[A2k] World Bank Sanctions OUP for Corrupt Practices Impacting Education Projects in East Africa

Teresa Hackett teresa.hackett at eifl.net
Wed Jul 4 00:28:01 PDT 2012


http://www.egovmonitor.com/node/51899

The World Bank Group today announced the debarment of two wholly-owned
subsidiaries of Oxford University Press (OUP), namely: Oxford
University Press East Africa Limited (OUPEA) and Oxford University
Press Tanzania Limited (OUPT) - for a period of three years following
OUP’s acknowledgment of misconduct by its two subsidiaries in relation
to two Bank-financed education projects in East Africa.

The debarment is part of a Negotiated Resolution Agreement between OUP
and the World Bank Group.  In May 2011, investigators from the World
Bank’s Integrity Vice Presidency (INT) approached OUP about potential
misconduct in Africa.  Following this, OUP conducted an internal
investigation into its operations and reported its findings to INT.

“This debarment is testimony to the Bank’s continued commitment to
protecting the integrity of its projects.  OUP’s acknowledgment of
misconduct and the thoroughness of its investigation is evidence of
how companies can address issues of fraud and corruption and change
their corporate practices to foster integrity in the development
business.  In this case, working with the Serious Fraud Office also
demonstrates the scope of collective action in deterring corruption
impacting the progress of development,” said Leonard McCarthy, World
Bank Integrity Vice President.

The two companies made improper payments to government officials for
two contracts to supply text books in relation to two World
Bank-financed projects.  As a result, OUPEA and OUPT will be debarred
for three years and OUP will receive a conditional non-debarment. In
addition, in order to remedy part of the harm done by the misconduct,
OUP has agreed to make a payment of US$500,000 to the World Bank as
part of the Negotiated Resolution.

Under the Agreement, OUP and its related undertakings, including OUPEA
and OUPT,commit to cooperate with the World Bank’s Integrity Vice
Presidency and continue to improve their internal compliance program.
The debarment of OUPEA and OUPT qualifies for cross-debarment by other
MDBs under the Agreement of Mutual Recognition of Debarments that was
signed on April 9, 2010.

About The World Bank Integrity Vice Presidency (INT)

The World Bank Integrity Vice Presidency (INT) is responsible for
preventing, deterring and investigating allegations of fraud,
collusion and corruption in World Bank projects, capitalizing on the
experience of a multilingual and highly specialized team of
investigators and forensic accountants. Key results of INT’s work
include:

83 debarments of firms and individuals for engaging in wrongdoing
during this fiscal year

Following Alstom’s acknowledgment of misconduct in relation to a
Bank-financed hydropower project in Zambia, the World Bank debarred
Alstom Hydro France and Alstom Network Schweiz AG (Switzerland) - in
addition to their affiliates - for a period of three years as part of
a Negotiated Resolution Agreement between Alstom and the World Bank
which also includes a restitution payment by the two companies
totaling approximately $9.5 million.

Based on an INT referral, UK authorities ordered Macmillan Publishers
Limited to pay over £11 million. WBG debarred Macmillan for 6 years
(2010), for bribery linked to an education project in Sudan.

The Norwegian Authorities also took prosecutorial action against three
former employees of “Norconsult,” based on an INT referral.

The second meeting of the International Corruption Hunters Alliance
brought together 175 senior enforcement and anticorruption officials
from 6 regions, to inject momentum into global anti-corruption
efforts.

A functional cross-debarment agreement among the Multilateral
Development Banks so that companies debarred by the Bank Group can no
longer seek business from other multilateral development banks (MDBs),
closing a loophole in multilateral development programs

Cooperation agreements in support of parallel investigations, asset
recovery and information sharing with the UK Serious Fraud Office, the
European Anti-Fraud Office, Interpol, the International Criminal
Court, USAID, the Australian Agency for International Development, the
UN Office for Internal Oversight and several national authorities

Enhanced preventive training and forensic audits designed to identify
and address red flags and integrity controls in World Bank projects.




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