The World Bank has temporarily barred a unit of Canadian engineering and construction giant SNC-Lavalin from bidding on new projects following a corruption investigation into the Padma bridge project in Bangladesh.
In April 2011, the WB agreed to lend Bangladesh $1.2 billion to build a 6-km bridge over the river Padma to link Dhaka, and the country's main port.
A unit of SNC-Lavalin had bid for a project, where the winning bidder was to act as the engineer for the Bangladesh government for supervising the contractor responsible for the overall bridge construction project.
Citing alleged corruption in the bidding process, the WB had in September 2011, launched an investigation and requested the Canadian authorities to search the company's Ontario office.
Although the contract to build the bridge has not yet been awarded, the temporary suspension is not a final decision until the investigation is complete.
The company said it had launched its own internal investigation when the matter was first brought to their attention. "We launched our own internal investigation when this matter was first brought to our attention and we will continue to cooperate fully with the World Bank on this matter," said the company's interim CEO, Ian Bourne.