Collusive Practice: The individual Respondent was found to have entered into an arrangement with the other participants in the bidding processes for various contracts, with the intention to simulate competition and direct the award of the contracts to pre-determined parties.
The Individual Respondent (“Respondent”) submitted offers in multiple bidding processes for the Rural Potable Water Program (the “Program”) in Honduras. 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 allegation against the Respondent was that during the bidding processes, the Respondent entered into an arrangement with other prospective bidders to improperly influence the award of the Bank-financed contracts financed under the Program. According to OII, the Respondent and other bidders coordinated their offers in the respective processes in which they participated to simulate competition, with the aim to direct the contracts to predetermined participants of the scheme. 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 was 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 two (2) 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 considered, as a significant mitigating factor, the cooperation provided to OII’s investigation and the disclosure of pertinent evidence, which illuminated the details of the collusive scheme in the referred bidding processes.
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.