The World Bank Group’s Annual Integrity Update Acknowledges Global Support

October 7, 2016

This year’s Annual Report highlights global and regional cooperation to raise the international accountability standard and safeguard development resources

WASHINGTON, October 7, 2016- This year’s Annual Integrity Update emphasizes the World Bank Group’s (WBG) continued commitment to the global fight against corruption.  With a focus on safeguarding development funds, the report highlights results of investigative, forensic review, prevention and compliance-monitoring efforts by the World Bank’s Integrity Vice Presidency (INT).  

During FY16, INT substantiated investigations that involved 43 projects and 124 contracts worth about $633 million, resulting in 58 sanctioned entities including Information Computer Systems CJSC (Incom) which received a 22.5-year debarment for its involvement in rigging WBG-funded contracts in Ukraine. In addition, the World Bank Group entered into a record 18 Negotiated Resolution Agreements (NRAs) with companies that have acknowledged misconduct and committed to implementing WBG compliance standards.  In April 2016, a landmark decision by the Canadian Supreme Court endorsed the anticorruption efforts of the World Bank Group and other international organizations and ensured the protection of its privileges and immunities.

“We will continue our efforts to end extreme poverty, boost shared prosperity and uncover and expose corruption wherever it exists,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim.  “This includes enhanced support for implementing anti-money laundering requirements and recovering stolen assets, as well as extended work in the areas of tax reform, illicit financial flows, procurement reform and preventing corrupt companies from winning state contracts.”

Due diligence by WBG staff and clients ensured that US$ 87.4 million spread across 35 contracts were not awarded to companies that had attempted to engage in misconduct.  During FY16, INT’s Preventive Services Unit alerted 64 project teams to integrity risks impacting their projects while also devising appropriate preventive measures in 24-high risk operations.   More than 1,000 World Bank Group staff, public officials and contractors received training in red flag identification and integrity risk management. 

In addition, the Integrity Compliance Office (ICO) released 20 companies from the debarment list following their satisfactory implementation of compliance programs and fulfilling other conditions of their sanctions.  By the end of FY16, 41 companies debarred by the World Bank Group were actively engaged with the ICO reflecting a growing emphasis on compliance among World Bank business partners and the private sector in general.

“When it comes to serious misconduct such as corruption or fraud in World Bank Group projects, our goal is to quickly deal with the issues in a transparent and deliberate manner,” said World Bank Group Integrity Vice Presidency Leonard McCarthy. “Not only does this assure our donors that we are trustworthy stewards of their funds, but it demonstrates to our clients and beneficiaries that we care about stopping corruption.  They need to know they are not alone in their fight,”

The Update also sheds light on the World Bank Group’s support to regional and global initiatives aimed at collective action by national authorities against anti-money laundering, tax evasion and illicit financial flows as announced at the UK Anticorruption Summit in June 2016 and the International Meeting for Anticorruption Practitioners co-hosted by the Government of France, the World Bank Group and OECD.

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Mehreen Sheikh
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