WASHINGTON, February 4, 2015—The World Bank Group announced the debarment of Louis Berger Group, Inc. (LBG) for one year for engaging in corrupt practices under two Bank-financed projects in Vietnam. The Bank also imposed a one-year conditional non-debarment on Berger Group Holdings, Inc. (BGH), LBG’s corporate parent.
Under two World Bank-financed projects, the Third Rural Transport and Da Nang Priority Infrastructure Investment Projects, in Vietnam, the company made corrupt payments to government officials. In addition, BGH failed to effectively supervise LBG and thus bears responsibility for LBG’s misconduct.
A World Bank inquiry into the company led LBG to conduct its own internal investigation in accordance with terms agreed to by the Bank, uncover the misconduct, and disclose its findings to the World Bank. During the pendency of the investigation, BGH voluntarily restrained from bidding for any other World Bank-financed contracts.
“A company’s response to misconduct is clear evidence of where its commitment to integrity lies,” said Leonard Frank McCarthy, World Bank Integrity Vice President. “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.”
Under the terms of the sanctions, LBG and BGH must take appropriate remedial measures to address the misconduct for which they have been sanctioned, and adopt and implement an effective integrity compliance program consistent with World Bank guidelines.