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Macmillan U.K. admits to bribery

According to a report from Reuters, officials from the U.K. arm of Macmillan have admitted that they paid bribes to secure a potentially lucrative deal to print textbooks in southern Sudan.

Macmillan said it made “corrupt payments” in a bidding process for an education project supported by a World Bank-managed fund in the African region, the [World Bank] said in a statement.

“The World Bank Group has debarred Macmillan Limited … declaring the company ineligible to be awarded Bank-financed contracts for a period of six years in the wake of the company’s admission of bribery payments relating to a Trust Fund-supported education project in Southern Sudan,” read the statement.

As the article goes on to state, however, the six-year ineligibility period may be reduced to as little as three years in recognition of the fact that Macmillan has been quick to respond to the controversy.

Macmillan had agreed to roll out a “compliance monitoring program” and cooperate with the bank’s efforts to fight fraud and corruption, the World Bank statement read.

“Macmillan admitted engaging in bribes […],” a World Bank official, who asked not to be named, told Reuters. “This happened during the bidding process and Macmillan did not get the contract.”

The official, based in Washington, said the payments were offered between 2008 and 2009.