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African Development Bank debars China power company for fraudulent practices

The African Development Bank Monday debarred CHINT Electric Co., Ltd. for 36 months for lying about its qualifications and experience in multiple bids for ADB-financed projects.

The ADB’s Office of Integrity and Anti-Corruption said Shanghai-based CHINT is ineligible during the debarment for contracts under any African Development Bank-financed project.

CHINT is also barred from being “a subcontractor, consultant, supplier, or service provider” of an otherwise eligible firm.

The African Development Bank, based in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, reached a negotiated settlement with CHINT.

The ADB said the company “engaged in numerous misrepresentations of its past experience in bidding for Bank-financed contracts.”

It misrepresented its qualifications during seven bids for projects in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.

CHINT manufacturers and distributes power transmission and distribution equipment.

The debarment qualifies for cross debarment by other multilateral development banks under their mutual enforcement agreements. The other multilateral development banks include the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the World Bank Group.

The African Development Bank said Monday it will “verify the adequacy of CHINT Electric’s compliance framework and the robustness of its implementation” before lifting the debarment.

The ADB said the company cooperated with the investigation.

As part of the settlement, CHINT also agreed to help the ADB “in its investigations of unrelated cases of misconduct in African Development Bank-financed projects.”

The bank said CHINT’s debarment could be reduced from 36 months to 24 months if the company “complies with all conditions of the agreement early.”

The company lied about “the technical specifications, the value, the execution period and/or the degree of completion of contracts used as credentials in order to qualify for the tenders,” the ADB said.

Bubacarr Sankareh, chief of the African Development Bank’s Office of Integrity and Anti-Corruption, said: “The misrepresentation of a bidder’s qualifications materially undermines this objective and is therefore taken very seriously by the institution.”

A list of all entities and people debarred or otherwise sanctioned by the African Development Bank is here.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.

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