The IDB has announced the debarment of Belgian-based entity Tractebel Engineering S.A. (TE Belgium), a société anonyme organized and existing under the laws of Belgium, registered in the BCE (Crossroad Bank of Enterprises) under the number 0412.639.681, VAT nº BE 0412 639 681, for 46 months in connection with allegations of fraudulent and corrupt practices relating to the award of a contract under the Program for the Rehabilitation of the Péligre Transmission Line in Haiti managed by the Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Communications (the “Executing Agency”), with a total value of approximately EUR 1.35 million. The debarment makes TE Belgium ineligible to participate in projects and operations financed by the IDB Group and follows an investigation by the Office of Institutional Integrity (OII).
Solely for the purpose of resolving the OII’s investigation, and without admitting nor contesting the findings of the OII, TE Belgium entered into a Negotiated Resolution Agreement (Settlement Agreement) with the IDB, in accordance with the IDB Group’s Sanctions Procedures.
According to the OII’s conclusions, TE Belgium did not disclose fees paid to agents and misrepresented the availability of an individual designated as “key personnel”. The OII also concluded that, through a subcontractor of TE Belgium, paid positions were offered to former colleagues of Executing Agency officials following inappropriate discussions about their hiring between the subcontractor and officials. All of the facts under investigation occurred in 2015-2016 under a former management team and organizational structure of TE Belgium.
The Settlement Agreement provides for an agreed to period of debarment in light of TE Belgium’s cooperation, voluntary restraint from bidding in IDB Group-financed activities during the negotiations, and corrective actions. Under the terms of the Settlement Agreement, TE Belgium commits to retain an independent third-party consultant in order to analyze its compliance program and identify any gaps compared with internationally recognized standards, and to address any deficiency. TE Belgium also commits to continue cooperating with OII, including conducting internal investigations related to IDB Group-financed activities. The debarment may be extended to nine years if TE Belgium fails to comply with these commitments or other terms of the settlement.
The debarment of TE Belgium 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.
About the IDB Group and OII
The IDB Group is the leading source of development finance for Latin America and the Caribbean. It helps to improve lives by providing financial solutions and development know-how to public and private sector clients. The group comprises the IDB, which has worked with governments for 60 years; IDB Invest, which serves the private sector; and IDB Lab, which tests innovative ways to enable more inclusive growth.
The Office of Institutional Integrity (OII) has a central role in the IDB Group’s commitment to integrity through its mandate to conduct investigations of Prohibited Practices and provide prevention support to operational units.