Skip to Main Navigation
NEWS October 16, 2019

World Bank Group Issues FY19 Sanctions System Annual Report

On October 10, 2019, the World Bank Group (WBG) published the second joint Sanctions System Annual Report (FY19) addressing the institution’s continued efforts to investigate and adjudicate allegations of misconduct in projects financed by the World Bank Group. This publication presents an overview of the sanctions system and its results as reported by the Sanctions Board, the Integrity Vice Presidency (INT), and the Office of Suspension and Debarment (OSD). Under the existing sanctions system, the Bank Group completed 47 investigations of misconduct in fiscal year 2019, imposed temporary suspensions on 34 firms and individuals, and sanctioned more than 50 respondents.

Highlights specific to the Sanctions Board include the publication of nine fully-reasoned decisions, setting out in detail the Sanctions Board’s analysis and conclusions with respect to the merits of INT’s allegations and respondents’ defenses; evidentiary and procedural disputes; and factors relevant to the determination of a sanction, if any. Sanctions Board decisions published this year related to IBRD and IDA-financed projects in Ukraine, the Philippines, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Ghana, Kenya, and Nicaragua, that supported development of the transportation, trade, technology, oil and gas, environment, and health sectors in those countries.

This report additionally examines the Sanctions Board’s occasional findings of insufficient evidence (4% of allegations), including one decision where the Sanctions Board declined to impose a sanction and terminated the respondent’s temporary suspension. As made clear in the report, the Sanctions Board considers all cases independently and de novo, with a review of additional evidence and arguments, including statements made at Sanctions Board hearings (25% of cases in FY19).

These and other statistics covered in the report demonstrate the WBG’s dedication to combating fraud and corruption in WBG-financing, and to ensuring that institutional decisions to suspend or sanction an individual or a firm follow a fair and evidence-based process. Additionally, the many examples of outreach and knowledge sharing by all units (INT, OSD, and the Sanctions Board) supplying data for this report – both in this publication and throughout the fiscal year – reflect our commitment to engage productively with all stakeholders and ensure transparency with respect to the sanctions process and its results.