The World Bank (BM) announced on Tuesday the disqualification for three years of its projects of the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht for “fraudulent and collusive practices”.
The disqualification, negotiated with the construction company in a “resolution agreement”, “prevents the participation of Odebrecht (…) in projects financed by the World Bank.”
As part of the agreement, “the company recognizes its responsibility for the underlying punishable practices and agrees to meet certain specific corporate conditions as a condition for the lifting of the disqualification” within three years.
The sanction has its origin in the “Project for Hydraulic Adaptation and Environmental Recovery of the Bogotá River” designed by the Government of Colombia to improve the water quality of the Bogotá River.
Odebrecht, as it has acknowledged, paid commissions in relation to the prequalification and bidding processes to commercial agents that helped the company obtain confidential information.
In addition, Odebrecht, with the assistance of one of the agents to which it paid commissions, “attempted to unduly influence the bidding package that was part of the project, incurring collusive practices that are prohibited by the BM.
The disqualification for three years is a “reduced sanction” for the “cooperation that the company has rendered and the corrective measures that it has voluntarily adopted”.
In addition, as a condition for the lifting of the veto, Odebrecht is committed to establishing a program of compliance with integrity standards that is consistent with the principles of integrity established by WB norms.
Oderbrecht, the largest company of its kind in Latin America, has been plagued by multiple bribery scandals and financing of political campaigns in exchange for public contracts and influence throughout the continent.