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August 23, 2017

Petrobras director in breach of ethics over Deloitte contract

By Vincent Huck

Petrobras director of governance and risk João Adalberto Elek Junior was found in breach of ethics in hiring Deloitte on an advisory project while his daughter was being recruited by the firm and was subsequently hired.

At the end of 2015, Petrobras hired Deloitte for a R$ 25m (US$ 7.9m) contract, exempting a bidding process. Elek signed the contract on the part of Petrobras, but according to the Ethics Committee of the Presidency of the Republic of Brazil, this constituted a conflict of interest as at the time Elek’s daughter was going through a recruitment process at the firm, and she was subsequently hired.

The Chairman of the ethics committee Mauro Menezes said: “We concluded that the rules around conflict of interest had been violated. […] We consider it to be wrong and law-breaking behaviour.”

The ethics committee has issued a warning to Elek who is not prevented from remaining in his job. Elek has appealed the decision but the ethics committee expects a statement from the Petrobras president Pedro Parente.

Menezes added that despite the director’s conduct no administrative irregularities were found in the contract with Deloitte.

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