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NEWS December 9, 2011

World Bank Shines Spotlight on Anti-Corruption with New Sanctions Board Law Digest

WASHINGTON, December 9, 2011 - The World Bank Group today announced another milestone in its leadership on anticorruption with the release of the Sanctions Board Law Digest, publicly detailing for the first time the rationale behind how the Bank Group holds entities accountable for fraud, corruption, and other wrongdoing.

"By holding companies and individuals accountable through a fair and robust process, the Bank Group's sanctions system promotes integrity and levels the playing field for those committed to clean business practices," said World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick. "The release of the Sanctions Board's inaugural Law Digest is another milestone demonstrating the Bank Group's commitment to a fair and accountable sanctions process."

Since 1999, the World Bank Group has sanctioned more than 450 firms and individuals for fraud, corruption and collusion.  The independent Sanctions Board is the final decision-maker in all contested cases.  Until now, the decision-making process behind the sanctions was kept confidential.  In a major step toward greater transparency and accountability, the new Law Digest presents information about past Sanctions Board decisions that illustrates the types of cases received and the legal principles the Sanctions Board has applied in deciding liability and sanctions. This is a first among multilateral development institutions.

By capturing past cases in the Law Digest and publishing new Sanctions Board decisions going forward, the public can see how carefully the World Bank considers fraud and corruption allegations in Bank-financed projects and how the institution resolves these cases.  Creating more openness in the Bank Group's sanctions process should also help deter future wrongdoing.

"This Law Digest will further the Sanctions Board's goal to uphold the rule of law in the fights against corruption and poverty," said Fathi Kemicha, Chair of the Sanctions Board. "This Law Digest will create a valuable resource for those within the Bank Group, for those firms and individuals doing business with the Bank Group, and for our partners in the international community."

About the World Bank's Investigations and Sanctions:

- One way the World Bank tackles fraud and corruption in Bank-financed projects is through the use of administrative sanctions against firms and individuals found to have engaged in wrongdoing.  Sanctions are applied through a two-tier process.

- The Sanctions Board, an independent tribunal with a majority of external members and an external Chair, serves as final decision-maker in all contested cases.  The Sanctions Board takes decisions based on an adversarial process that includes written arguments and evidence from both parties and, upon request of either party, administrative hearings.

- Sanctions proceedings are initiated by the Integrity Vice Presidency (INT), which investigates allegations; and the Evaluation and Suspension Officer (EO), a Bank official charged with independently assessing the sufficiency of INT's evidence in the first instance.

- Possible sanctions are: Public Letter of Reprimand, Debarment, Conditional Non-Debarment, Debarment with Conditional Release, and/or Restitution.

- Since 1999, the Bank has sanctioned 456 firms and individuals. All sanctions are reflected on the World Bank Listing of Ineligible Firms & Individuals ( For more information, please visit: