Oxford University Press has agreed to pay nearly $3.5-million to settle investigations involving illegal payments to government officials by two of its East African subsidiaries related to World Bank education projects. It has also been barred from doing business with the World Bank for three years. According to a statement from the press, which is owned by the University of Oxford, the corruption came to light last year when the World Bank alerted the press “to the possibility of irregularities with payments related to tenders in East Africa.”
Oxford University Press, the world’s largest university press, will pay the World Bank $500,000 and will pay a fine of nearly $3-million to Britain’s Serious Fraud Office, which had brought legal action against the publisher. The Serious Fraud Office said in a statement that it had found “no evidence of Board level (or the equivalent) knowledge or connivance within” the university press in relation to the illegal practices.
According to the statement from the university press, it will also be donating £2-million, or more than $3.1-million, to nonprofit organizations “for teacher training and other educational purposes in sub-Saharan Africa. “