World Bank bars 4 companies from projects

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WASHINGTON: The World Bank announced Friday it had barred four companies, including a former unit of Daewoo, from future contracts after finding serious misconduct in projects around the world.

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The development lender said its investigations found fraud and corruption related to projects in Mongolia, Vietnam, Peru and Kenya that involved the companies.

Daewoo Information Systems, a former branch of the sprawling South Korean conglomerate Daewoo, was debarred for engaging in “corrupt misconduct” to win a Bank-financed contract in Mongolia.

The company is frozen out of World Bank projects for two and a half years.

The other three companies were put on the black list for submitting false information in bidding for contracts: Thang Loi Group, over a Vietnam project; Consorcio Ocongate, for a Peru project; and Minimix Agencies, related to a project in Kenya. They were debarred from two to four years.

“The outcome of our investigations during this last quarter speaks to the sustained commitment of the World Bank Group to respond to allegations of fraud and corruption while working closely with member countries and companies to strengthen governance systems and raise compliance standards,” said Leonard McCarthy, a World Bank vice president, in the statement.

Under the terms of the sanctions, the companies must adopt and implement Bank-approved integrity compliance programs.

In late 2013, the president of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, declared corruption “public enemy number one” in developing countries.

The World Bank faces repeated criticism that it turns a blind eye on abuses committed by companies working on its development projects. AFP

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