The World Bank Group has announced that it has debarred Kenya-based technology firm Techno Brain for a period of 28 months and also instituted a 10-month debarment of its parent company, United Arab Emirates-based Techno Brain Global (Techno Brain UAE) for collusive and fraudulent practices in an Integrated Public Financial Management Reform Project in Liberia.
The debarments mean Techno Brain Kenya and Techno Brain UAE, are ineligible to participate in projects and operations financed by the World Bank Group of institutions.
The World Bank said in a statement that, “The debarments make Techno Brain Kenya and Techno Brain UAE 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 companies acknowledge culpability and responsibility for the underlying sanctionable practices and agree to meet specified corporate compliance conditions as a condition for release from debarment.”
The settlement agreement mercifully provides for a reduced period of sanction owing to the contrite nature of Techno’s response, “in light of the company’s cooperation and voluntary remedial actions,” said the World Bank.
When the initial 10-month debarment lapses, the sanction of Techno Brain UAE as the parent company will convert to a conditional non-debarment for a period of 18 months. At which point their participation will be reinstated, allowing them to partake in projects and operations financed by institutions of the World Bank Group.
Techno Brain Kenya’s ban will likely go through the same process of conversion to conditional non-debarment for a period of 18 months after completing its 28 month exclusion.
The project which has since been renamed as the Public Financial Management Reforms for Institutional Strengthening, was designed to improve domestic revenue mobilisation systems and strengthen financial control and accountability in public finances.
According to the facts of the case, Techno Brain Kenya and Techno Brain UAE engaged in an arrangement to obtain and edit confidential bidding documentation so as to influence the awarding of a contract in their favour.
In order for the companies to be released from sanction as per the said settlement agreement, the World Bank will follow its guidelines of commitment to developing an integrity compliance program consistent with its principles.