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World Bank Statement on Commission of Inquiry into Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA)

October 22, 2015

KAMPALA, October 22, 2015 -- We welcome the work of the Commission of Inquiry into Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), particularly the commitment to ensure good governance and value for money in the roads sub-sector.

The World Bank Group (WBG) takes allegations of fraud and corruption very seriously. We have an Integrity Vice Presidency (INT) that investigates such allegations and helps ensure accountability. INT is already notified of the issues being raised in the Commission of Inquiry as they relate to Bank-financed projects and is taking the necessary action.

The WBG financed the Pakwach-Nebbi Road as part of Phase 1 of the Road Development Project, from July 2001 to June 2004. As with other projects that the Bank finances, all procurement, contracting and contract management is the responsibility of the recipient Government. Therefore, China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) and Parkman Ltd were contracted and supervised by the Government of Uganda.

CRBC was debarred by the World Bank Group for eight years, beginning January 12, 2009, following an investigation by the INT into the National Roads Improvement and Management Project in the Philippines. Debarment renders firms ineligible to bid on WBG-financed contracts for the duration of the sanction.

"We know that a modern, efficient, and safe transport sector is key to ending poverty and promoting shared prosperity," said Diarietou Gaye, World Bank Group Country Director for Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. “That's why the Bank has provided significant support to building better roads for Ugandans over many years. When the Bank learns of issues in our projects we move swiftly to correct them and that's why we have asked our INT to urgently look into these allegations. Our commitment to transparency and anti-corruption is steadfast.”

“We will work closely with the Government of Uganda, particularly the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, to ensure that all Bank-financed investments are protected and free of fraud and corruption,” said Gaye.