As the World Bank Group pursues its mission to eliminate poverty, the Bank’s Integrity Vice Presidency (INT) concluded another strong year in its preventive and investigative efforts, with 83 debarments of wrongdoing firms, new agreements with national law enforcement authorities to expand the impact of INT’s investigations, numerous referrals to law enforcement agencies, and robust preventive efforts to help ensure Bank-financed projects deliver results.
“For the World Bank Group, fighting fraud and corruption is a vital responsibility," said World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. "My predecessor, Robert Zoellick, put it well, ‘Corruption steals from the poor.’ Fighting corruption is fundamental to the work we do each day to eliminate poverty and expand prosperity, to ensure that our efforts are effective and build sustainable change through good governance and sound institutions.”
Integrity results during FY12 include:
- 83 entities debarred, bringing the total number of debarred entities, non-governmental organizations and individuals to 541
- 122 jointly recognized debarments among multilateral development banks (MDBs) that signed the Cross Debarment agreement
- Building precautions against fraud and corruption in 84 high-risk projects with a combined lending volume of USD 21.2 billion.
- Eight new memoranda of understanding with national authorities and development organizations from around the world including the Nordic Development Fund, the Ministry of Security and Justice of the Netherlands, the Liberian Anti-Corruption Commission and the Ombudsman of the Philippines.
Additional integrity results include targeting firms, large and small, in different sectors to bolster corporate compliance, restitution and help make development clean. Companies including Alstom, Oxford University Press among others acknowledged misconduct in a number of World Bank-financed projects. As part of Negotiated Resolution Agreements with these companies, a number of their subsidiaries have been debarred and they commit to cooperating with INT while improving their internal compliance programs. In addition, Alstom is paying USD 9.5 million and Oxford University Press USD 500,000 to remedy some of the harm done by the misconduct.
“Our strategic focus during the last fiscal year was to strike a balance between our preventive and investigative mandate,“said Leonard McCarthy, World Bank Integrity Vice President. “Going forward, we intend to maintain a sharp focus on the development impact of our investigative and preventive work to drive the anti-corruption agenda and ensure the integrity of Bank-financed projects,” he added.
Over the past 12 months, INT expanded its partnerships with national authorities to broaden the impact of World Bank investigations and deepen client country capacity to fight corruption. INT cooperated with American, British, Canadian, Dutch and Nigerian authorities, among others resulting in swift interventions by their law enforcement authorities in connection with World Bank investigations. In addition, more than 200 officials participated.
As part of its effortto drive the global anti-corruption momentum, INT convened the Second Meeting of the World Bank’s International Corruption Hunters Alliance in June 2012. This year’s meeting focused on technology, investigative training and exchanging experiences across the six regions to promote timely and effective action against transnational crime. ICHA’s main objectives are to help empower national authorities to step up action against corrupt officials, pursue multijurisdictional legal action, track and return illegal proceeds and provide effective tools and information to control and manage corruption risks.
In addition, INT’s Preventive Services Unit delivered advice to Bank staff and external stakeholders with ideas about how to strengthen the design of projects and address potential fraud and corruption issues in ongoing projects.