Michelle Porvaznik 1.202.458.7716
WASHINGTON, July 27, 2009— The World Bank today announced the debarment of two Bangladeshi non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and their executive directors for having engaged in fraud in relation to a World Bank-financed project. The debarments, which resulted from investigations by the World Bank’s Integrity Vice Presidency (INT), are part of the Bank’s broader anti-corruption agenda.
Organization of Rural Economic Development & Rehabilitation (OREDAR) and its former executive director, Rezaul Karim, are ineligible to be awarded contracts under any Bank Group-financed or Bank Group-executed projects or otherwise participate in the preparation or implementation of such projects for a period of two years. After one year, the debarment against OREDAR may end if it has instituted a compliance program acceptable to the World Bank.
The second non-governmental organization, Poverty Alleviation and Rural Development Organization (PARDO) and its executive director, Mrs. Shamima, have been debarred for three years.
The NGOs were among the hundreds of NGOs contracted to carry out educational programs for the Post-Literacy and Continuing Education for Human Development Project (PLCEHDP) in Bangladesh. Approximately 972,900 participants completed post-literacy and continuing education programs during the project, which ended in December 2007.
"NGOs continue to play a critical role in delivering social services to the most vulnerable people in Bangladesh. The government, NGOs, and the Bank will continue to work toward strengthening governance in the NGO community," said Robert Floyd, Acting Country Director for Bangladesh.
The debarments are the first to be announced following an in-depth INT investigation in Bangladesh. Both organizations forged documents in their proposals wrongly claiming they had the relevant experience to provide such programming. OREDAR and Mr. Karim received reduced debarments on account of their cooperation with investigators.
“When we talk about integrity in Bank operations, it must apply equally to all the entities that implement our projects, whether they are large corporations or small NGOs,” said Leonard McCarthy, Vice President for Integrity for the World Bank Group.
Since 1999 the World Bank Group has debarred 359 firms and individuals for their involvement in fraud and corruption in Bank Group-financed projects.
For more information about the World Bank’s Integrity Vice Presidency and its anti-corruption work, please visit www.worldbank.org/integrity