NBN Co boss apologises for mistake

NBN Co boss apologises for mistake

By , May 17 in blog with 0 comments

NBN thumb NBN Co boss apologises for mistakeThe head of the company behind the national broadband network (NBN) has apologised for mistakenly misleading the public about his previous responsibilities at communications firm Alcatel-Lucent.

Alcatel-Lucent was fined $US137 million ($A130 million) after a US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation found it had paid bribes to government officials in Costa Rica and other countries to secure contracts.

NBN Co Ltd chief executive Mike Quigley was Americas president and then president and chief operating officer of the firm between 2001 and 2006 when the events took place.

Mr Quigley had previously stated Costa Rica fell outside his jurisdiction but on Monday he confirmed to a joint parliamentary hearing in Sydney this was not the case, and apologised.

‘I clearly was advised by one of my previous colleagues in North America, who’s currently still with Alcatel-Lucent, to check for me whether Costa Rica was within my area of operation and control,’ he said.

‘On the basis of that advice I stated that it was not.

‘This was an error for which I unreservedly apologise.’

NBN Co had issued a statement on Friday saying that contrary to previous advice, Costa Rica was among the many countries in North, Central and South America that were part of Mr Quigley’s ‘wide-ranging portfolio of responsibilities’ between March 2001 to January 2003.

Federal opposition communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull said Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and the government should have been more aware of Mr Quigley’s role with Alcatel-Lucent.

‘Nobody is suggesting any impropriety or dishonesty on the part of Mr Quigley,’ Mr Turnbull told reporters on Monday.

‘He’s clearly made a number of mistaken or false statements which he has now corrected and apologised for.

‘There’s no effort to impugn his integrity but as representatives of the people whose taxes are paying for this NBN, we are entitled to ask questions and try to get to the facts.’

Mr Quigley said it would be better for him to refrain from making further comments about the US investigation into Alcatel-Lucent, which operates in about 130 countries.

‘There’s a hearing taking place in early June in the US which is a settlement between Alcatel-Lucent, and the SEC and the DOJ and I don’t know the details,’ he said.

‘I don’t believe it is my job to start defending Alcatel-Lucent in light of this investigation.

‘I am not going to be involved in a situation in which if I say something in response to a question I could then… get it wrong – the best thing to do is to stop answering detailed questions.’

Mr Quigley earlier said at no time had the SEC sought to interview or question him about those matters.

Alcatel-Lucent agreed last December to pay $US137 million in fines and penalties to settle the US charges relating to bribes paid in countries in Latin America and Asia between December 2001 and June 2006.


About the author

 NBN Co boss apologises for mistake Mike Andrew has been working with the Internet and small business for over 12 years. Mike has been a keynote speaker at conventions and seminars and conducted social media training sessions all over the world. Mike has an extensive media background having worked in electronic media for over 30 years. Mike specialises in social media and Internet marketing strategy, SEO techniques and search engine marketing campaigns. His articles appear on numerous blogs around the web as well as national magazines.

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