The World Bank Group has announced the debarment of Energoprojekt Niskogradnja, a Serbian civil engineering and contracting company – for a period of two and a half years following the company’s acknowledgment of misconduct in a Bank-financed roads and development project in Uganda.
The 2.5 years debarment is part of a negotiated resolution agreement between Energoprojekt and the World Bank Group following an investigation by the World Bank Integrity Vice Presidency, the Bank said in a statement on January 3 2013.
“This case is just another example of why fighting corruption matters for the World Bank as well as for companies that are engaged in development projects,” said Leonard McCarthy, World Bank Integrity Vice President, according to a media statement. “Clean business is smart business. We will pursue our efforts to maximize the value of infrastructure development,” he said.
Under the agreement, Energoprojekt Niskogradnja commits to co-operate with the World Bank’s Integrity Vice Presidency and continue to improve their internal compliance programme.
This debarment qualifies for cross-debarment by other MDBs under the Agreement of Mutual Recognition of Debarments that was signed on April 9 2010.
The World Bank Integrity Vice Presidency (INT) is responsible for preventing, deterring and investigating allegations of fraud, collusion and corruption in World Bank projects, capitalising on the experience of a multilingual and highly specialised team of investigators and forensic accountants. Key results of INT’s work in 2012 include, according to the World Bank statement:
* 83 entities debarred, bringing the total number of debarred entities, non-governmental organisations and individuals to 541
* 122 jointly recognised debarments among multilateral development banks (MDBs) that signed the Cross Debarment agreement
* Building precautions against fraud and corruption in 84 high-risk projects with a combined lending volume of $21.2 billion.
* In 2012, the World Bank debarred two wholly-owned subsidiaries of Oxford University Press namely: Oxford University Press East Africa Limited and Oxford University Press Tanzania Limited – for a period of three years following acknowledgment of misconduct in relation to two Bank-financed education projects in East Africa. The company agreed to pay $500 000 to the World Bank as part of settlement.
* The World Bank introduced its new App to report fraud and corruption allegations relating to its projects. The new App also complements other tools and information resources to support the detection of fraud and corruption red flags. The World Bank Integrity App is available for the IOS platform through the iTunes store
* Following Alstom’s acknowledgment of misconduct in relation to a Bank-financed hydropower project in Zambia, the World Bank debarred Alstom Hydro France and Alstom Network Schweiz AG (Switzerland) – in addition to their affiliates – for a period of three years as part of a Negotiated Resolution Agreement between Alstom and the World Bank which also includes a restitution payment by the two companies totaling approximately $9.5 million.
* Based on an INT referral, UK authorities ordered Macmillan Publishers Limited to pay more than 11 million pounds sterling. WBG debarred Macmillan for six years (2010), for bribery linked to an education project in Sudan.
* The Norwegian Authorities also took prosecutorial action against three former employees of “Norconsult,” based on an INT referral.
(Photo of the World Bank building: Shiny Things/flickr.com)