Collusive Practice: The Individual Respondent was the former general manager and legal representative of a firm that was awarded a Bank-financed software Contract. The Respondent was found to have entered into an arrangement with other participants of the scheme to modify the technical requirements of the bidding documents to narrow competition and secure the award of the Contract.
Corrupt Practice: The Respondent was found, in collaboration with another bidder, to have directly or indirectly made improper payments to government and Executing Agency officials involved in adjudicating and supervising the bidding process, in order to secure the award of the Contract.
The Individual Respondent (“Respondent”) was the former general manager and legal representative of a firm that was awarded a software contract (the “Contract”) in connection with the Establishing Cadastral Registry and Strengthening Legal Certainty Protected Areas Program in Guatemala (the “Program”). The Office of Institutional Integrity (“OII”) submitted a Statement of Charges and Evidence against the Respondent, among others, for allegedly engaging in collusive and corrupt practices related to the Program. OII’s specific accusations were that during the procurement process, the Respondent engaged in a collusive practice by entering into an arrangement involving other employees of the firm, another bidder, and officials within the Executing Agency, to modify the technical requirements of the bidding documents to limit open competition in the bidding process, which was designed to provide an improper advantage to the firm and secure the award of the Contract. OII also alleged that the Respondent engaged in a corrupt scheme in collaboration with another bidder, by significantly overinflating the costs of their offers to cover the improper payments that were made directly or indirectly to government and Executing Agency officials who were involved in adjudicating and supervising the bidding process, in order to secure their respective Contracts. Consequently, and in accordance with the Sanctions Procedures, the Sanctions Officer (“SO”) issued a Notice of Administrative Action (“Notice”) to the Respondent. In his Response to the Notice, the Respondent denied the allegations presented by OII.
The SO determined that it is more likely than not that the Respondent engaged in collusive and corrupt practices. As a result, the SO imposed a sanction of debarment for a period of ten (10) 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 a limited mitigating factor, the Respondent’s cooperation during OII’s audit and investigation, although noted that not all relevant information had been provided by the Respondent. Likewise, the SO took into account, as aggravating factors: the sophisticated scheme and the involvement of public officials, which involved a high degree of planning during the Program’s procurement that spanned several years; and the damage caused to the Bank’s operations including the damage to the integrity of the procurement process, as well as the degree of harm to the Program.
The Determination of the SO was not appealed by the Respondent to the Sanctions Committee and therefore, in accordance with the Sanctions Procedures, the sanction imposed entered into force. 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.