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World Bank debars well-known British transportation expert for corruption

The World Bank debarred a leading New Zealand-based traffic expert Wednesday for corruption involving mass transport projects in Vietnam.

British-born James Tinnion-Morgan, pictured above, was debarred for six years. He’s ineligible to participate in World Bank-financed projects during the debarment.

Tinnion-Morgan improperly influenced the tendering processes under the two World Bank-funded projects, solicited bribes, and failed to disclose his business relationship with a bidder. These are “collusive, corrupt, and fraudulent practices,” the World Bank said.

A $272 million project involved an arterial road network and public transport in Da Nang City. Another $295 million project in Hanoi was designed to increase the use of public transport and reduce travel time in the city center.

Tinnion-Morgan works for New Zealand-based transportation consultants Tonkin + Taylor, according to this Linkedin profile.

He moved to Vietnam in 2011, and managed large-scale planning and infrastructure projects for “government and local authority clients such as the NZ Transport Agency, Auckland Transport, Auckland Council, Transport for London, the World Bank and the Da Nang, Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh People’s Committees,” Tonkin + Taylor’s website says.

Tinnion-Morgan discusses the Da Nang project on BBC World in the video below (begins at 4:40).


Tinnion-Morgan acknowledged responsibility for the underlying sanctionable practices and the settlement provides for a reduced period of debarment with conditional release in light of his cooperation and voluntary remedial actions.

As a condition for release from sanction under the terms of the settlement agreement, Tinnion-Morgan committed to take compliance training and to continue fully cooperating with the World Bank Group Integrity Vice Presidency.

The World Bank didn’t mention Tonkin + Taylor in its debarment announcement.

Wednesday’s 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.

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

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