AfDB debars Chinese engineering and construction firm for fraud
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has announced debarment of Chongqing International Construction Corporation (CICO) for a minimum period of twelve months. According to the statement by the leading development finance institution on the continent, its Office of Integrity and Anti-Corruption established that the Chinese company engaged in fraudulent overstatement of the previous projects it had executed in bidding for AfDB-financed road project in Uganda.
In order to meet the pre-qualification requirements of the tenders, CICO inflated its purported experience with similar projects, grossly overstating both the scope and the value of contracts it said it had successfully completed in the past. In one case, a contract for a road of 4.4 kilometres was falsely presented as 68 kilometres in length. In another instance, the value of a reference contract was inflated from about US$17.5 million to approximately US$79 million dollars in order to meet the prequalification criteria.
AfDB said CICO shall be released upon expiry of the debarment period, provided the company adopts and implements a comprehensive integrity compliance programme that meets the standards of the Bank. The AfDB further said it will verify the adequacy of CICO's compliance framework prior to any release decision.