WASHINGTON, October 10, 2019— The World Bank Group today affirmed its commitment to fighting corruption and safeguarding donor resources, showing in its Fiscal 2019 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 48 firms and individuals during fiscal year 2019.
This report, which is prepared jointly by the Integrity Vice Presidency (INT), the Office of Suspension and Debarment (OSD) and the Sanctions Board, is an overview of the Bank Group Sanctions System and its activities over the past year.
In addition to the 48 debarments, one firm was sanctioned with conditional non-debarment, which means it remains eligible to participate in World Bank-financed projects but will be debarred if it does not meet certain agreed-upon conditions, and three firms and one individual received letters of reprimand. Each of the sanctions related to a finding that the firm or individual engaged in at least 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 33 cross-debarments from other multilateral development banks. A full list of the firms and individuals currently debarred by the Bank Group can be found here: www.worldbank.org/debarr.
Over the course of the year, INT initiated 49 new investigations into allegations of misconduct in Bank Group-funded projects. INT also submitted 37 sanctions cases to OSD as the first tier of the institution’s two-tiered administrative sanctions system. OSD temporarily suspended 34 firms and individuals and issued sanctions against 19 that did not appeal their cases.
The Sanctions Board, the second tier of the system, issued sanctions against 14 firms and individuals that had appealed their cases. These sanctions were set out in fully-reasoned, published decisions that offer guidance to the international community involved in anti-corruption and sanctions.
The Bank Group sanctioned an additional 20 parties in connection with 16 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 152 projects, steps that made progress in safeguarding the equivalent of $28.9 billion in project commitments. The team also provided advisory services in 47 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 93 parties. The ICO determined that 23 firms and individuals had met the conditions required to be released from sanction and are now eligible to participate in Bank Group-funded projects.