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Dhaka Tribune

Padma Graft: WB bans SNC-Lavalin for 10 yrs

Update : 18 Apr 2013, 05:43 AM

The World Bank has announced a ban on Canadian company SNC-Lavalin Inc and its over 100 affiliates for 10 years following the company’s involvement in ‘graft attempts’ in relation to the Padma Multipurpose Bridge project as well as misconduct under another Bank-financed project.

SNC-Lavalin Inc is a subsidiary of SNC-Lavalin Group, a Canada-based company, and represents more than 60% of its business.

The ban is part of a ‘negotiated resolution agreement’ between the World Bank and SNC-Lavalin Group following a WB-investigation into allegations of bribery schemes involving SNC-Lavalin Inc and officials in Bangladesh, according to a message received here.

While the investigation was on, the World Bank’s Integrity Vice Presidency also learned of misconduct by SNC-Lavalin Inc in relation to the World Bank-financed Rural Electrification and Transmission project in Cambodia.

The ban can be reduced to eight years if the companies comply with all conditions of the agreement. The remainder of the SNC-Lavalin Group has been conditionally non-debarred for the same period of time.

Under this sanction, the remainder of SNC-Lavalin Group faces debarment if they fail to comply with the terms and conditions of the Agreement.

“This case is testimony to collective action against global corruption,” said Leonard McCarthy, World Bank Integrity Vice President. “Once we had evidence of the company’s misconduct, we referred the matter to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police whilst the World Bank finalised its investigation. Going forward, I hope that SNC-Lavalin’s commitment under this agreement represents meaningful action in deterring the risks of fraud and corruption to development projects.”

SNC-Lavalin’s misconduct involved a conspiracy to pay bribes and misrepresentations when bidding for Bank-financed contracts in violation of the World Bank’s procurement guidelines.

Under the Agreement, the SNC-Lavalin Group and its affiliates commit to cooperating with the World Bank’s Integrity Vice Presidency and continuing to improve their internal compliance program. The debarment of SNC-Lavalin Inc. qualifies for cross-debarment by other MDBs under the Agreement of Mutual Recognition of Debarments that was signed on April 9, 2010.

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