The World Bank recently announced the debarment of Honduras-based engineering firm Consultores en Ingenieria SA de CV (“CINSA”) for a period of 18 months. According to the World Bank, the debarment was imposed for engaging in a “fraudulent practice” in connection with the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience Phase 1 Grant Project in Honduras, a project aimed at strengthening Honduras’s ability to adapt to climate change and reducing the impact of climate change on its communities, ecosystems and infrastructures (“the Project”). The World Bank reported that, in an effort to obtain a contract under the Project, CINSA misled procurement officials by failing to disclose a conflict of interest that the company was obligated to disclose under tender requirements and World Bank procurement regulations. CINSA also allegedly submitted bid documents that misrepresented that a conflict of interest did not exist, which constitutes a fraudulent practice under World Bank’s 2016 Anti-Corruption Guidelines.
The World Bank indicated that CINSA received a reduced period of debarment because of the company’s cooperation with World Bank staff, and voluntary remedial actions. During the period of debarment, CINSA will be ineligible to participate in projects financed by World Bank institutions. As a condition of release from debarment, CINSA must adopt and implement a Code of Conduct and a corporate ethics training program reflecting the principles set out in the World Bank Integrity Compliance Guidelines. As part of the settlement, CINSA also acknowledged its responsibility for the underlying sanctionable practices and agreed to continue to fully cooperate with World Bank investigators. As reported by the World Bank, CINSA’s debarment qualifies for cross-debarment by other multilateral development banks.