On July 14, 2017, the World Bank Group announced that it had debarred two subsidiaries of American multinational engineering firm AECOM for malfeasance involving the misrepresentation of consultants. As part of two separate Negotiated Resolution Agreements (NRA), AECOM Asia Company Limited has been suspended for 18 months, and AECOM New Zealand Limited has been suspended for 6 months.
The AECOM Asia Company Limited suspension comes after a World Bank investigation revealed that AECOM Asia’s predecessor, Metcalf & Eddy Limited, had “failed to disclose a conflict of interest in its proposal for the Bengbu Integrated Environment Improvement Project.” The company also “misrepresented the input of key staff during implementation of its contract under the Tai Basin Urban Environment Project.” These violations constituted sanctionable practices, according to the World Bank press release announcing the debarment. In addition to the 18 month suspension, AECOM Asia will be required to adopt a Corporate Compliance Program consistent with the standards of the World Bank Group’s Integrity Compliance Guidelines.
AECOM New Zealand faces suspension after it “submitted documents that misrepresented the availability and experience of certain experts in its proposal for the Trung Son Hydropower Project in Vietnam.” In addition to creating a compliance program, both companies are required to cooperate fully with the investigations of the World Bank Integrity Vice Presidency.
The debarment of AECOM Asia Company Limited qualifies for cross-debarment by other Multilateral Development Banks under the 2010 Agreement of Mutual Recognition of Debarments.
In addition to the World Bank, parties to the 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.
The press release announcing the debarment can be found here: http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2017/07/14/world-bank-debars-aecom-asia-company-limited-and-aecom-new-zealand-limited