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World Bank expels top Construction Company over fraud in Uganda

The World Bank Group headquarters building in Washington. (PHOTO/File)

KAMPALA – The World Bank has announced the 15-month debarment of Universal for General Construction and Trading Company (Universal), a company based in South Sudan that provides general trade and import-export services, in connection with fraud during the Uganda Teacher and School Effectiveness Project.

The debarment makes Universal ineligible to participate in World Bank-financed projects.

It is part of a settlement agreement under which the company acknowledges responsibility for the underlying sanctionable practices.

The project was designed to support the Ugandan government in improving teacher and school effectiveness in the public primary education sector.

According to the facts of the case, Universal used an undeclared agent to prepare a false certificate for a bid on a school construction component of the project.

The certificate substantially and falsely inflated a prior contract’s true value, which is a fraudulent practice. The company did not ultimately win the contract.

The debarment of Universal qualifies for cross-debarment by other multilateral development banks (MDBs) under the Agreement for Mutual Enforcement of Debarment Decisions that was signed on April 9, 2010.

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