23 January 2009 | Paul Snell
The World Bank has suspended seven suppliers and one individual from bidding for work after it discovered a price-fixing scam in a road-building project it financed in the Philippines.
The sanctions are a result of an investigation by the Bank's integrity vice-president. The Bank ruled the vendors had worked together to fix bid prices at artificial and non-competitive levels.
The suspensions will stop the suppliers bidding for work, and the Bank estimates it has prevented $33 million (£24.3 million) of contracts being awarded to the firms.
EC de Luna Construction Corporation and owner Eduardo C de Luna were banned from tendering indefinitely, the first permanent bar since 2004.
China Road and Bridge Corporation have been disqualified for eight years and China State Construction Corporation and China Wu Yi Co. for six years. China Geo-Engineering Corporation was suspended for five years and Cavite Ideal International Construction and Development and CM Pancho Construction were also banned for four years.
Another supplier, Dongsung Construction Co, was separately debarred in August 2008 for four years for fraudulent and corrupt practices relating to the same project, which they did not contest with the Bank.
The project to upgrade the Philippine road network was partly financed by a $150 million (£111 million) loan from the Bank.
Last week the Bank suspended three major Indian IT services suppliers (Web news, 13 January). The Bank said it has banned 351 firms from tendering for fraud and corruption since 1999.