WASHINGTON, November 1, 2023 — The World Bank Group today announced the 22-month debarment of BETS Consulting Services Limited, an engineering consulting company based in the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, in connection with corrupt and fraudulent practices as part of the Chittagong Water Supply Improvement and Sanitation Project in Bangladesh. Chittagong was renamed Chattogram in 2018.
The debarment makes BETS Consulting Services Limited (BETS) 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 admits culpability for the underlying sanctionable practices and agrees to meet specified corporate compliance conditions as a condition for release from debarment.
The project was designed to increase sustainable access to safe water and improved sanitation, as well as support the establishment of long-term water supply, sanitation, and drainage infrastructure development and operational management program in Chattogram. According to the facts of the case, between 2014 and 2016, BETS made payments to project officials that were intended to influence the officials’ contract implementation decisions. These payments were made with, and under the instruction of, BETS’s lead consultant company. BETS also replaced key personnel and advised its lead consultant company against seeking approval for the replacement. Finally, BETS assisted its lead consultant company in invoicing the project for reimbursable expenses that were not incurred. These are corrupt and fraudulent practices under the World Bank’s Consultant Guidelines.
The settlement agreement provides for a reduced period of debarment 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 that reflects 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 BETS 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.
In Washington: Daniel Nikolits, (202) 473-2475, firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, please visit: www.worldbank.org/integrity