Oxford university Press East africa
The World Bank on Tuesday barred two subsidiaries of Oxford University Press (OUP) from bidding for contracts following allegations of corruption in two education projects in East Africa.
The two, Oxford University Press East Africa Limited (OUPEA) and Oxford University Press Tanzania Limited (OUPT) will be out for a period of three years following OUP’s acknowledgment of misconduct by its two subsidiaries in relation to two Bank-financed education projects in East Africa.
The debarment means that the two subsidiaries will not be allowed to bid for any World Bank contracts and is part of a Negotiated Resolution Agreement between OUP and the World Bank Group.
According to a World Bank spokesperson who requested not to be named, the companies will also be barred from bidding for contracts at other multilateral development banks, including the African Development Bank.
This is due to an agreement between the World Bank and other multilateral development banks. The World Bank reports that in May 2011, investigators from the World Bank’s Integrity Vice Presidency (INT) approached OUP about potential misconduct in Africa. Following this, OUP conducted an internal investigation into its operations and reported its findings to INT.
“This debarment is testimony to the Bank’s continued commitment to protecting the integrity of its projects. OUP’s acknowledgment of misconduct and the thoroughness of its investigation is evidence of how companies can address issues of fraud and corruption and change their corporate practices to foster integrity in the development business. In this case, working with the Serious Fraud Office also demonstrates the scope of collective action in deterring corruption impacting the progress of development, ” said Leonard McCarthy, World Bank Integrity Vice President.
The two companies made improper payments to government officials for two contracts to supply text books in relation to two World Bank-financed projects. As a result, OUPEA and OUPT will be debarred for three years and OUP will receive a conditional non-debarment. In addition, in order to remedy part of the harm done by the misconduct, OUP has agreed to make a payment of $500, 000 to the World Bank as part of the negotiated resolution.
“We can’t get into the details as to which officials exactly were involved, how much money was transacted corruptly or which projects were in question, ” said the spokesperson, “The reason is because we don’t want to identify the people who cooperated and provided the information we needed. But I can confirm that more than one country in East Africa was involved.”
The spokesperson said that the $500, 000 payment will be made as a “recompense for corrupt practices, and will either go back into funding projects or fighting corruption.”
Oxford University Press East Africa Ltd., a branch of the International Division of Oxford University Press, is a leading educational publisher in the Eastern and Central Africa region. The branch was started in 1954 in Nairobi, Kenya, as an editorial and sales office.
Warehouses were established in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Kampala, Uganda. An authority in reference books publishing, OUP East Africa published the first edition of Kamusi ya Kiswahili Sanifu, a Kiswahili dictionary for schools and general use in 1981. This was followed by Kamusi ya Semi za Kiswahili (a dictionary of Swahili sayings).