Enforcement authorities meet at the World Bank to improve the fight against corruption
WASHINGTON, April 13, 2011—Enforcement authorities from around the globe, meeting at the World Bank, today endorsed a declaration of principles to advance international efforts to counter global corruption. The declaration outlines priorities for enforcement action, with an emphasis on the misuse or diversion of development resources, opportunities for joint or parallel investigative activities, developing information exchange systems, and practices to prevent and criminalize corruption.
World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick said, “Corruption steals from the poor, undermines fair competition, distorts resource allocation, destroys public trust, and undermines the rule of law. This declaration can help build momentum for an international coordinated response to counter different forms of corruption that impede economic and social progress in developed, emerging and developing countries.”
The declaration was endorsed at a high-profile roundtable discussion featuring Zoellick; Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Prosecutor, International Criminal Court; Richard Alderman, Director, Serious Fraud Office (UK); Boon Hui Khoo, President, INTERPOL; Giovanni Kessler, Director-General, European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF); Kevin Perkins, Asst. Director, Criminal Investigative Division, FBI (US); and Benjamin Zymler, Minister, Court of Audit (Brazil).
At the meeting, the World Bank and its partners agreed that cooperation and a willingness to work together among investigative and prosecutorial authorities is critical to success in combating crime and corruption.
“The fight against crime and corruption depends upon strong leadership, innovation and perseverance by leading enforcement bodies around the world, both in countries and international organizations,” said Leonard McCarthy, World Bank Integrity Vice President. “Our meeting today with the heads of international enforcement organizations is part of the momentum that started with the launch of the International Corruption Hunters Alliance, which identified corruption as a priority challenge that impedes growth and development,” he added.
The declaration, known as the “Declaration of Agreed Principles for Effective Global Enforcement to Counter Corruption”, emphasizes technical assistance and international cooperation in managing corruption investigations, as critical inputs to enhancing the fight against crime and corruption.
The World Bank Integrity Results in FY10:
On the investigative front, the World Bank’s Integrity office’s (INT) recent work included:
- 117 investigations in FY10, with 45 debarments of firms and individuals for engaging in wrongdoing.
- An MDB cross-debarment agreement: WB-debarred companies can no longer get contracts with other MDBs.
- High-profile cases (MacMillan debarred; Siemens AG paid $100 million to support global anti-corruption efforts).
- An International Corruption Hunters Alliance bringing together 286 senior enforcement and anticorruption officials from 134 countries