The African Development Bank announced on 8 June that Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor (BWSC) had been debarred for a period of 21 months. The debarment means that BWSC will be unable to participate in tenders funded by the AfDB, World Bank Group, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, or the Inter-American Development Bank for the duration of the period. The AfDB confirmed to African Energy that contracts for existing projects will not be affected.
In 2014-15 BWSC won contracts to re-develop the Saint Louis HFO power plant in Mauritius. In a press release, the AfDB said that “evidence supports a finding that BWSC, on a balance of probabilities, financially rewarded members of the Mauritian administration and others, through the intermediary of third parties, for providing access to confidential tender-related information which allowed them to tailor the technical specifications of the tenders to its offering, thus gaining an undue competitive advantage over other tenderers. BWSC further concealed the arrangements it had entered into with the third parties, in breach of the rules governing the tenders.”
The AfDB said that it “recognises BWSC’s extensive cooperation with the investigation, the company’s transparency in dealing with the sanctionable conduct and the efforts that it has made to enhance its integrity compliance programme since uncovering the sanctionable practices. The AfDB will release BWSC from debarment at the expiry of the debarment period, subject to a successful review and clearance of the company’s enhanced integrity compliance programme by the AfDB.”
In a press release issued on the same day that the AfDB debarment was announced, BWSC said that it “accepts a debarment of 21 months”. The company said that the “AfDB’s investigation was initiated after BWSC had self-reported to the AfDB upon concluding its own investigation, conducted by the external law firm Poul Schmidt (Kammeradvokaten).” BWSC chief executive Nikolaj Holmer Nissen said that, “for BWSC this marks a conclusion to a long process following our own investigation and we appreciate that we can now put this behind us and look ahead”.
BWSC said that following the conclusion of its own report several employees were dismissed and two people were reported to the Danish police. It said that the report followed an anonymous tip-off from a whistleblower in April 2018, which led the company to suspect that “certain employees had engaged in bribery. According to the investigation, the actions were carried out by certain employees in one department in BWSC.”
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