The World Bank recently announced the debarment of Vietnam-based HTC Construction and Advanced Technology Joint Stock Company for a period of 41 months. According to the World Bank, HTC submitted bids that misrepresented its financial statements and inflated the value of past contracts in an effort to obtain contracts in connection with the World-Bank financed Coastal Cities Environmental Sanitation Project; Da Nang Priority Infrastructure Investment Project; Medium Cities Development Project; and the Irrigated Agricultural Improvement Project (collectively “the Projects”). HTC also materially impeded the World Bank’s investigation into these issues by not complying with the World Bank’s contractual audit rights and by refusing to provide the World Bank with requested evidence, according to the World Bank.
In its announcement of a settlement with HTC, the World Bank stated that HTC received a reduced period of debarment for its admission of wrongdoing and “voluntary restraint from bidding” on World Bank projects. As a condition of release from debarment, HTC agreed to implement integrity compliance measures that conform with World Bank Integrity Compliance Guidelines and agreed that any affiliate it controls will also conform with World Bank guidelines. As part of the settlement, HTC also committed to fully cooperate with World Bank investigators.