Canada is number one and the U.S. number two on the World Bank’s list of firms blacklisted from bidding on it’s global projects under its fraud and corruption policy. A lot of the information obtained about the fraud, especially foreign bribes is now coming from highly placed whistleblowers seeking rewards from the newly enhanced Securities and Exchange whistleblower program in the U.S.
The majority of the Canadian companies on the blacklist came as a result of an investigation into the Montreal-based engineering and construction company SNC-Lavalin. The firm and it’s affiliates were debarred in April 2103 for ten years as part of a settlement and that meant that 115 Canadian firms were blacklisted.
The United States had the second largest number with 44 companies on the debarment list, several SNC-Lavalin companies.
The significance of the World Bank’s actions relates to bribes being made by world-wide corporations to foreign officials to obtain business. It is an indicator that global authorities are recognizing the damage such bribes do to the world economy as a whole and that actions must be taken to curtail their occurrence.
In nations such as China and Russia, bribes are still a way of life and the means by which companies obtain business. However, corporations can no longer bean count the consequences expecting to continue to do business as usual after paying fines.
In addition, the U.S. Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission are stepping up investigations and prosecutions under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for foreign bribes to officials or their agents, paid to obtain business.
The SNC-Lavalin sanction imposed by the World Bank stemmed from bribes and other misconduct on projects oin Bangladesh and Cambodia in which the projects were funded by the World Bank.