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World Bank debars Vanuatu company for fraudulent practice

The World Bank debarred a Vanuatu power and communication company Wednesday for fraudulent practices connected to a project in Vanuatu.

PCS Limited (PCS) and its affiliates are ineligible to participate in projects and operations financed by the World Bank Group during the 15-month debarment.

According to the World Bank, from November 2018 through May 2020, PCS claimed subsidies on a non-subsidized item when submitting subsidy reimbursement applications.

The company knowingly misled the Project Implementation Unit. This is a fraudulent practice under the World Bank’s Procurement Guidelines, the World Bank said

The $4.7 million World Bank-funded project was designed to scale up access to electricity services for rural households, aid posts, and community halls located in dispersed off-grid areas in Vanuatu.

According to the World Bank, the settlement agreement provides a reduced debarment period for the company’s cooperation and voluntary remedial actions.

PCS also agreed to develop and implement a code of conduct and integrity compliance program reflecting the principles set out in the World Bank Group Integrity Compliance Guidelines and to continue cooperating with the World Bank Group Integrity Vice Presidency.

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.

In December 2022, the World Bank debarred a consultant for a fraudulent practice related to the same project in Vanuatu.

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

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