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World Bank debars two companies in separate actions

The World Bank debarred a Spanish engineering company Thursday for cheating on a bid and lying about its work progress.

Ingeniería Especializada Obra Civil e Industrial S.A.U. was debarred for 28 months.

The World Bank said the company engaged in “corrupt, collusive and fraudulent practices” in connection with the bank-financed National Roads and Airport Infrastructure Project in Bolivia.

At the time of the misconduct the firm’s name was Acciona Ingeniería S.A. It operated in Bolivia through a branch office.

During bidding for work intended to improve safety and security at Bolivia’s Rurrenabaque Airport, the Spanish company arranged “to replace a bid form following bid submission,” the World Bank said.

After winning the contract, the company approved certificates inflating the progress of its work.

“The debarment makes Ingeniería Especializada Obra Civil e Industrial S.A.U. ineligible to participate in World Bank-financed projects,” the bank said.

The 28-month debarment qualifies for cross-debarment by the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the African Development Bank.

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In an unrelated case Thursday, the World Bank announced the eight-month debarment of Nepal-based consulting firm Centre for Natural Resources Management, Analysis, Training and Policy Research (Narma).

Narma submitted an invoice for payment under a World Bank-financed project for work that it had already “substantially completed” before it was awarded the contract.

The contract was for the Project for Agriculture Commercialization and Trade (PACT Project) in Nepal.

The PACT Project was designed to improve the competitiveness of smallholder farmers and the agribusiness sector in various districts in Nepal.

The eight-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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Richard L. Cassin is editor at large of the FCPA Blog.

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