London: VVIP chopper scandal hit Italian defence giant Finmeccanica has delayed publication of its 2012 results following the bribery probe into its Rs 3,600 crore deal with India and has increased the number of members in its surveillance body. The Board of Directors of the firm also decided to centralise the Group's "Internal Audit activities, in order to exercise a more direct and incisive internal control over the correctness of the processes adopted by the Group companies".
The Board, which met yesterday, under the Chairmanship of Vice Chairman Admiral Guido Venturoni, "made some significant decisions, in order to accelerate the reorganisation process, guarantee the coordination of management activities and strengthen control activities", a statement by the company said.
It said that the Board of Directors increased the number of 'Surveillance Body' members up to a maximum of five, and has also appointed new external members. Besides other decisions, the statement said "Finally, to complete a full and comprehensive evaluation of the potential economic and financial effects to the financial statements in light of recent events, the Board of Directors has decided to postpone the approval of the full year financial results to a later Board Meeting, after the one scheduled for the 12th March.
"Such meeting will be held following the conclusion of the above mentioned evaluation, and possibly after the end of March, but not later than the 30th April, which is the deadline for the publication of the annual financial statements under applicable laws". An Indian Delegation comprising of officers from the CBI and the Defence Ministry is currently in Italy with regard to alleged payment of bribes to bag the contract for the supply of 12 helicopters for the price of Rs 3,600.
The Defence Ministry has already issued the show cause notice to the firm after the arrest of Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi and AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini by Italian authorities in connection with allegations of kickbacks of Rs 362 crore.
Italian prosecutors have alleged that Orsi paid bribes to intermediaries to secure the helicopter deal back in 2010, when he was head of AgustaWestland. The CBI had yesterday met top officials of the Italian government-controlled group, which has promised assistance in probing bribery allegations against some Indian nationals. During the meeting, CBI officials requested the Italian firm to handover the report of its internal probe to them so that it could be examined in India and a proper investigation could be conducted, official sources said.