Engineering and construction company SNC-Lavalin has been advised by the Director of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (DPPSC) that, at this time, it will not “invite” the company to negotiate a deferred prosecution agreement.

“SNC-Lavalin strongly disagrees with the DPPSC’s current position and remains open and committed to negotiating such an agreement in the interest of its employees, partners, clients, investors, pensioners, and other stakeholders, all innocent parties that have been affected during the last six years and now face an unnecessary extended period of uncertainty,” the company stated.

Charges were brought in February 2015 against SNC-Lavalin and two of its subsidiaries—SNC-Lavalin International and SNC-Lavalin Construction—after alleged criminal acts surfaced as part of an ongoing criminal investigation into the company’s business dealings in Libya that began three years earlier. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Canada’s national police force, alleged that between 2001 and 2011, SNC-Lavalin and its subsidiaries gave US$38 million to Libyan government officials to use their positions to influence government decisions. The RCMP further allege during this same time that SNC-Lavalin and its subsidiaries defrauded the Libyan government and other entities of “property, money, or valuable security or service” valued at U.S. $103.7 million.

Canada’s government adopted a Remediation Agreement Regime permitting companies to defer prosecution in exchange for fines, remediation, and cooperation. To earn a DPA, however, companies must meet certain criteria, which DPPSC determined SNC-Lavalin did not meet.

In response, SNC-Lavalin argued that since 2012 it has “developed and built a world-class ethics and compliance framework,” including changing its leadership at the board and management levels. “This has been embodied to the extent that ‘integrity’ has become one of the company’s core values.” 

SNC-Lavalin is now reviewing its options to appeal this decision.