World Bank debars Spanish engineering group for corruption in major Vietnam schemes

Construction News Vietnam

World Bank debars Spanish engineering group for corruption in major Vietnam schemes

The World Bank Group has announced the 3.5-year debarment of Spain-headquarters engineering firm Grupo Mecánica del Vuelo Sistemas, S.A.U., in connection with collusive, corrupt and fraudulent practices relating to two major projects in Vietnam: the Danang Sustainable City Development project and the Hanoi Urban Transport Development project.

The debarment with conditional release makes the company ineligible to participate in projects financed by institutions of the World Bank Group. It is part of a settlement agreement under which the company does not contest culpability and responsibility for the underlying sanctionable practices, which occurred under a former management team, and agrees to meet specified compliance requirements as a condition for release from debarment.

The Danang Sustainable City Development project expands access to improved drainage, wastewater collection and treatment services, the arterial road network, and public transport in Da Nang City.

The Hanoi Urban Transport Development project was designed to increase urban mobility in Hanoi by increasing the use of public transport in selected traffic corridors.

The World Bank Group said certain members of the former management of the company colluded with two designing consultants to gain unfair competitive advantages in two tendering processes; agreed to pay a commission to an agent for the latter to improperly influence a tendering process to win a contract; and failed to disclose its involvement in the drafting of the tendering documents for the two projects.

The settlement agreement provides for a reduced period of debarment with conditional release in light of the company’s “extraordinary cooperation” and voluntary remedial actions, the World Bank said.

The debarment of the Respondent qualifies for cross-debarment by other multilateral development banks.