Page last updated at 19:01 GMT, Friday, 2 October 2009 20:01 UK

BAE Systems: Your Comments

Hawk jet, which is manufactured by BAE Systems

UK defence giant BAE Systems faces corruption charges after the Serious Fraud Office said it would ask the Attorney General to prosecute the firm.

BBC News website readers have been sending us their views on the story.

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I work for BAE Systems and feel let down. I feel the integrity of the company which I have chosen to work for is non-existent. I will be outraged if heads don't roll for this!
Mr W, Barrow

Although I work for BAE, my worry is that if the company is charged, what effect will that have on the front line and future Ministry of Defence operations? If BAE has to pay a fine it may have to cut jobs or stop selected projects. Could that lead to a shortage in supplies and possibly life-saving equipment? I feel that wider issues need to be address such as national security and the well-being of British troops before this investigation gets out of hand.
Matthew, Staffordshire

BAE Systems flag flying
"BAE is the last bastion of British industry"

I am ex-BAE and have worked for other international companies. Anyone who has been at the sharp end of business with some of the countries mentioned (and many others in Africa, Asia and South America) knows that you get nowhere without paying "negotiation expenses" in cash or kind to government "fixers". I am sure that it must still be prevalent at national level when the sums are huge and competition is now much stronger. Is the SFO trying to destroy our own industry here to the benefit of foreign competition? It should drop this as it did in 2007 in the interest of "national security" and save us a lot of money and jobs!
John Houldsworth, Lytham, Lancs

I work for BAE and have done for over 30 years all over the world. They do nothing underhand. They bid for contracts the same way as any other major defence company does. BAE wins them on merit and the products they sell. BAE is the last bastion of British industry and I cannot believe the SFO is permitted to even investigate the allegations, never mind try to prosecute.
Mark, Preston, Lancs


I hope the UK government will prosecute the BAE firm and publish all Tanzanian members of government involved in any crime.
Priva George, Dar Es Salaam

We have been reading from various local newspapers about corruption between BAE and Tanzanian officials. It's very sad that our civil servants are taking us into poverty instead of prosperity. With enough evidence, take them to court.
Vithalis, Dar Es Salaam


Good news about BAE. It's about time this company was made to clean up its act.
John Evans, Preston

We all have to live within the law and those who do not should pay the price

It is because BAE is Britain's largest manufacturer and supplier of defence services and equipment that it should undergo the most thorough of investigations into its business ethics and dealings. No excuse should be accepted for limiting, or cancelling, such an investigation. We all have to live within the law and those who do not, whether a company or an individual, should be made to pay the price for their transgressions.
Jason Twell, Morecambe

Those of us who have strived to export UK manufactured goods will understand BAE's position. We should not pass judgement based only our own moral standards when the countries to which we export make the rules. If we do not play by their rules and accept the fact that their moral standards differ from ours, we will not be successful in those countries - because our foreign competitors will accept the rules and pick up the orders.
Phil, Henley-on-Thames

Why do our institutions adopt a superior position to the detriment of our industry? BAE employs vast numbers and needs to maintain an order book in the face of stiff competition from others, such as France, who do not put handcuffs on business and accept that such tactics are essential in today's competitive world. Please stop being so purist and wake up to the realities of our current commercial climate while we still have some remnants of industry left!
Phil, Lincoln

If BAE don't take the contracts, someone else will

Contracts like these have always had a sizeable 'underhand' nature to them. It's the way business is done. If BAE don't take the contracts, someone else will. So when we suffer all the job losses and income reduction implicit in conducting ourselves 'ethically', we can feel content about our clear conscience, as we stand in the soup queue.
Paul Bennett, Oxford

Here we have a major company that brings money into the country and employs thousands of people yet we want to fine this company £1bn. On the other hand we have a bunch of people in Westminster who take money out of the country and put it in their own pockets via false/immoral claims and we do nothing.
John Woodhouse, Barrow

These allegations relate to business activities carried out in 'the rest of the world.' Unfortunately not all countries have high ethical values and in order to attract their business local standards are necessary. Therefore why should it be of any concern to a British worker, that a possible bribe has been made, in a foreign country, in order to give him work? It is the dishonesty and corruption taking place in this country which concerns me. The attorney general is in no position to judge indiscretions alleged to have been committed by others, neither are any others involved in our political system.
UK, Rochester

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