The World Bank Group announced the debarment of Consia Consultants ApS for 14 years for fraud and corruption. Consia’s Managing Director was also debarred for three and a half years.
The World Bank’s Integrity Vice Presidency said in a statement that it found evidence that Denmark-based Consia “made payments to officials to influence the contract awards in and failed to disclose its agreement and commissions paid to its agent in connection with the World Bank-financed Strategic Road Infrastructure Project in Indonesia.”
Consia also misrepresented the availability of key staff it has claimed would be assisting with the execution of its technical assistance contract under the project, the World Bank said.
The World Bank’s Stephen Zimmermann said, “The outcome of this case is another example of how important it is to focus on finding evidence that helps the World Bank Group protect the interests of project beneficiaries while holding accountable those who seek to do otherwise for personal gain.”
Consia also “engaged in fraud and making corrupt payments to government officials in connection with several World Bank-financed projects in Vietnam,” the World Bank said.
The projects included the Hanoi Urban Transport Development Project, the Northern Delta Transport Development Project, the Haiphong Urban Transport Development Project and the Second Northern Mountains Poverty Reduction Project.
Consia claimed payments for staff who were never recruited or worked on its Vietnam technical assistance contract, the World Bank said.
Consia is a private Danish company. It was set up in 2000. According to its website it has had “over 200 technical assignments in over 55 countries in Asia, Europe, Latin America and Africa.”
It lists as clients the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Nordic Development Fund, the Danish International Development Agency, and the United Nations Office for Project Services.
The World Bank debarment against the company qualifies for cross-debarment by other Multilateral Development Banks under the Agreement of Mutual Recognition of Debarments (pdf) signed in 2010.
In addition to the World Bank, parties to the cross-debarment agreement are the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the African Development Bank.
A list of all World Bank debarred entities and individuals is here.
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.