World Bank retaliates against Parliamentary Whistleblower

World Bank retaliates against Parliamentary Whistleblower

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Yerevan’s Twelve Million Dollar Gift for A. Utilities

The Municipal Development Project was designed and approved for the Yerevan water company to resolve a number of problems, including reducing the enormous amount of water it loses every day - the main reason why the company keeps increasing the water tariff. According to the World Bank, the Yerevan water company loses four times more water than its subscribers actually use.

Thousands of meters of new pipes were brought into the Republic to replace the worst parts of the water distribution pipeline. But the International Operator could not demonstrate to the Parliamentary Commission that those pipes had been used for the intended purpose. He did however provide a ledger of works orders showing that the pipes had been used for emergency repair jobs. But the Commission's Lawyer deemed all of those works orders to be fraudulent. So where those pipes went remained an interesting question, the answer to which is no longer a closely guarded secret.

On the other hand, the International Operator could show that he had installed 415,500 water meters for domestic subscribers.

The World Bank’s Implementation Completion Report (ICR) of 2006 expresses the Bank’s immense satisfaction with the International Operator’s performance, reporting that the target for the program to install or replace 20,000 subscriber meters was exceeded by a factor of 13, with 277,000 subscriber meters installed.

The report is not altogether consistent with that of the International operator, who reports that 277,000 subscribers had water meters installed, but as most had more than one meter, the total amount of meters was actually 415,500.

This was done in response to an amendment to the Municipal Development Project, in which the World Bank agrees that purchasing and installing water meters for Apartment Residents would help to establish and strengthen condominiums.

But the Municipal Development Project water meters were not installed by the project, they were Sold to Yerevan’s domestic water consumers, who also Paid for the Installation.

The revenue generated by the sale and installation of 415,500 water meters amounted to more than Twelve Million Dollars – a nice gift for A. Utilities from Yerevan’s water users

This Blog repeats a request to the Department of Institutional Integrity to please stand by your promise to send a team of investigators to Yerevan and demonstrate your readiness to respond to claims of Fraud and Corruption in Bank Financed Operations, by carrying out a full investigation into this matter.

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