Fraudulent Practices: The Respondent Firm was found to have submitted false financial information to meet tender requirements and qualify for the award of construction contracts. In addition, the Respondent Firm was found to have failed to disclose commissions paid to its agents, as required by the bidding documents.
Corrupt Practice: The Respondent Firm was found to have promised or paid its agents sums of money to influence government officials involved in awarding contracts.
The Respondent Firm (“Respondent”) was a member of a consortium, which participated in multiple bidding processes under the Innovation in School Infrastructure Program in Panama (the “Program”) and was awarded two construction contracts. The Office of Institutional Integrity (“OII”) submitted a Statement of Charges and Evidence against the Respondent for allegedly engaging in fraudulent and corrupt practices related to the Program. OII’s specific accusation was that the Respondent presented false financial background information to satisfy the bidding requirements for construction contracts under the Program. In addition, OII argued that the Respondent knowingly failed to disclose commissions paid to its agents for their assistance in proposal preparation. OII also alleged that the Respondent promised or paid its agents sums of money to influence government officials involved in awarding contracts. Consequently, and in accordance with the Sanctions Procedures, the Sanctions Officer (“SO”) issued a Notice of Administrative Action (“Notice”) to the Respondent. The Respondent did not submit a Response to the Notice.
The SO determined that it was more likely than not that the Respondent engaged in fraudulent and corrupt practices. As a result, the SO imposed a sanction of debarment for a period of nine (9) years, during which time the Respondent will be ineligible to participate or be awarded contracts for projects or activities financed by the Bank Group. In determining the sanction, the SO took into account, as aggravating factors, the Respondent’s repeated pattern of conduct and the involvement of public officials in the corrupt practice. As a mitigating factor, the SO considered the Respondent's cooperation during OII’s investigation.
In accordance with the Sanctions Procedures, the sanction imposed entered into force immediately, and the Bank provided notice of this declaration of ineligibility to the other Multilateral Development Banks that are a party to the Agreement for Mutual Enforcement of Debarment Decisions.