Corporate Crime Database, "Violation Tracker," Is Launched

vt_logo-full_1Violation Tracker, “the first national database on corporate crime,” produced by the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First, has been launched, writes Phil Mattera on his Dirt Diggers Digest blog. Violation Tracker is a database “that in its initial form covers all environmental, health and safety cases with penalties of $5,000 or more brought since the beginning of 2010 by 13 federal regulatory agencies, including those they referred to the Justice Department. Additional violation categories (bribery, price-fixing, financial offenses, wage & hour infractions, etc.) will be added in the future…In Violation Tracker the companies named in the individual violations are linked to more than 1,600 parent companies.”

You can access the data in two ways. The first option is to view various parent, industry, agency, headquarters, and state/country summary pages that are linked in dropdown menus at the top of the search form. The second option is to search by company name or other variables that include company, industry, penalty amount, agency, year, free text, headquarters state/country, facility state, and city.

There are twenty data sources that Violation Tracker accesses and you can view them here. Details of the data and how best to access the information is available in the User Guide.

In addition, the Corporate Research Project’s BP and Its Brethren report summarizes information about the biggest violators from the database. A couple interesting findings (directly quoted) include:

  • The corporations with the most penalties are: BP ($25.4 billion), Anadarko Petroleum ($5.2 billion), GlaxoSmithKline ($3.8 billion), Johnson & Johnson ($2.4 billion), Abbott Laboratories ($1.5 billion), Transocean ($1.4 billion), Toyota ($1.3 billion) and Alliant Energy ($1.0 billion). The penalty total of all entries in Violation Tracker is about $60 billion.
  • BP’s $25 billion puts oil and gas at the top of the ranking of industries by total penalties. The pharmaceutical industry is second, due to a series of major cases involving the promotion of medications for uses not approved as safe by the Food and Drug Administration. Utilities rank third, due to cases involving power plant emissions. In fourth place is the auto industry, thanks mainly to a $1.2 billion penalty paid by Toyota and a $900 million fine against General Motors, both for safety issues. The chemical industry, with a wide range of violations, is fifth.

Shout out to Gary Price, infoDocket.

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