World Bank suspends Canada chem engineer SNC-Lavalin Inc

17 April 2013 23:25  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS)--The World Bank has suspended Canadian chemicals, energy and infrastructure engineering major SNC-Lavalin Inc.from bidding on World Bank-financed contracts for 10 years, following an investigation into allegations of bribery and other misconduct, officials said on Wednesday.

The debarment of SNC-Lavalin Inc. and more than 100 affiliates worldwide involves a conspiracy to pay bribes and misrepresentations when bidding for bank-financed contracts - in violation of the World Bank’s procurement guidelines, the bank said.

The move follows a World Bank investigation into allegations of bribery schemes involving SNC-Lavalin and officials in Bangladesh, where SNC was working on a bridge project.

The bank said that the debarment may be reduced to eight years, subject to certain conditions under a settlement with SNC.

"This case is testimony to collective action against global corruption,” said Leonard McCarthy, World Bank integrity vice president.

“Once we had evidence of the company’s misconduct, we referred the matter to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police whilst the World Bank finalised its investigation,” McCarthy added.

SNC-Lavalin Inc. is a subsidiary of Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin Group, representing more than 60% of the group’s business. 

The remainder of the SNC-Lavalin Group has been conditionally non-debarred for the same period, the bank said.  Under this sanction, the remainder of SNC-Lavalin Group faces debarment if it fails to comply with the terms and conditions of the settlement.

In a statement, SNC-Lavalin acknowledged the settlement with the World Bank but added that the specific terms were confidential.

“The company’s decision to settle signals our determination as we go forward to set standards for ethics in business conduct and for good governance that are beyond reproach,” said CEO Robert  Card.

“The company has already taken, and will continue to take, measures to ensure rigorous compliance and control procedures are in place,” Card added.

Historically, revenues generated from projects in the affected SNC subsidiaries that are financed by the World Bank and other multilateral development banks represent about 1% of the company’s annual revenues, it said.
By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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