World Bank Report Highlights Strong Year of Progress in Managing Corruption Risks

September 8, 2010

WASHINGTON, October 8, 2010—As the World Bank Group delivered record commitments to partner countries, the Bank’s Integrity Vice Presidency (INTVP) concluded another strong year in its anticorruption efforts, with 45 debarments of wrongdoing firms, a new agreement with other MDBs to cross-debar corrupt companies, numerous referrals to law enforcement agencies, and robust preventive efforts to help ensure Bank-financed projects deliver results.

As we further ramp up our operations, we must continue to assure donors and client governments that we are responsible stewards of scarce development funds,” said World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick. “Working with governments, the private sector, and other international institutions, our governance and anti-corruption efforts can also help restore the public’s trust in financial institutions and markets.”

During FY2010 (July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010) INT ramped up its investigative and preventive efforts to reduce the risk of fraud and corruption in Bank Group-financed projects, while holding wrongdoers accountable for the waste of development funds.   Results during FY10 include:

  •  117 closed investigations
  • 45 debarments of firms and individuals for engaging in wrongdoing.
  • 32 referrals of investigative information to governments and anticorruption agencies, based on completed INT investigations, for follow-up national action
  • Six regional Corruption Hunters’ Networks, connecting national authorities from 31 countries
  • New cooperation agreements signed with the UK Serious Fraud Office, the European Anti-Fraud Office, the International Criminal Court, USAID, and the Australian Agency for International Development.

Additional integrity results during the fiscal year include the signing of the Cross-Debarment Agreement with the African Development Bank Group, the Asian Development Bank Group, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Inter-American Development Bank Group.  Further, in April 2010, the World Bank entered into a negotiated resolution with the UK publisher Macmillan Limited that included a 6-year debarment.

Combining investigations with an enhanced focus on prevention and detection of red flags in Bank-financed projects, INT is critical to minimizing the waste of development resources, especially in fragile contexts and high-risk sectors,” said Leonard McCarthy, World Bank Integrity Vice President.

In FY 2010, INT’s Preventive Services Unit (PSU) targeted its support on preventive measures to inform the design and implementation of high-risk projects; conducted a review of integrity risks in two particularly vulnerable sectors: the road sector and community-development projects; and trained 1,200 professionals inside and outside the Bank on prevention and integrity risk mitigation measures. In addition, the PSU collaborated with other Bank units to develop new training and advisory tools to enhance prevention, including a handbook on fraud and corruption risks and a red flags manual.

The Fraud and Corruption Awareness Handbook is the first comprehensive review of lessons learned from INT investigations,” said Leonard McCarthy, World Bank Integrity Vice President.                                                  

As part of the Bank Group’s commitment to greater transparency, INT’s Final Investigation Reports for projects in Bangladesh, Congo, Dominican Republic, India, and Nepal were publicly disclosed in a redacted format on INT’s website:

“The results of the last two years speak volumes about the World Bank Group’s commitment to ensuring that project funds reach their intended beneficiaries.  I anticipate that the next two years will even be more challenging and rewarding,” said Leonard McCarthy, World Bank Integrity Vice President. 

Since 1999, the World Bank Group has debarred 406 firms, individuals, and non-governmental organizations.