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World Bank debars engineering firm for obstructing investigation

The World Bank debarred a Portuguese engineering services company Wednesday for 12 months for “fraudulent and obstructive practices” involving a project in Brazil.

PROCESL Engenharia Hidráulica e Ambiental, S.A. (PROCESL) is ineligible to participate in World Bank-financed projects during the 12-month debarment.

PROCESL’s three wholly-owned subsidiaries were also debarred.

During the Santos Municipality Project, PROCESL overstated the number of hours worked by a PROCESL employee on the contract, which is a fraudulent practice, the World Bank said.

PROCESL also obstructed a bank audit and investigation by preparing documents afterwards to support the employee work hours that were claimed.

The $88 million World Bank-financed project was designed to strengthen the technical capacity of the Municipality of Santos in local economic development. Santos is about 50 miles southwest of Sao Paulo.

As a condition of the settlement, PROCESL acknowledged responsibility and committed to continue to fully cooperate with the World Bank Group Integrity Vice Presidency. The company must also meet specified corporate compliance conditions to be released from the debarment.

The World Bank didn’t publish the corporate compliance conditions that PROCESL needs to meet.

The 12-month debarment is not eligible for cross debarment by other development banks. To be eligible for cross debarment, the duration must be more than a year.

A list of all World Bank debarred entities and individuals is here.

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