World Bank releases Alstom from debarment

The World Bank Group has removed Alstom SA from debarment after the bank’s Integrity Compliance Office determined the company fulfilled conditions for its release.

HydroWorld.com reported that Alstom Hydro France and Alstom Network Schweiz AG of Switzerland and their affiliates were debarred by the World Bank Group on Feb. 21, 2012, for a period of three years after Alstom acknowledged misconduct in relation to the bank-funded Zambia Power Rehabilitation Project.

According to the World Bank, Alstom (LSE: ALO) made an improper payment of about US$126,000 to an entity controlled by a former senior government official for consultancy services related to the project.

The debarment was part of a Negotiated Resolution Agreement between Alstom and the World Bank that also includes restitution totaling about $9.5 million to be made by the two companies. In addition, Alstom SA, the two named companies and their affiliates committed to cooperating with the World Bank’s Integrity Vice Presidency and continuing to improve their internal compliance program.

The debarment meant Alstom Hydro France and Alstom Network Schweiz were also considered cross-barred by other multilateral development banks under 2010’s Agreement of Mutual Recognition of Debarments. Other member financial organizations include the African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Inter-American Development Bank Group.

“Alstom welcomes the determination of the World Bank’s Integrity Compliance Office that Alstom has implemented a corporate compliance program in line with the World Bank’s integrity compliance guidelines,” the France-based company said in a release. “The ICO also concluded that Alstom has satisfied all of the other conditions of its settlement with the World Bank.”

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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