WASHINGTON, February 21, 2012 — Building on their cooperation in an earlier World Bank-initiated investigation and subsequent enforcement action by Dutch authorities, the World Bank today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Security and Justice of the Netherlands.
"This MoU contributes to essential international cooperation to fight fraud and corruption that threatens the security of development resources," said Leonard McCarthy, World Bank Integrity Vice President. "The next decade will offer major opportunities for a stronger global cooperation in preventing, investigating and prosecuting international fraud and corruption crimes impacting development projects. A partnership like this one represents a significant benchmark on this progressive course of international enforcement."
Both organizations will continue to develop information-sharing mechanisms while engaging periodically to monitor trends and assess emerging risks. More specifically, the cooperation between the World Bank and the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice will focus on misconduct which may constitute a serious crime under national legislations or a sanctionable offence under World Bank Group rules and policies.
"Combating international corruption and fraud are important principles of the Dutch government," said Ivo Opstelten, Dutch Minister of Security and Justice. "In signing this MoU, we will be able to detect instances of possible fraud faster with the help of our partners in the US. This cooperation is already bearing fruit for both parties. Thanks to a referral from the World Bank Group Integrity Vice Presidency, the Dutch government is currently investigating possible corruption by a Dutch firm."
For both organizations, the next step will be to harness innovation and technology to further develop preventive and investigative capability. Dutch authorities are members of the International Corruption Hunters Alliance which was convened by the World Bank in 2010.
The MoU signing took place at the World Bank Headquarters.