WASHINGTON, May 30, 2012 - Marking another advance in openness and accountability in its anti-corruption work, the World Bank Group today published for the first time a set of decisions issued by the World Bank Group's Sanctions Board in cases of alleged fraud and corruption.
"The World Bank Group takes a hard line against corruption, and we believe that greater transparency must be part of that effort," said World Bank Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati. "By publishing Sanctions Board decisions, we are making all parties involved in the sanctions process more accountable. This move should deepen the deterrent effect of debarments and enhance the educational value of the Sanctions Board's findings."
The first published decisions were announced at a panel discussion hosted by the World Bank Group Sanctions Board Secretariat to take stock of recent developments and consider ongoing challenges for the Bank Group's sanctions system. At the discussion, the Bank Group also announced the appointment of two new Sanctions Board members: Mr. Yves Fortier, an international arbitrator and former Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations, who will serve as Chair of the Sanctions Board; and Ms. Catherine O'Regan, President of the International Monetary Fund Administrative Tribunal and former Judge of the South African Constitutional Court.
The Sanctions Board, an independent administrative tribunal with a majority of external members, serves as final decision-maker in all contested sanctions cases. Decisions are taken based on an adversarial process that includes written arguments and evidence and, where requested, an administrative hearing. More than 530 firms and individuals have been sanctioned by the World Bank Group for fraud, corruption and collusion since the sanctions system was established in 1999. Most of these sanctions have been in the form of debarments, where firms or individuals are rendered ineligible to participate in Bank Group-financed operations.
From December 2011, the Sanctions Board Law Digest has made publicly available summaries of past cases and the legal principles applied over time. The publication of full Sanctions Board decisions goes a step further and creates an unprecedented level of transparency by presenting the Sanctions Board's detailed review of each new appeal to determine whether misconduct occurred and if so, what sanctions should apply.
"Publication of our decisions furthers the Sanctions Board's goal to fight fraud and corruption through the rule of law," said Fathi Kemicha, the first external Chair of the Sanctions Board. "Parties that come before the Sanctions Board, as well as our partners in the international community, will now have a more robust understanding of our process, case law, and careful examination of each case."
The decisions published today can be accessed on the World Bank's external website, and explain the rationale for sanctions imposed in eight cases recently considered by the Sanctions Board:
All sanctions are reflected on the World Bank Listing of Ineligible Firms & Individuals. For more information on the WBG Sanctions System, please visit: www.worldbank.org/sanctions