World Bank Group Issues First Joint Sanctions System Annual Report
WASHINGTON, October 3, 2018— The World Bank Group today affirmed its commitment to fighting corruption and safeguarding donor resources, showing in its first joint Sanctions System Annual Report the institution’s significant efforts to investigate and adjudicate allegations of fraud and corruption in Bank Group projects. The Bank Group debarred 78 firms and individuals during fiscal year 2018, according to the World Bank Group Sanctions System Annual Report FY18.
This inaugural report is the result of efforts by the Integrity Vice Presidency (INT), the Office of Suspension and Debarment (OSD) and the Sanctions Board to prepare a joint overview of the Bank Group Sanctions System and its activities over the past year.
In addition to the 78 debarments, five firms were sanctioned with conditional non-debarment, which means they remain eligible to participate in World Bank-financed projects but will be debarred if they do not meet certain agreed-upon conditions. Each of the sanctions related to a finding that the firm or individual engaged in one of the institution’s five sanctionable practices – fraud, corruption, collusion, coercion or obstruction – while participating in a Bank Group-funded project. The institution also recognized 73 cross-debarments from other multilateral development banks. A full list of the firms and individuals debarred by the Bank Group can be found here: www.worldbank.org/debarr.
Over the course of the year, INT initiated 68 new investigations into allegations of misconduct in Bank Group-funded projects. INT also submitted 28 sanctions cases to OSD as the first tier of the institution’s two-tiered administrative sanctions system. OSD temporarily suspended 40 firms and individuals and issued sanctions against 24 that did not appeal their cases.
The Sanctions Board, the second tier of the system, issued sanctions against 20 firms and individuals that had appealed their cases. These sanctions were set out in fully-reasoned, transparent decisions that offer guidance to the international community involved in anti-corruption and sanctions.
An additional 39 parties were sanctioned in connection with 22 settlement agreements. Each of these settlement agreements were cleared by the Bank Group General Counsel and reviewed by OSD.
In addition to evaluating allegations of fraud and corruption, INT works to prevent corruption in ongoing Bank Group projects. INT staff identified and worked to mitigate integrity risks in 390 projects, steps that made progress in safeguarding the equivalent of $2.2 billion in project commitments. The team also trained approximately 1,650 people over the course of the year and provided advisory services in 28 countries.
Finally, INT’s Integrity Compliance Office (ICO), which works with sanctioned firms and individuals to institute reforms in alignment with the Bank Group’s Integrity Compliance Guidelines to reduce the possibilities for future misconduct, provided guidance to 80 parties. The ICO determined that 15 firms and individuals had met the conditions required to be released from sanction and are now eligible to participate in Bank Group-funded projects.