WASHINGTON, December 5, 2022 – The World Bank Group today announced the three-year debarment of Republic of Korea-based Lotte Data Communications Company Limited (LDCC) in connection with obstructive practices under the Da Nang Sustainable City Development Project in Vietnam.
The debarment makes LDCC and its subsidiaries ineligible to participate in projects and operations financed by institutions of the World Bank Group. It is part of a settlement agreement, under which the company acknowledges responsibility for the underlying sanctionable practices and agrees to meet specified corporate compliance conditions as a condition for release from debarment.
The project was designed to expand access to improved drainage, wastewater collection and treatment services, the arterial road network, and public transport for residents in selected areas of Da Nang City. According to the facts of the case, over a multi-month period in 2018, LDCC materially impeded the exercise of the World Bank’s inspection and audit rights by depriving access to project-related email correspondence and making inaccurate statements to World Bank investigators to prevent them from interviewing LDCC’s key staff members during an on-site audit. These are obstructive practices that prevent the World Bank from fully accounting for how its resources are used and are therefore a serious infraction of the World Bank’s rules and guidelines.
The settlement agreement provides for a reduced period of debarment in light of the company’s acceptance of responsibility for what transpired under prior leadership and its voluntary remedial actions, including efforts undertaken by the company’s new leadership regarding the further development of its integrity compliance program and disciplinary action against individuals who engaged in misconduct. As a condition for release from sanction under the terms of the settlement agreement, the company commits to developing an integrity compliance program that reflects the principles set out in the World Bank Group Integrity Compliance Guidelines. LDCC also commits to fully cooperate with the World Bank Group Integrity Vice Presidency.
The debarment of LDCC 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.