480-million-pound contract awarded by National Grid,
the companies said.
Balfour Beatty is carrying out gas pipeline replacement work
in the West Midlands and the North East on behalf of the British
energy network operator.
A Balfour Beatty spokesman said the company had suspended
the three managers working on the West Midlands project in
relation to an ongoing investigation.
A spokesman for National Grid said it was working with
Balfour Beatty on the investigation into "inappropriate activity
around our mains replacement work in the West Midlands".
British labour union GMB, which represents workers in the
energy industry, said it had received reports of a major
investigation into alleged corruption, fraud and bullying.
"We understand that gas mains replacement work, running into
tens of millions of pounds in value, may have been tainted by
allegations of corrupt practice," said GMB National Secretary
Balfour Beatty said it was investigating a small group of
individuals involved with sub-contracting but could not comment
any further while the investigation continues.
National Grid declined to comment further on the
The allegations are another blow to Balfour Beatty which
issued a profit warning on Tuesday and announced the departure
of its Chief Executive Andrew McNaughton.
National Grid has previously come under fire for breaching
its licence terms when it carried out gas pipeline replacement
work between 2005 and 2008.
In 2011, energy regulator Ofgem fined National Grid 8
million pounds for providing inaccurate information on gas mains
"National Grid requires the highest standard of ethical
conduct from all those working on our behalf," said the
A spokeswoman for Ofgem said on Thursday the regulator was
not involved in the investigation.
(Reporting by Karolin Schaps and Li-mei Hoang; editing by Tom