The World Bank today announced the 28-month debarment of Spanish engineering company Ingeniería Especializada Obra Civil e Industrial S.A.U. in connection with corrupt, collusive and fraudulent practices in the World 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., and it operated in Bolivia through a branch office.
The debarment makes Ingeniería Especializada Obra Civil e Industrial S.A.U. ineligible to participate in World Bank-financed projects. The debarment is part of a settlement agreement under which the company does not contest the findings of the World Bank’s investigation. The firm agrees to meet specified corporate compliance conditions as a condition for release from debarment.
The project was designed to improve year-round use of the San Buenaventura–Ixiamas National Road, and the safety, security and operational reliability of the Rurrenabaque Airport in Bolivia. The World Bank’s Integrity Vice Presidency (INT) found that Ingeniería Especializada Obra Civil e Industrial S.A.U. engaged in a corrupt practice to secure the award of a World Bank-financed contract for the supervision of a road construction under the project. The company engaged in a collusive practice when arranging to replace a bid form following bid submission. Finally, while executing the contract, the Bolivian branch engaged in a fraudulent practice by approving certificates inflating the progress of work.
The settlement agreement provides for a reduced period of sanction in light of the company’s extensive cooperation and voluntary remedial actions. These actions include conducting independent internal investigations, voluntarily restraining from bidding on new World Bank-financed projects, and taking internal action against responsible employees.
As a condition for release from sanction under the terms of the settlement agreement, the company commits to developing an integrity compliance program consistent with the principles set out in the World Bank Group Integrity Compliance Guidelines. To that end, Corporación Acciona Infraestructuras S.L., a related entity responsible for overseeing compliance at Ingeniería Especializada Obra Civil e Industrial S.A.U., also signed the settlement agreement. Ingeniería Especializada Obra Civil e Industrial S.A.U. commits to continue to fully cooperate with INT.
The debarment of Ingeniería Especializada Obra Civil e Industrial S.A.U. qualifies for cross-debarment by other multilateral development banks (MDBs) under the Agreement for Mutual Enforcement of Debarment Decisions that was signed on April 9, 2010.
Compliments of the Worldbank