World Bank 2011 Integrity Report Highlights Progress on High-Impact Investigations, Referrals and Preventive Action

September 23, 2011

WASHINGTON, September 23, 2011 — The World Bank today announced its integrity results during this past fiscal year, highlighting progress in managing investigations, pursuing delinquent companies and working with national authorities to advance national enforcement action.

"Corruption is a dirty business and it will not sort itself out by politely and discreetly informing wrongdoers of their missteps," said World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick.  "Instead, we need to instill a moral revulsion to corruption, both across geography and generations."

The Bank's results were the work of institution's Integrity Vice Presidency (INT), which provides integrity and anti-corruption safeguards to ensure that Bank Group funds go toward promoting development and overcoming poverty.

During this fiscal year, the World Bank debarred 32 entities and honored 37 cross-debarments together with other multilateral development banks.  The Bank also built preventive precautions in 48 high-risk projects and stopped a number of tainted contracts from being executed.  In addition, the Bank developed tailored preventive and forensic training reaching 2,700 government officials and Bank staff.

This year, the Bank also achieved some promising progress relating to referrals stemming from its investigations, as evidenced by actions taken by the Norwegian National Authority for the Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime, the UK Serious Fraud Office and the Indonesia's Special Crime Unit.

"We expect national authorities to give proper attention and consideration to the Bank Group's referrals of investigative information," said Zoellick.  "Ideally, this should lead to their undertaking competent investigations, prosecutions and adjudication within the country but it often has not.  Real progress can only happen when national authorities dedicate proper attention to our referrals of investigative information."

Taking a consistent aim at delinquent entities, the World Bank has introduced negotiated resolutions as part of the World Bank Group's operating model as part of sanctions reforms, which were approved by the World Bank Board of Directors in September 2010.

"The Bank's negotiated resolution with the engineering firm Lotti, which included a 27-month debarment and a US$350,000 restitution payment to the Government of Indonesia, set the tone for a higher impact mode of delivery that should raise public confidence in international criminal justice," said World Bank Integrity Vice President Leonard McCarthy.

On the global anticorruption front, the Bank has launched the International Corruption Hunters Alliance which coincided with the Bank's signing of 18 bilateral cooperation agreements with national anticorruption entities and development agencies.

"Cooperation with our partners translates to supporting our independent processes through sharing information and coordinating parallel investigations," said McCarthy.  "This is a concrete step in fighting corruption and ensuring that the World Bank's resources are focused on fighting crime against poverty reduction and economic growth."

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