Collusive Practice: The Respondent Firm was found to have entered into an arrangement with a public official in order to secure the award of two sole-source contracts.
Obstructive Practice: The Respondent Firm was found to have obstructed the investigation by intentionally impeding the exercise of OII’s inspection and audit rights.
The Respondent Firm (“Respondent”) was awarded two sole-source contracts (“Contracts”) in connection to the Support for Haiti Transportation Sector Program (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 obstructive practice. OII’s specific accusations were that during the procurement process, the Respondent engaged in a collusive practice by entering into an agreement with a public official in order to secure the award of the Contracts. OII also alleged that the Respondent committed an obstructive practice when it materially impeded its investigation by denying OII access to any of its books and records after several attempts to exercise the inspection and audit rights under the Contracts. In conjunction with the Statement of Charges, OII submitted a Request to temporarily suspend the Respondent from participating in programs financed by the Bank Group. Consequently, and in accordance with the Sanctions Procedures, the Sanctions Officer (“SO”) issued a Notice of Temporary Suspension and a Notice of Administrative Action (“Notice”) to the Respondent. The Respondent did not file a request for reconsideration of the Temporary Suspension, nor did it provide a Response to the Notice.
The SO determined that it is more likely than not that the Respondent engaged in collusive and obstructive practices. As a result, the SO imposed a sanction of debarment for a period of seven (7) 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 the period of Temporary Suspension already served by the Respondent and the following aggravating factors: the involvement of a public official as well as the damage caused to the Bank’s operations including the damage to the integrity of the procurement process. 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.