WASHINGTON, November 16, 2022 — The World Bank Group today announced the three-year debarment with conditional release of an individual consultant in connection with a corrupt practice as part of the Petroleum Governance and Management Project in Guyana.
The debarment makes Mr. Carlos Barberán Diez, a Spanish national, and his controlled affiliates, AC Oil & Gas SL and AC Oil & Gas Emirates LLC, ineligible to participate in projects and operations financed by institutions of the World Bank Group. It is part of a settlement agreement under which Mr. Barberán Diez acknowledges culpability for the underlying sanctionable practice and agrees to meet specified integrity compliance conditions as a condition for release from debarment.
The project provides financing to support the enhancement of Guyana’s legal and institutional frameworks and the strengthening of the capacity of key institutions to manage the oil and gas sector in Guyana.
According to the facts of the case, in 2020, Mr. Barberán Diez approached four consulting companies involved in the oil and gas business and used his position in the project to directly offer his services and solicit future payments from each of these companies. In exchange, he offered to influence procurement processes under the project in their favor. Although INT found no evidence of payments made to Mr. Barberán Diez by any of these companies, such a solicitation constitutes a corrupt practice under the World Bank’s Procurement Regulations and Anti-Corruption Guidelines.
The settlement agreement provides for a reduced period of debarment in light of Mr. Barberán Diez’s cooperation and voluntary remedial actions. As a condition for release from sanction, under the terms of the settlement agreement, Mr. Barberán Diez commits to undertake corporate ethics training. In addition, any affiliate that Mr. Barberán currently controls or comes to control, directly or indirectly, during the period of World Bank Group sanction will be required to implement appropriate integrity compliance measures in consultation with the World Bank Group Integrity Compliance Officer. Mr. Barberán Diez also commits to continue to fully cooperate with the World Bank Group Integrity Vice Presidency.
The debarment of Mr. Barberán Diez and his affiliates 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.