The World Bank has imposed fresh sanctions on SMEC, a company owned by Subana Jurong for improper buddings and kickback reported ABC News.
SMEC will no longer be allowed to do development work in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka for as long as two and a half years. SMEC subsidiaries are under investigation for misrepresentation in bids put in for aid work.
In September the World Bank made an announcement from Washington D. C. concerning the debarring of Melbourne-based SMEC International, along with four of its subsidiaries in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka. The company had been under investigation for misconduct in this region. This debarment removes the companies’ eligibility to receive contracts funded by the World Bank, with sanctions ranging from six months to two and a half years.
The World Bank spends US $150 million year in financing aid projects in developing countries.
Proof has been found that the company made improper payments in projects financed by the World Bank in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, as well as false representations concerning requirements for bidding for initiatives in India and Sri Lanka.
Purchased in 2016 for $400 million by Surbana Jurong, a company based in Singapore, SMEC had its beginnings when it built the Snowy Mountains hydroelectric scheme in 1949. It started out as the Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation.
Scandal broke out when an Australian news show ABC 7.30 broadcast that the company was under investigation for bribery in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, including allegations of SMEC staff attempting to obtain permission to give illicit payments or kickbacks to authorities in the above-mentioned South Asian countries.
However, after the news story broke out, SMEC International released a statement saying the company would complete ongoing World Bank-related projects in these countries. In a statement from the World Bank announcing SMEC’s debarment in a Negotiated Resolution Agreement (NRA) it says, “Under the Terms of the NRA, SMEC International Pty. Ltd.’s parent company, SMEC Holdings Pty. Ltd., has also committed to make any necessary enhancements to its group-wide corporate integrity compliance program to ensure that it is consistent with the World Bank’s Integrity Compliance Guidelines.”