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World Bank debars three after probe of Manila environmental projects

The World Bank Group Wednesday said it debarred two companies and an individual for integrity violations related to World Bank-financed contracts in the Philippines.

The bank debarred Berkman International Inc. for five years.

Berkman engaged in corrupt practices to influence the implementation of World Bank-financed contracts, the bank said. 

The projects were the Third Manila Sewerage Project and the Integrated Persistent Organic Pesticides Management Project (IPOPs), both in the Philippines.

The World Bank also debarred a consultant, Mrs. Belen Gacad, for 18 months. She “engaged in corrupt practices by facilitating certain of Berkman’s improper payments,” the World Bank said.

The Manila-based Center for Environmental Studies and Management, Inc. (CESM) was also debarred for 18 months.

“CESM engaged in fraudulent practices by concealing a conflict of interest with a procurement consultant when seeking IPOPs contracts,” the World Bank said.

The debarments are part of two Negotiated Resolution Agreements relating to the same investigation, the World Bank said.

Berkman, based in Manila, also misrepresented its past work experience, the identity of its joint venture partner, the involvement of its subconsultant, and the identity and allocated man-hours of its project team members, according to the World Bank.

All three debarments announced Wednesday qualify for cross-debarment by other multilateral development banks.

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. 

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