As it was reported earlier, the World Bank (WB) imposed sanctions on the Uzbek company OOO Fides Solutions and citizen Ravshan Rizametov. Sanctions imply a conditional three-year ban on participation in the WB tenders.
Fides Solutions and Ravshan Rizametov are accused of having engaged in corrupt practices – they offered a thing of value to a World Bank staff member in an attempt to improperly influence the staff member’s actions in connection with a future contract under the Uzbekistan Modernizing Higher Education Project.
The report says that Fides Solutions and Ravshan Rizametov did not provide an explanation of the situation in accordance with the WB procedure. They also did not provide a response within the time specified in the Sanction Procedures. In this regard, the decision on sanctions was recognized indisputable and entered into force on July 17.
On July 18, an open appeal was published on the Fides Solutions website:
“We want to clarify the situation, because our reputation and the trust that our customers have on us is very important,” the report reads.
It states that in 2016-2017, the company actually took part in a tender for one of the WB projects. In the process of preparing documents, project pricing was constantly discussed with partners.
“Everyone knows that at that time, the exchange rates of foreign currencies between the state rate and the bank (stock exchange) rate were highly different. Therefore, the project was offered two prices, depending on the currency of the project payment. Unfortunately, this situation with the exchange rate is not always clear to foreign investors, and there was a misunderstanding of what amounts differ,” the company explained.
It also notes that, over the period, the company received a request from the World Bank to clarify the situation, in response to which all communication between R. Rizametov and a World Bank employee was provided.
“In response to a request from the World Bank in relation to R. Rizametov, an explanatory letter was taken, in which a conversation with an employee of the World Bank was termed. The explanatory letter was sent to the WB branch, but the company was surprised that our explanations did not reach them,” Fides Solutions reported.
It is noted that the director of the company was interested in understanding the situation, about which the World Bank specialists dealing with the case were also informed.
“After more than a year, our company has already received the case file from the WB by mail, in which it was stated that sanctions will be imposed on the company. According to it, Fides Solutions will not be allowed to bid on the World Bank project for three years. We sincerely regret what happened. We also want to announce that we are currently conducting a repeated internal investigation,” the statement reads.
The appeal is summarized by the assurance that the company continues to operate in a normal manner and fulfill all its obligations under the agreements.