Leonard F. McCarthy, vice president for integrity at the World Bank. Photo by: Simone D. McCourtie / World Bank

Energoprojekt Niskogradnja has the dubious distinction of being the first company in 2013 to be debarred by the World Bank.

It joins 541 firms, nongovernmental organizations and individuals that the global lender has debarred since 1999. In 2012, the World Bank debarment list grew by 88.  

The debarment against the Serbian civil engineering and contracting company will last for a period of 2.5 years, according to a Jan. 3 announcement by the bank. The decision followed an admission by the firm that it had committed misconduct in a bank-funded roads and development project in Uganda.

“This case is just another example of why fighting corruption matters for the World Bank as well as for companies that are engaged in development projects,” said Leonard McCarthy, World Bank integrity vice president. “Clean business is smart business. We will pursue our efforts to maximize the value of infrastructure development.”

And because of an April 2010 agreement with other multilateral development banks, Energoprojekt Niskogradnja may face the same penalty from the African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development as well.

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About the author

  • Eliza Villarino

    Eliza Villarino currently manages one of today’s leading publications on humanitarian aid, global health and international development, the weekly GDB. At Devex, she has helped grow a global newsroom, with talented journalists from major development hubs such as Washington, D.C, London and Brussels. She regularly writes about innovations in global development.