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World Bank debars oil and gas consultant for corrupt practices

The World Bank debarred a Spanish consultant in the oil and gas industry and his affiliated companies Wednesday for three years for a corrupt practice connected to a project in Guyana.

Carlos Barberán Diez and his controlled affiliates, AC Oil & Gas SL and AC Oil & Gas Emirates LLC, are ineligible to participate in projects and operations financed by the World Bank Group during the three-year debarment.

According to the World Bank, Diez approached four consulting companies involved in the oil and gas business, using his position in the project to solicit payments from the companies directly. In exchange, he offered to influence the project procurement processes in their favor.

Although the World Bank found no evidence of payments to Diez from the companies, the solicitation constitutes a corrupt practice under the World Bank’s Procurement Regulations and Anti-Corruption Guidelines, the World Bank said.

The project was designed to support “the enhancement of legal and institutional frameworks and the strengthening of the capacity of key institutions to manage the oil and gas sector in Guyana.”

As part of the settlement, Diez acknowledged culpability for the underlying sanctionable practice and agreed to meet specified integrity compliance conditions for release from debarment, including taking corporate ethics training. 

Additionally, any affiliate Diez controls, directly or indirectly, during the debarment is required to implement integrity compliance measures in consultation with the World Bank Group Integrity Compliance Officer.

Diez also committed to continue fully cooperating with the World Bank Group Integrity Vice Presidency, the World Bank said. 

The 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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