WASHINGTON, September 16, 2020 — The World Bank Group today announced the two-year debarment of FCC Construcción S.A., a Spain-based company that specializes in civil works construction, in connection with fraudulent and collusive practices during two bidding processes under the Río Bogotá Environmental Recuperation and Flood Control Project in Colombia.
The debarment makes FCC Construcción S.A. 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 does not contest culpability for the underlying sanctionable practices, which occurred under a former shareholding structure, and agrees to meet specified corporate compliance conditions as a condition for release from debarment.
Consistent with INT’s policy, the settlement agreement provides for a reduced period of sanction in light of extraordinary cooperation and voluntary remedial actions taken by the company under a new shareholding structure, including internal action against responsible parties, an internal investigation, and voluntary restraint from participating in Bank-financed projects during the settlement’s negotiation.
The project was designed to assist the Colombian government to transform the Bogotá River into an environmental asset for the Bogota Distrito Capital metropolitan region by improving water quality, reducing flood risks and creating multi-functional areas along the river.
FCC Construcción S.A. participated in the bidding processes under two World Bank-financed contracts under the project. In the first bidding process, the company arranged with public officials, through a subcontractor and a commercial agent, to have a competitor disqualified, which is a collusive practice, and the company misrepresented the use of the contract’s advance payment, which is a fraudulent practice. In the second bidding process, FCC Construcción S.A. knowingly misrepresented the composition and the roles of three companies within a consortium that would execute the contract, which is a fraudulent practice. The consortium that ultimately won the contract does not include FCC Construcción S.A..
As a condition for release from sanction under the terms of the settlement agreement, the company commits to continue developing and enhancing 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 in addition to paying restitution in the amount of US$5.5 million to the Colombian authorities.
The debarment of FCC Construcción S.A. 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.