• Several Indian companies and a few individuals from the country have been debarred by the World Bank from its various projects across the globe, the multilateral lending agency said in its first report on its efforts to fight corruption and safeguard donor resources.
  • The World bank Group Sanctions System Annual Report for the year 2018 said Olive Health Care and Jay Modi from India have been debarred from for their fraudulent and corrupt practices.
  • They were working on a World Bank project in Bangladesh.
  • While Olive Health has been debarred for 10 years and six months, Modi has been debarred for seven years and six months, the report said.
  • In all, 78 companies and individuals have been debarred by the World Bank.
  • The inaugural report, the bank said, is the result of efforts by the Integrity Vice Presidency (INT), the Office of Suspension and Debarment (OSD) and the Sanctions Board to prepare a joint overview of the Bank Group Sanctions System and its activities over the past year.
  • In addition to the 78 debarments, five firms were sanctioned with conditional non-debarment, which means they remain eligible to participate in World Bank-financed projects but will be debarred if they do not meet certain agreed-upon conditions.
  • Each of the sanctions related to a finding that the firm or individual engaged in one of the institution’s five sanctionable practices — fraud, corruption, collusion, coercion or obstruction — while participating in a Bank Group-funded project.
  • The institution also recognised 73 cross-debarments from other multilateral development banks.

Sanctionable Practices in World Bank parlance include:

  • A “corrupt practice” –– offering, giving, receiving or soliciting, directly or indirectly, of anything of value to influence improperly the actions of another party.
  • A “fraudulent practice” — any act or omission, including a misrepresentation, that knowingly or recklessly misleads, or attempts to mislead, a party to obtain a financial or other benefit or to avoid an obligation. A “collusive practice” is an arrangement between two or more parties designed to achieve an improper purpose, including to influence improperly the actions of another party.
  • A “coercive practice” — impairing or harming, or threatening to impair or harm, directly or indirectly, any party or the property of the party to influence improperly the actions of a party.
  • An “obstructive practice” — (i) deliberately destroying, falsifying, altering or concealing of evidence material to the investigation or making false statements to investigators in order to materially impede a Bank investigation into allegations of a corrupt, fraudulent, coercive or collusive practice; and/or threatening, harassing or intimidating any party to prevent it from disclosing its knowledge of matters relevant to the investigation or from pursuing the investigation, or (ii) acts intended to materially impede the exercise of the Bank’s contractual rights of audit or access to information