The World Bank on March 19 announced the debarment of Innogy Solutions and its president for more five years in connection with collusive and fraudulent practices during the selection process for contracts under the World Bank-financed Integrated Persistent Organic Pollutants Management Project in the Philippines.
The debarment makes the Manila-based consultancy firm, its affiliates, and its president, Lloly Yana de Jesus, ineligible to participate in World Bank Group-financed projects during a 5.5-year time period. The debarments are part of a Negotiated Resolution Agreement, under which the company and its president acknowledge responsibility for the underlying sanctionable practices and agree to meet specified corporate compliance conditions as a condition for release from debarment.
The World Bank-financed project was designed to assist the Philippine government in minimizing the risk of human and environmental exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs)—a class of pollutants that includes certain pesticides and industrial chemicals and their byproducts. The project aims to strengthen the government’s regulatory and monitoring framework and improve capacity for reduction of exposure to POPs in contaminated sites.
According to the facts described in the settlement agreement, de Jesus obtained confidential information about the consulting services contract during the selection process. Innogy and its partner consulting firm used this confidential information, which was not publicly available to other bidders, to win the contract. Under World Bank consultant guidelines, these actions constitute collusive practices. Innogy and De Jesus also concealed information about her conflict of interest during another contract selection process. These actions constitute fraudulent practices under World Bank consultant guidelines.
The settlement agreement provides for reduced period of debarment in light of de Jesus’ and the company’s cooperation and voluntary remedial actions. As a condition for release from sanction under the terms of the settlement agreement, the parties commit to developing integrity compliance programs consistent with the principles set out in the World Bank Group Integrity Compliance Guidelines. They also commit to continue to fully cooperate with the World Bank Group Integrity Vice Presidency. The debarments qualify for cross-debarment by other multilateral development banks (MDBs) under the Agreement for Mutual Enforcement of Debarment Decisions.