WASHINGTON, November 13, 2019 — The World Bank today announced the one-year debarment of Portuguese company PROCESL Engenharia Hidráulica e Ambiental, S.A. (PROCESL), a company that provides engineering services, in connection with fraudulent and obstructive practices during its execution of the World Bank-financed Santos Municipality Project in Brazil.
The debarment makes PROCESL ineligible to participate in future World Bank-financed projects during the sanction period. It is part of a settlement agreement under which the company acknowledges responsibility for the underlying sanctionable practices and agrees to meet specified corporate compliance conditions as a condition for release from debarment. Consistent with standard practice, PROCESL’s three wholly-owned subsidiaries have also been debarred.
The project was designed to enhance the Santos Municipality’s capacity in local economic development and to improve public services in the Northwest Zone of the Santos Municipality in Brazil. During the execution of a World Bank-financed contract in consortium with another company, PROCESL engaged in a fraudulent practice by overstating the number of hours worked by a PROCESL employee on the contract. PROCESL also obstructed a World Bank audit and investigation by preparing documentation after the fact to support the claim that the employee had worked those hours.
The settlement agreement provides for a reduced period of sanction in light of the company’s cooperation and voluntary remedial actions. As a condition for release from sanction under the terms of the settlement agreement, the company commits to developing an integrity compliance program consistent with the principles set out in the World Bank Group Integrity Compliance Guidelines. The company also commits to continue to fully cooperate with the World Bank Group Integrity Vice Presidency.