A CHINESE company with a multi-billion road contract in Uganda has been blacklisted by the World Bank for illegal practices in the Philippines.
China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), which won the sh150b contract to upgrade Soroti-Dokolo-Lira road, has been suspended for eight years from any future World Bank-funded projects.
â€œThe debarment can be reduced or terminated after five years if the firm puts in place a compliance programme satisfactory to the World Bank,â€ the multilateral lending agency said in a statement yesterday.
Following the scam, the bankâ€™s integrity vice-president, Leonard McCarthy, announced that they were conducting a worldwide review of their activity in the roads sector. A World Bank official in Kampala said after a crisis meeting last evening that the 123-km Soroti-Dokolo-Lira road project would not be affected as long as the company adhered to the contract terms. The project is 90% (sh120b) World Bank-funded.
Li Jiabin, the CRBC Uganda country manager, said he had not received any information about the suspension.
Dan Alinange, the Uganda Road Authority spokesperson, said CRBC won the contract through competitive bidding and had a good track record.
â€œOur procurement process was open and the World Bank critically reviewed all the procurement processes,â€ Alinange said.
In the Philippines scandal, the bank said they uncovered a major cartel involving local and international firms bidding on contracts in a scheme designed â€œto fix prices at artificial non-competitive levels.â€
â€œThe (investigation) closely analysed the procurement process the firms participated in and conducted numerous interviews before closing the investigations and initiating sanction proceedings,â€ said the statement issued from the bankâ€™s headquarters in Washington DC.
CRBC is blacklisted alongside six other companies including China State Construction Corporation and China Wu Yi Co. Ltd, each suspended for six years.
The others are China Geo-Engineering Corp (five years); Cavite Ideal International Construction and Development Corporation and CM Pancho Construction Inc., each suspended for four years.
For the first time, the Bank has indefinitely suspended E.C. de Luna Construction Corporation and its sole proprietor Eduardo C. de Luna from any project.
World Bank blacklists Chinese company