CANBERRA — When news broke of the World Bank’s decision to debar five subsidiaries of SMEC for bribery and misrepresentation in a number of World Bank-financed projects, it raised questions among private sector development partners about what an organization can do to get re-listed.
SMEC is hardly the only organization to be made ineligible to bid for World Bank projects. As of October 19, a total of 990 firms were listed as ineligible — 102 of them permanently. For those permanently debarred, getting re-listed is not an option.
The case of the SMEC subsidiaries, which were only temporarily debarred, shows some other options for large companies. While five subsidiaries were debarred, other arms of the operation were not. This enables SMEC to continue bidding for projects.
In their ongoing work targeting corruption in aid and development, the World Bank has announced new debarments of companies from bidding and winning contracts with the bank — including five subsidiaries of SMEC, a leading supplier of engineering services for aid and development projects throughout the world. But as SMEC are managing multimillion dollar aid projects currently in operation, what happens now? Devex investigates.
For those unable to continue bidding through another arm of the business, there is important advice to follow on reducing the sanctions and ensuring that once the minimum debarment period is complete, the organization can be re-listed.