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World Bank bans Case Technology

Former Anite division faces allegations of corruption

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Watford-based company Case Technology this week became the first company to be barred from World Bank financed contracts over allegations of corruption. Case received a permanent ban from being awarded the contracts, ordered by James Wolfensohn, president of the World Bank, on 2 July. A Dutch company involved in a bid with Case, Nepostel Consultancy, was also made ineligible for three years. Case was originally part of Anite Group until March 1997, when there was a management buyout at the company, then called Case Technology UK. In the same month UK networking company Anite sold its Danish Lan business, also called Case Technology, to Intel for $42 million. It is now a Wan manufacturer, specialising in voice and data convergence. Anite itself was formerly known as Cray Communications and before that, confusingly, also as Case Technology. Anyone lost yet? This week's ban originated from a bid that Case and Nepostel were involved in to supply a banking telecommunications network for the Central Bank of Turkmenistan in Asia. The World Bank's Sanctions Committee found Case had engaged in corrupt practices and that Nepostel engaged in fraudulent activities as defined by the Bank’s Procurement Guidelines. A representative of the World Bank was unable to give details on the corruption allegations against Case. Although he told The Register that the situation must have to be very serious to gain a permanent ban. Both companies disputed the charges. The story first appeared in the Financial Times, which said that since the Sanctions Committee was established in November 1998, the Bank has declared seven firms, including Case and Nepostel, ineligible to be awarded Bank-financed contracts. Case was the only one where corruption, rather than fraud, was cited as the reason. ®

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