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World Bank debars French firm for Africa corruption

The World Bank Group said Tuesday it debarred a Paris-based manufacturer of power transmission line insulators for two years for corrupt practices in connection with a project in Africa.

Sediver SAS was debarred for sanctionable misconduct under the Southern Africa Power Market Project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

It made "improper payments to an employee of a consulting company to influence a tender process," the World Bank said.

The project was designed to improve the infrastructure for generating and transmitting electricity in the DRC.

During the two-year debarment that was part of a Negotiated Resolution Agreement, Sediver SAS isn't allowed to paticipate in World Bank-financed projects.

Sediver SAS’s parent company -- Sediver SpA -- was given conditional non-debarment for 18 months. That means Sediver SpA "remains eligible to participate in World Bank-financed projects as long as it complies with its obligations under the NRA," the World Bank said.

Sediver is owned by a holding company called Seves Group S.à.r.l

As part of the resolution with the World Bank, Seves agreed to pay the DRC "a financial remedy" of €6.8 million ($8 million).

Sediver SAS's debarment qualifies for cross-debarment by other multilateral development banks.

In addition to the World Bank, parties to the 2010 cross-debarment agreement are the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the African Development Bank.

A list of all World Bank debarred entities and individuals is here.


Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.