17 September 2013

Kenya: World Bank Slaps Ban On Five Kenyan Firms

The World Bank has blacklisted more than 250 companies worldwide.

Five Kenyan companies have been added to the World Bank's fraud and corruption list this year, bringing to six the number of firms barred from projects it funds in the country.

Oxford University Press East Africa was the first to be banned in Kenya for a period of three years starting July 2, 2012. The new entrants into the list include Reef Building Systems Ltd, Avlac Contracts, Berkshire Holdings, Elma Ltd and Victory Construction Company.

The six companies in Kenya were blacklisted after the World Bank's investigations confirmed involvement in fraud and corruption. They will remain ineligible for World Bank-funded projects for periods of between 21 months and three years.

The banned firms make up a global list of more than 250 companies and individuals who have flouted the World Bank's procurement and consultancy rules.

"The firms and individuals listed ... are ineligible to be awarded a World Bank-financed contract for the periods indicated because they have been sanctioned under the Bank's fraud and corruption policy...," the Bank comments on its current list.

It says an administrative process it conducted allowed the accused firms and individuals to respond to allegations. The period of ineligibility of a blacklisted firm extends to any other firm it directly or indirectly controls.

Five of the firms in Kenya have been blacklisted due to "fraudulent practice", in contravention of the World Bank's 2006 Procurement Guidelines. This includes acts of omission (such as misrepresentation) that misleads in order to obtain financial benefit or to avoid an obligation.

The publisher, OUP East Africa, was however barred both due to "corrupt practice" - offering, giving, receiving or soliciting, directly or indirectly, anything of value, to improperly influence the actions of others - and fraudulent practice.

"It is the Bank's policy to require that borrowers (including beneficiaries of its loans), as well as bidders, suppliers, and contractors and their subcontractors under (World) Bank-financed contracts, observe the highest standard of ethics during the procurement and execution of such contracts," the World Bank's 2006 Procurement Guidelines state in part.

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