World Bank bars L&T for six months over tender fraud

The World Bank has temporarily barred Larsen & Toubro Ltd (L&T) from working on any of its projects for six months, after finding that an employee of the engineering and infrastructure giant had forged documents to win a tender in 2008.

The ban, which is effective from 7 March until 6 September, will not allow the Mumbai-based company to bid for any World Bank-funded projects.

The World Bank found that an L&T employee had forged documents in a July 2008 tender for supplying130 ultrasound scanners under a World Bank-aided project for Tamil Nadu Medical Service.

Although L&T's bid was the lowest-priced, the World Bank's 'integrity vice presidency' found out that the company had filed forged performance certificates claimed to have been issued by its clients.

L&T had argued that the act was done by a regional business head, who had acted on his own and ''without management's awareness, approval or instructions.''

But the World Bank still held the company liable since it did not have an adequate compliance program in place.