World Bank debars Vietnam water and sewerage company

The World Bank Wednesday debarred a state-owned Vietnamese water and sewerage treatment company for one year for “fraudulent practices” involving a project in Vietnam.

Vietnam Water and Environment Investment Corporation — JSC (VIWASEEN) is ineligible to participate in World Bank-financed projects during the 12-month debarment.

After the debarment period, VIWASEEN will be sanctioned with “conditional non-debarment” for 18 months. During that period it will be eligible to participate in World Bank-financed projects as long as it complies with its obligations under the settlement agreement, the World Bank said Wednesday.

During two World Bank-financed projects, VIWASEEN submitted bids and won contracts but later transferred all of the work to its affiliates. The projects were the Mekong Delta Water Resources Management for Rural Development Project and the Urban Water Supply and Wastewater Project.

VIWASEEN didn’t inform the bank or obtain the proper agency approvals for the transfers.

The company continued to misrepresent its role throughout the contracts, the World Bank said.

The activity was a “fraudulent practice” under World Bank procurement guidelines.

VIWASEEN’s one-year 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.

As part of the reduced settlement agreement, VIWASEEN acknowledged responsibility for the underlying sanctionable practices and  commited to developing an integrity compliance program consistent with the World Bank Group Integrity Compliance Guidelines.

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

The FCPA Blog | March 27, 2019