WASHINGTON, August 19, 2020 — The World Bank Group today announced the 18-month debarment of Colombia-based CASS Constructores S.A.S., a company that provides civil works construction services, in connection with a fraudulent practice as part of the World Bank-financed Río Bogotá Environmental Recuperation and Flood Control Project in Colombia.
The debarment makes CASS Constructores S.A.S. ineligible to participate in projects and operations financed by institutions of the World Bank Group. It is part of a settlement agreement under which the company acknowledges responsibility for the underlying sanctionable practices under World Bank procurement regulations and agrees to meet specified corporate compliance conditions as a condition for release from debarment.
The project was designed to assist the Colombian government in transforming the Bogotá River into an environmental asset for the Bogotá Distrito Capital metropolitan region by improving water quality, reducing flood risks and creating multi-functional areas along the river. In the bidding process, CASS Constructores S.A.S. knowingly misrepresented the composition and the roles within a consortium of three companies that ultimately won a World Bank-financed contract. This misrepresentation is a fraudulent practice under World Bank procurement guidelines and allowed the consortium to qualify for the contract award. In accordance with World Bank rules, the consortium will continue to execute the current contract.
The settlement agreement provides for a reduced period of sanction in light of the company’s cooperation and voluntary remedial actions, including voluntarily restraining from bidding on new World Bank-financed projects. 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.
The debarment of CASS Constructores S.A.S. qualifies 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.