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BHP Billiton And The Inquiry Into Certain Australian Companies And The UN Oil-For-Food Programme

BHP Billiton CEO, Chip Goodyear, said today the company’s inclusion in the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference was an opportunity to ensure all the facts surrounding BHP’s financing of a 1996 shipment of grain to Iraq would be aired publicly.

“While you never like to see your company mentioned in a controversy like this, as we have publicly stated, we are committed to investigating the facts and being transparent in the reporting of the results.

“As the Inquiry has recognised, the shipment in question took place more than 10 years ago.  Many of the people involved have since left the company.  We have already committed significant resources towards establishing the facts.  Our inclusion in the Terms of Reference will assist in our review and we look forward to fully cooperating with the Inquiry, as we have done to date.

Mr Goodyear said BHP Billiton remained focused on ensuring all its business activities were in line with its Guide to Business Conduct and its Charter.

“As I’ve said before, high ethical standards are fundamental to our business success.  Operating outside of these standards is not acceptable to our stakeholders or the company.”