Collusive Practice: The Individual Respondent was a sales representative and technology advisor 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.
The Individual Respondent (“Respondent”) was a sales representative, technology advisor and key member of the bidding team 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 a collusive practice related to the Program. OII’s specific accusations were that during the procurement process, the Respondent entered 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. 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.
The SO determined that it is more likely than not that the Respondent engaged in a collusive practice. As a result, the SO imposed a sanction of debarment for a period of five (5) 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 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. 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. Moreover, in accordance with Section 8.3 of the Sanctions Procedures, the sanction was extended to a firm controlled by the Respondent.