World Bank disclosure: disappointing progress
News||10 April 2005|update 45|
In early March the World Bank board approved an updated disclosure policy, bringing to a disappointing end a secretive two-year long review. Key changes include:
Wolfensohn punishes whistleblowers
The Government Accountability Project (GAP) has said that several Bank employees who reported misconduct have been personally retaliated against by Bank president James Wolfensohn. The salvo was a turnaround from the US-based public-interest law firm's report eight months ago which had claimed that the Bank's whistleblower protections were the best of any international development bank. Bank officials have called the accusations "absolutely false". The board is to hear a management progress report on whistleblower procedures 13 April.
GAP was heavily critical of the Bank in a response to the US Treasury's report to congress on corruption in the multilateral development banks. The group censured the Treasury for not commenting on the Bank's ineffective whistleblower policy and for endorsing the Bank's Department of Institutional Integrity as a model when "it has been misused to inflict reprisal on whistleblowers".
US pushes anti-corruption reforms
US replenishment of IDA (see page 4) will be contingent on reforms to deal with corruption, according to senate foreign relations committee chairman Richard Lugar. One recommendation under consideration would require mandatory financial disclosure for all World Bank officials and employees whose duties involve them in the contracting or procurement process.
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Published: 10 April 2005 , last edited: 27 May 2010
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