The FCPA Report

The definitive source of actionable intelligence covering the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

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By Topic: World Bank

  • From Vol. 3 No.11 (May 28, 2014)

    The World Bank’s Wide Reach and Its Growing Anti-Corruption Program

    “What is the World Bank and why do I care what it thinks?”  Tim Coleman, a partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, told The FCPA Report that many clients have that question – often prompted by an unexpected notice from the World Bank.  Companies that have contracted with foreign governments on a World Bank-financed project, along with companies that have signed deferred prosecution agreements with the DOJ containing a World Bank cooperation clause, may have put themselves in the World Bank’s jurisdiction.  “Any company or individual who touches my money is subject to the jurisdiction of my office,” Stephen Zimmermann, Director of Operations of the Integrity Vice Presidency of the World Bank, said at a speech at the American Conference Institute’s FCPA conference in New York.  And, he said, “just about every developing country project has World Bank money.”  The World Bank, which made $35 billion in loans last year to tens of thousands of contractors, is increasingly using its economic and political leverage to enforce its rules against fraud, collusion, obstruction, corruption and coercion. Penalties include not only debarment from the World Bank and the other major global development banks, but because the World Bank cooperates with governments around the world, investigations and potential penalties under national anti-corruption regimes.  Recently, a panel of World Bank experts at the Practising Law Institute’s FCPA and International Anti-Corruption Developments program, including Zimmermann, addressed critical issues about the Bank and its investigations.  One of the panelists, Tim Coleman, a partner at Freshfields, along with associate Jonathan Ware, further spoke with The FCPA Report about the challenges companies may face when the Bank investigates them and whether it makes sense for companies to settle.  See also “Doing Business with the World Bank: Understanding and Avoiding Debarment,” The FCPA Report, Vol. 2, No. 10 (May 15, 2013).

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  • From Vol. 2 No.10 (May 15, 2013)

    Doing Business with the World Bank: Understanding and Avoiding Debarment

    For companies that deal with the World Bank, the risk of debarment from future contracts with the Bank, and cross-debarment from doing business with other multi-lateral development banks, looms large.  That can be the penalty for misconduct in World Bank projects – sanctionable offenses include not only bribery of foreign officials, but bid rigging and other types of fraud.  Adding teeth to the enforcement regime, World Bank loan documents provide the Bank with audit rights, and the Bank has tight relationships with law enforcement agencies and regulators around the world.  The Bank is now publishing its sanctions decisions publicly.  Understanding and navigating the multi-layered World Bank sanctions system and its anti-corruption standards is paramount for companies that may be involved in projects financed through the Bank.  A recent webinar provided insight from World Bank insiders, detailing the operations of the World Bank sanctions program, from investigation to imposition and implementation of sanctions.

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