The World Bank Group on Tuesday debarred two wholly-owned subsidiaries of Oxford University Press (OUP) for three years for for corrupt practices in relation to two Bank-financed education projects in East Africa.
The debarment of Oxford University Press East Africa Limited (OUPEA) and Oxford University Press Tanzania Limited (OUPT) 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," said Leonard McCarthy, World Bank Integrity Vice President. 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," he added.
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.
The World Bank Integrity Vice Presidency (INT) is responsible for preventing, deterring and investigating allegations of fraud, collusion and corruption in World Bank projects.
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: email@example.com