The Côte d’Ivoire based African Development Bank Group (“AfDB”) has barred China’s Chongqing International Construction Corporation (“CICO“) for bidding for AfDB financed projects for 12 months after being found guilty of engaging in fraudulent tendering activities.
An investigation by the AfDB’s Office of Integrity and Anti-Corruption revealed that Chongqing International Construction Corporation distorted its experience to meet tender pre-qualification requirements set for an AfDB financed road project in Uganda.
To prequalify for the works contracts tenders in Uganda, bidders needed to show that they had successfully completed at least four similar reference projects in the previous five years. CICO falsely presented a 4.4km road as 68km in length and inflated a $17.5m project to almost five times its value ($79m).
CICO is a subsidiary of Chongqing Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation Group Co., Ltd. (CFTEC). Prior to disbarment, CICO has successfully delivered a number of African transport infrastructure projects, including the Export Import Bank of China funded $350 million Entebbe–Kampala Expressway and the $166m 186km Monrovia-Gbarnga-Ganta highway, part-financed by the World Bank and the European Union.
Image Credit: Charles Fairburn and Contractor Magazine NZ.
The debarment runs for a minimum of 12 months. Once completed CICO must implement an integrity compliance programme or “self cleanse” to the AfDB’s requirements before being allowed to bid for future tenders.
Disbarment from the AfBD’s procurement processes may also lead other multilateral financial institutions and donors following suit.