The World Bank Group announced the debarment for six months of FreeBalance, Inc., a Canadian provider of financial-management-related software, in relation to sanctionable misconduct under the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) Project for Liberia.
The debarment, which precludes the company from participating in World Bank-financed projects, is part of a Negotiated Resolution Agreement (NRA) under which the company did not contest a fraudulent practice of failing to disclose the identity and payment terms of a local agent in Liberia.
The NRA provides for a reduced period of debarment in light of the company’s voluntary corrective and remedial actions. The company’s six-month debarment will be followed by a further period of conditional non-debarment of up to twelve months. During this period, FreeBalance will resume being eligible to participate in World Bank-financed projects, as long as it complies with its obligations under the NRA.
In connection with the conditions for release from World Bank Group sanction under the NRA, FreeBalance commits to enhancement of its existing integrity compliance program consistent with the principles set out in the World Bank Group Integrity Compliance Guidelines. It also commits to continue to fully cooperate with the World Bank Group Integrity Vice Presidency.
In accordance with the World Bank Sanctions Procedures, FreeBalance will be released from World Bank Group sanction upon a determination by the World Bank Group Integrity Compliance Office that the conditions for release have been met at that time. However, if the conditions are not met by the end of the conditional non-debarment period, the sanction will convert to debarment with conditional release, and FreeBalance will become ineligible to participate in World Bank-financed projects until the conditions have been met.