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World Bank Group Imposes Sanctions on Ernst & Young LLP, Kenya.

The World Bank Group (WBG) has announced the debarment of Ernst & Young LLP Kenya (EY Kenya) for a period of 30 months. The decision comes after an extensive investigation revealed misconduct during the execution of a World Bank-financed project.

‘‘The debarment is in connection with sanctionable practices as part of the Somali Core Economic Institutions and Opportunities Program (SCORE) and the Second Public Financial Management Capacity Strengthening Project (PFM II) in Somalia’’ read the statement from the WB published in June.

EY Kenya was found in breach of the bank’s code of conduct relating to the Somali Core Economic Institutions and Opportunities Program (Score) and the Second Public Financial Management Capacity Strengthening Project (PFM II).

SCORE was created with the goal of enhancing conditions that support private and financial sector growth while stimulating private investment and fostering job creation. PFM II’s objective was to build and reinforce systems for generating domestic revenue, managing expenditures, and ensuring accountability within the Federal Government of Somalia, Puntland State of Somalia, and Somaliland State.

‘‘According to the facts of the case, EY Kenya failed to disclose a conflict of interest during the selection and implementation of four contracts under the SCORE and PFM II projects, and the involvement of an agent in those contracts. In addition, during the execution of one of the contracts, EY Kenya made a provision for allowances to be paid to project officials. This conduct constitutes fraudulent and corrupt practices under the WBG Consultant Guidelines.’’ Reads part of the statement.

The debarment signifies that EY Kenya will be unable to take part in any projects funded by the World Bank Group for the next 30 months. This action underscores the World Bank’s continuous commitment to upholding integrity and transparency in the projects it supports.

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The debarment makes EY Kenya and any affiliates it controls ineligible to participate in WBG-financed projects and operations. It is part of a settlement agreement under which the company admits culpability for sanctionable practices and agrees to meet specified integrity compliance conditions as a requirement for release from debarment.

This includes developing and implementing an integrity compliance program that reflects the principles set out in the WBG Integrity Compliance Guidelines. The company also commits to continue to fully cooperate with the WBG Integrity Vice Presidency.

The settlement agreement includes a reduced debarment period due to the company’s admission of misconduct and cooperation, as well as its existing integrity compliance program and voluntary remedial actions. These actions include disciplinary measures against the involved staff and voluntary abstention from bidding on WBG-financed contracts during the settlement negotiations.

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