WASHINGTON, February 23, 2018 — The World Bank today announced the 18-month debarments of ConvaTec International Services GmbH (CISG), a Swiss-based company, and ConvaTec Malaysia Sdn Bhd (“ConvaTec Malaysia”), a Malaysia-based company, in connection with fraudulent practices under two health projects in Bangladesh.
The debarments make CISG and ConvaTec Malaysia and their affiliates ineligible to participate in World Bank-financed projects. They are part of a Negotiated Resolution Agreement (“settlement agreement”), under which the companies acknowledge responsibility for the underlying sanctionable practices and agree to meet specified integrity compliance conditions as a condition for release from debarment.
Cidron Healthcare Limited, a Jersey-based company and CISG’s and ConvaTec Malaysia’s parent, was sanctioned with conditional non-debarment, which means that it remains eligible to participate in World Bank-financed projects as long as it complies with its obligations under the settlement agreement. Otherwise, the conditional non-debarment will convert to a sanction of debarment with conditional release, and the company then will become ineligible to participate in World Bank-financed projects until the conditions for release set out in the settlement agreement are met.
Both World Bank projects affected were designed to improve health outcomes in Bangladesh. The Health Nutrition and Population Sector Program (HNPSP), which closed in December 2011, was designed to assist Bangladesh in improving healthcare and nutritional services. The Health Sector Development Program (HSDP), which closed in June 2017, was designed to enable Bangladesh to strengthen its health systems and improve its health services. CISG, aided by ConvaTec Malaysia, engaged in fraudulent practices on these projects by misrepresenting the commission amounts it had agreed to pay to its local agent in relation to two bids for contracts it received under the HNPSP and one bid for a contract it received under HSDP.
The settlement agreement provides for reduced periods of debarment to reflect the companies’ extensive cooperation with the World Bank’s investigation, including conducting an internal investigation and sharing the results with the World Bank, and making enhancements to their integrity compliance program since the occurrence of the conduct several years ago. As a condition for release from sanction under the terms of the settlement agreement, the companies commit to continuing to enhance their integrity compliance program consistent with the principles set out in the World Bank Group Integrity Compliance Guidelines. The companies also commit to continue to fully cooperate with the World Bank Group Integrity Vice Presidency.
The debarments of CISG and ConvaTec Malaysia qualify for cross-debarment by other multilateral development banks (MDBs) under the Agreement for Mutual Enforcement of Debarment Decisions that was signed on April 9, 2010.