Friday, October 28 2016


World Bank debars Louis Berger Group

Update: April, 10/2015 - 20:33
Nguyen Tri Phuong Bridge in Da Nang City is among projects funded by the WB's Official Development Assistance loan. — Photo

DA NANG (VNS) — The central city of Da Nang's People's Committee has not received official notice from the World Bank (WB) Group announcing the debarment of Louis Berger Group, Inc. (LBG), according to the committee's spokesman.

Earlier, the WB had announced the debarment of LBG for one year for engaging in corrupt practices relating to two WB-financed projects in Viet Nam. Berger Group Holdings, Inc. (BGH), LBG's corporate parent, received a one-year conditional non-debarment.

Under the two WB-financed projects, the Third Rural Transport and Da Nang Priority Infrastructure Investment Projects, the company made illegal payments to corrupt government officials. In addition, BGH failed to effectively supervise LBG and thus bears responsibility for LBG's misconduct.

The WB has asked BGH and LBG to conduct an internal investigation in accordance with the terms laid down by the bank to examine the misconduct and implement an effective integrity compliance programme that is consistent with WB guidelines.

"A company's response to misconduct is clear evidence of where its commitment to integrity lies," Leonard Frank McCarthy, World Bank Integrity Vice President, wrote on the bank's official website. "What this case demonstrates is an investigative process and outcome that has pushed the company to take remedial action toward achieving a stronger standard of compliance and accountability across the board."

Speaking to the Voice of Viet Nam, Vo Van Thuong, the committee spokesman, said any current information about the case was available through the media.

The committee would direct the relevant units in implementing these projects if they received official information, Thuong added.

The Third Rural Transport project was conducted from September 2007 to June 2014, with an investment of US$257 million. The WB's International Development Association loan was $203 million, while non-refundable aid from the United Kingdom was $53.9 million. After nearly seven years of implementation in 33 provinces, the project has upgraded 3,283km of roads and maintained a further 22,723km.

The Da Nang Priority Infrastructure Investment Projects started in 2008 and was completed in 2013, funded by the WB's Official Development Assistance loan, along with local funds. The project had a total investment of $218.4 million. The WB's input was $152.4 million, and domestic reciprocal capital was $66 million. The goal of this project was to improve the efficiency and sustainability of urban services in Da Nang through upgrading the city, improving its environmental infrastructure, building strategic roads and enhancing institutions of investment planning and services management. — VNS

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