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BHP Billiton and the SEC investigation

 FRANCES BELL: Corporate governance Professor Thomas Clarke is critical of the lack of detail BHP has provided about the investigation.

THOMAS CLARKE, CENTRE FOR CORPORATE GOVERNANCE, UTS: A sparse footnote in the news release concerning minerals exploration is hardly the place to disclose that a major investigation is taking place with the SEC in the United States.

FRANCES BELL: He says the case could further damage the reputation of the mining industry and BHP has an obligation to disclose everything it knows.

THOMAS CLARKE: When BHP got involved in the Iraq wheat deal saga some years ago, Chip Goodyear, who was then the CEO, said, "Do not judge us on what happened in the past; judge us on how we respond to these revelations now."

And I think Marius Kloppers, the current CEO, will be under similar pressure.

Broadcast date: 21st April 2010

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