Claims of alleged bribery and corruption at engineering giant Rolls-Royce were first raised at least six years ago, it was reported today.
The firm said last week that it is in talks with the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) over concerns about bribery and corruption in Indonesia and China and warned there was the potential for prosecuting individuals and the company.
And reports emerged today that a retired Rolls employee Dick Taylor took his concerns public by posting statements on local newspaper and industry news internet sites as early as 2006.
Mr Taylor is thought to have been contacted by the company as part of its internal investigation, although the group declined to comment on the report in the Financial Times.
The FTSE 100 engineering group has hired law firm Debevoise & Plimpton to conduct the investigation and is to appoint an independent figure who will lead a review of current procedures and report to the ethics committee of the board.
Chief executive John Rishton said: "I want to make it crystal clear that neither I nor the board will tolerate improper business conduct of any sort and will take all necessary action to ensure compliance."
The allegations reportedly predate Mr Rishton, whose predecessor Sir John Rose ran the company from 1996 until last year, although none of Mr Taylor's allegations suggest he was directly involved.
The SFO has yet to comment on whether it will launch a criminal investigation.