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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - World Bank bars firm behind power project barred by Bank

World Bank bars firm behind power project barred by Bank

World Bank bars firm behind power project barred by Bank

The World Bank announced on Wednesday it had placed a 10-year ban on Montreal-based construction company SNC-Lavalin, preventing the embattled firm seeking contracts after finding evidence of “misconduct” in a Cambodian rural electrification project.

According to statements by the World Bank and SNC, the ban was part of an agreement reached between the two - the details of which are confidential - after evidence surfaced of a “conspiracy to pay bribes and misrepresentat-ions when bidding for World Bank-financed contracts”, one of which was presumably SNC’s 2009 contract to build Electricité du Cambodge’s national control centre and energy management system.

The company was also acc-used of bribery in a Bangladeshi bridge project.

SNC spokeswoman Leslie Quinton said via email the matter stemmed from “all-egations of a bribe supposedly paid on a relatively small project we were awarded in Cambodia in 2010”.

“A condition of the settlement is not to discuss its terms. However, I may tell you the decision to settle is an acknowledgement of our determination .  .  . to set standards for ethics in business conduct and for good governance that are beyond reproach.

“The settlement is based on an agreement not to contest allegations of misconduct [in] the projects mentioned.”

World Bank Cambodia officials were in Washington yesterday and did not respond to requests for comment as of press time.

SNC is embroiled in a scandal relating to allegations of improper payments made in North African countries, including Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya, and has announced several shake-ups in its management in recent weeks.

Officials at Electricité du Cambodge, when reached yesterday, said they were not familiar with the project.

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