WASHINGTON, June 25, 2014 - The World Bank released the first public report from its Office of Suspension and Debarment (OSD) furthering its commitment to transparency and accountability regarding its process for firms and individuals accused of fraud and corruption in the projects it finances. Previously, reports have been issued by the World Bank Integrity Vice Presidency (INT), which carries out investigations, as well as by the World Bank Group Sanctions Board.
Covering the period from the inception of OSD in 2007 through June 30, 2013, the report provides case processing and other performance metrics related to 224 sanctions imposed on firms and individuals in Bank-financed projects. Most of these sanctions have resulted in debarments, where firms and individuals are rendered ineligible to receive World Bank-financed contracts from shareholder governments. Many of these sanctioned parties are automatically cross-debarred by other Multilateral Development Banks as well. Through June 30, 2013, 60 percent of all sanctions cases were resolved on the basis of determinations made by OSD, while the remaining cases were decided on appeal by the Sanctions Board.
“Diverting finite public and donor funds from essential development work robs the poor and undermines opportunities for people seeking a brighter future,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. “Around the world, governments are creating and modernizing administrative bodies that can respond to claims of wrongdoing in public procurement or in the use of donor funds. They are a crucial component of the global movement to combat fraud and corruption. We hope they in particular will find this report useful. As the World Bank Group considers ways to manage risk more effectively – and to enhance our own approaches to fighting fraud and corruption – data of this nature are essential to making informed decisions.”
OSD is led by the Chief Suspension and Debarment Officer, Pascale Hélène Dubois. OSD’s mandate is to ensure an efficient, effective and fair sanctions process. As an independent office, OSD reviews the sufficiency of the evidence in cases brought by INT against companies or individuals (referred to as “Respondents”) and determines if the evidence supports a finding that the alleged sanctionable misconduct occurred. In cases where OSD finds sufficient evidence, OSD suspends the Respondents from receiving any new contracts financed by the World Bank and recommends appropriate sanctions. The recommended sanction then becomes the final sanction if the Respondent does not appeal within 90 days. This initial review of cases allows for their early disposition without the necessity of full sanctions proceedings in every case.
About the World Bank Group
The World Bank Group plays a key role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. It consists of five institutions: the World Bank, including the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA); the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Working together in more than 100 countries, these institutions provide financing, advice and other solutions that enable countries to address the most urgent challenges of development. OSD’s cases pertain only to sanctions cases arising from projects financed by IBRD and IDA. Other parts of the World Bank Group have their own sanctions systems that are similar to those of the World Bank.