International financiers among them the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have blacklisted almost 20 Kenyan companies over fraud within the last two years.
The lenders have also slapped the companies over concerns of the quality of the projects they have undertaken using funds from the two multilateral lenders.
The World Bank blacklisted the firms, following an expose by its anti-corruption Unit which revealed fraudulent practices. One of the major culprits is the Nairobi-based consultancy firm Africa Development Professional Group (ADP), which the Unit established it had engaged in fraudulent practices in a project funded by the bank in Somalia.
The anti-graft unit established that ADP omitted to disclose a conflict-of-interest relationship when submitting a proposal for a contract under the project.
As a result, the World Bank has barred ADP and its affiliates for a period of 21 months, during which it will be ineligible to participate in any World Bank-financed projects.
The firm joins the other Kenyan firms among them Aerospace Aviation, Beta Trading Company, Global Interjapan (Kenya) Limited, Eva-Top Agencies, Madujey Global Services, Mactebac Contractors Limited, Techno Brain (Kenya) Limited (“Techno Brain Kenya”), and Sony Commercial Agencies which were recently banned by AfDB over questionable dealings.
This move has now put into question how local firms bid and clinch lucrative tenders with international financiers.
This move has now put into question how local firms bid and clinch lucrative tenders with international financiers. The AfDB has accordingly announced plans to hire quality assurance experts to enable greater transparency and oversight of its funded projects.
Other measures include more scrutiny for those seeking funds from the lenders and close monitoring in form of country/regional meetings to review project and portfolio-related reports, “including but not limited to project concept notes, project appraisal reports, project completion reports, country portfolio performance reviews reports.”
The bank also recently negotiated and signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) between AfDB’s Office of Integrity and Anti-Corruption (PIAC) and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) as part of its efforts to improve its cooperation with anti-corruption and law enforcement agencies. The MoU will serve as a framework for collaboration on corruption prevention, training and information sharing.
The financial institutions, which are mostly owned and financed by governments, have been keen to curb corruption in their projects, which run into billions of dollars annually. Increasingly focus on issues of corruption has also shifted from just focusing on publicly funded institutions and governments to other private and international organizations.