On November 1, 2023, the World Bank Group announced the debarment of BETS Consulting Services Limited, an engineering consultancy based in Bangladesh.
The World Bank asserts that between 2014 and 2016, BETS made corrupt payments to project officials in order to influence their decisions in connection with the company’s participation in the Chittagong Water Supply Improvement and Sanitation Project in Bangladesh. BETS’ lead consultant company supervised the payments, and later, with BETS’ assistance, invoiced the project for expenses that were not incurred.
As part of the settlement, BETS acknowledged responsibility for the sanctionable practices, and agreed to a debarment of 22 months — a reduced period of debarment due to the company’s cooperation in the investigation, and the remedial measures it has voluntarily taken. The debarment qualifies for cross-debarment by other multilateral development banks.
In order to be released from debarment, BETS must continue to cooperate with the World Bank Group Integrity Vice Presidency, and must undertake to develop and implement an integrity compliance program consistent with the principles of the World Bank Integrity Compliance Guidelines.