Vanuatu-based PCS company debarred from World Bank for fraudulent practices

By Sabrina Tabi.

Vanuatu-based Power and Communications Solution (PCS) company currently located opposite the University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Emalus campus, has been debarred for a period of 15 months from World Bank as of March 29 2023, for fraudulent practices.

The World Bank reported that PSC have been committing fraud by submitting re-imbursement applications for non- subsidised items whilst claiming subsidies.

According to World Bank, this has been going on from November 2018 to May 2020.

In addition to that, the World Bank also relayed that the company have been knowingly misleading the implementation of projects in the country, in an effort to gain extra financial benefits from the project funds, which according the World Bank’s Procurement Guidelines, is a fraudulent practice as well.

These are $4.7 million World Bank-funded projects which is estimated to be around VT548 million, that were designed by the World Bank to provide electricity to rural areas, and build aid posts and community halls in remote areas of country.

However, because PCS had admitted to have committed these fraud practices, they had cooperated with the World Bank investigators, and have tried to voluntarily remedy their actions, the period of these debarment has been reduced.

The company had also agreed to develop and implement a code of conduct program that will reflect the principles set out in the World Bank Group Integrity Compliance Guidelines.

This debarment is also recognised by Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the African Development Bank, which means that PCS cannot participate in future projects that maybe funded by any of these banks as well.

When contacted, PCS told the Vanuatu Daily Post that at present they don’t have any comment on the matter.