The World Bank recently debarred Vietnam-based engineering firm Getinsa Ingenieria Vietnam Co. Ltd. (“Getinsa Vietnam”) for 8 years and 10 months, and Tran Thi Hoan (“Ms. Hoan”) for 2 years and 10 months, according to a Notice of Uncontested Sanctions Proceedings (“the Notice”) issued by the World Bank on April 12, 2023, for engaging in collusive or corrupt practices in connection with the Vietnam Da Nang Sustainable City Development Project, a project aimed at expanding residents’ access to improved drainage, wastewater collection and treatment services, public transport, and urban arterial roads and expressways.
According to the Notice, each respondent was issued a debarment with conditional release for engaging in a scheme with two other unnamed companies in an effort “to improperly influence the technical specifications in two contracts under the Project” and solicit a commission (worth 10 percent of the contract value) from one of the unnamed companies for helping it secure the contracts. While World Bank sanctions procedures enable respondents to submit an explanation in response to allegations, neither respondent submitted an explanation or otherwise contested the World Bank’s allegations.
The Notice further stated that the respective debarment periods were imposed by the World Bank after considering certain aggravating factors such as Getinsa Ingenieria’s and Ms. Hoan’s central roles in the misconduct and the sophistication of the scheme, which involved significant planning and the coordination of multiple parties and individuals. The World Bank also noted the time that elapsed between the misconduct and the date that the Bank became aware of it and the fact that neither respondent accepted responsibility for the misconduct. The debarment periods also reflect each respondent’s cooperation with World Bank investigators.
According to the World Bank, the debarments make Getinsa Vietnam, Ms. Hoan, and any affiliate-entity that they each control (“the Affiliates”) ineligible to participate in World Bank projects throughout the respective debarment periods. Each debarment also qualifies for cross-debarment by other multilateral development banks. As a condition of release from the debarments, each respondent must undertake remedial measures to address the practices for which they were sanctioned. Getinsa Vietnam and the Affiliates must also adopt and implement an integrity compliance program in accordance with World Bank sanctions procedures. Ms. Hoan is additionally required to complete a training course and/or education program that demonstrates a commitment to personal integrity and business ethics.