World Bank Group Debars Techno Brain (Kenya) Limited

Kenya-based software company Techno Brain (Kenya) Ltd. is debarred by the World Bank Group over tender irregularities.

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The World Bank Group today announced the 28-month debarment of Kenya-based company, Techno Brain (Kenya) Limited (“Techno Brain Kenya”), an IT-services company, and the 10-month debarment of its parent company, United Arab Emirates-based Techno Brain Global FZ-LLC (“Techno Brain UAE”), in connection with collusive and fraudulent practices. This was part of the Integrated Public Financial Management Reform Project II in Liberia.

The debarments mean Techno Brain Kenya and Techno Brain UAE, are ineligible to participate in projects and operations financed by the World Bank Group of institutions.

However, in a press statement, the World Bank does indicate that the companies are cooperating and being accountable, stating that this is “part of a settlement agreement under which the companies acknowledge culpability and responsibility for the underlying sanctionable practices and agree to meet specified corporate compliance conditions as a condition for release from debarment.”

The debarment of Techno Brain Kenya qualifies for cross-debarment by other multilateral development banks (MDBs), under the Agreement for Mutual Enforcement of Debarment Decisions signed a decade back on 9 April 2010.

Once the initial 10-month debarment lapses, the sanction of Techno Brain UAE will convert to a conditional non-debarment for a period of 18 months. At which point their participation will be reinstated, allowing them to partake in projects and operations financed by institutions of the World Bank Group.

Of course, they would have to comply with its obligations under the settlement agreement. Failure to do so reverts to sanctions of debarment with conditional release, making Techno Brain UAE ineligible to participate. At least not until the conditions for release set out in the settlement agreement are met.

The debarments mean Techno Brain Kenya and Techno Brain UAE, are ineligible to participate in projects and operations financed by the World Bank Group of institutions.

The project, since renamed Public Financial Management Reforms for Institutional Strengthening project, was designed to improve domestic revenue mobilisation systems and strengthen financial control and accountability in public finances. The issue is this. Techno Brain Kenya and Techno Brain UAE were involved in an arrangement to obtain and edit confidential bidding documentation with the intent to influence the awarding of a contract in their favour.

It worked. For a bit. Techno Brain Kenya were even awarded the contract. However, the bid did not meet tender requirements. Which caused a substantial reduction in the extent of work provided under the contract.

To add to this, Techno Brain Kenya, guided by Techno Brain UAE, alledged that the technical qualifications of their sister companies were its own just so they would meet the contract specifications. It is these actions that were considered “collusive and fraudulent practices, respectively,” as defined by the World Bank’s July 2016 Procurement Regulations.

The settlement agreement mercifully provides for a reduced period of sanction owing to the contrite nature of Techno’s response, “in light of the company’s cooperation and voluntary remedial actions.”

In order for the company to be released from sanction as per the said settlement agreement, the World Bank turns to its four-pager of a document, under whose jurisdiction the company “commits to developing an integrity compliance program consistent with the principles set out in the World Bank Group Integrity Compliance Guidelines.”

 

 

 

 

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