MEXICO CITY, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Mexico’s national oil company Pemex said on Thursday it had fired an employee of its exploration and production unit after uncovering a conflict of interest tied to a service contract valued at about $27 million.
Pemex, which has been battling longstanding corruption allegations, said the employee, Jose Aroldo de Hoyos, was in charge of managing a contract for the installation of flexible tubing at oil wells while also serving as partner at a company that was subcontracted to work on the same project.
The contract was awarded to a consortium made up of Chamsa Grupo Corporativo and Mava Group, and de Hoyos was a partner at subcontractor Encino Integrated Services, as was Mava Group President Eduardo Javier Natividad.
“Despite the obvious conflict of interest that de Hoyos had, he did not recuse himself from overseeing the contract that benefited his partner,” Pemex said in a statement, adding that de Hoyos had been removed from his position at the state-run oil giant and prohibited from returning to the company for 10 years.
In a separate incident announced last month, Pemex staffers sought a 10 million peso ($611,620) bribe plus a couple of trucks from another contractor.
Earlier this year, a Reuters investigation revealed that more than 100 Pemex contracts signed between 2003 and 2012 and worth nearly $12 billion were flagged by a federal audit office as having serious problems, but the company almost always disregarded the warnings. ($1 = 16.3500 Mexican pesos) (Reporting by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Paul Simao)