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Frequently Asked Questions

About INT
  
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When was INT established?

In 2001, the World Bank Group established the Department of Institutional Integrity (INT), the investigative arm of the Bank Group, which was elevated to a Vice Presidency in 2008.

  
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What is INT's mandate?

INT’s mandate is to investigate allegations of fraud and corruption related to Bank Group-supported activities (external investigations), as well as allegations of significant fraud or corruption involving staff (internal investigations).

 

In addition, INT assists in preventive efforts to protect Bank Group funds, as well as those entrusted to the Bank Group, from misuse and to deter fraud and corruption in Bank Group operations.

 

INT's work complements, but is different from, that of the Inspection PanelOffice of the Compliance Advisor and Ombudsman (IFC and MIGA), and the Office of Ethics and Business Conduct.

 
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How is INT structured?

INT staff and expertise falls in three areas: detection, investigation and sanction, and prevention.  Units within INT are dedicated to case intake, investigation, forensic accounting, litigation and prevention.  INT also operates a Voluntary Disclosure Program targeting the private sector.   

  
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What types of complaints does INT receive?

In FY09, the majority of allegations received (47 percent) related to bid manipulation and collusion. Other types of complaints received related to issues such as forgery, procurement irregularities, and kickbacks.

  
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What are the sources of complaints to INT?

Bank Group staff remain the largest source of allegations that are related to sanctionable practices in Bank Group operations, accounting for 38 percent of the total allegations received. This encouraging trend can be credited to increased outreach and efforts to raise awareness. Non-Bank staff, including contractors, government officials and employees of NGOs, accounted for 33 percent of the allegations received, while 28 percent of the allegations were reported to INT anonymously.

 
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What happens when INT receives a complaint?

INT performs an initial assessment of every complaint that it receives. This assessment determines whether the complaint relates to a sanctionable practice in Bank Group-supported activities, whether the complaint has credibility, and whether the matter is of sufficient gravity to warrant an investigation. Complaints outside of INT’s jurisdiction are redirected to other areas of the Bank Group as appropriate. Complaints that fall under INT’s jurisdiction are investigated if they are determined to be of a higher priority. When a complaint does not reach this threshold, INT works with Operational staff to address the issues raised.

  
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What are the Volcker recommendations?

An Independent Review panel headed by former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker in September 2007 presented a detailed report on how to strengthen the effectiveness of the World Bank’s Department of Institutional Integrity, now the Integrity Vice Presidency (INT). Having implemented all recommendations as of July 1, 2009, INT continues to fine-tune its strategy so that it operates in a transparent, forward-looking, and holistic manner consistent with the Panel’s original assessment.

 

For a list of the 18 recommendations and how they were implemented by INT and the Bank, click here

  
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How does the World Bank Group define a sanctionable practice?

Firms or individuals that have engaged in fraud, corruption, collusion, coercion or obstruction in connection with World Bank Group-financed operations are subject to administrative sanctions. 

There are five possible administrative sanctions: Public Letter of Reprimand, Debarment, Conditional Non-Debarment, Debarment with Conditional Release, or Resitution.

 

For more information about the sanctions process, please visit www.worldbank.org/sanctions.

 

A list of debarred firms is available at www.worldbank.org/debarr.

  
Reporting Fraud and Corruption
  
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How can I contact INT?

INT's investigations are primarily based upon the allegations it receives, so it is extremely important that those people who are involved in Bank Group-supported activities consult with INT if they suspect fraud or corruption.

 

You may contact INT directly at World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC:

 

Telephone:        +1 202-458-7677

Fax:                  +1 202-522-7140

E-mail:               investigations_hotline@worldbank.org

 

Should you choose to submit an allegation, INT requests that you provide as detailed information as you have available.  The more specific the information you provide, the better INT will be able to follow up on your allegation.  Anonymous allegations are accepted.


You may also use an independent, third-party hotline that will forward your allegation to INT:

Inside the United States, call 1.800.831.0463
Outside the United States, call 1.704.556.7046 and ask to have the charges reversed.

 

Allegations may also be mailed to the hotline service:

PMB 3767
 

13950 Ballantyne Corporate Place

Charlotte, NC 28277

USA

 

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Who can contact INT upon suspicion of fraud and corruption related to World Bank Group-financed operations?

In short, anyone can contact INT.  Bank Group staff remain the largest source of allegations that

are related to sanctionable practices in Bank Group operations, accounting for 38 percent of the total allegations received. This encouraging trend can be credited to increased outreach and efforts to raise awareness. Non-Bank staff, including contractors, government officials and employees of NGOs, accounted for 33 percent of the allegations received, while 28 percent of the allegations were reported to INT anonymously.

 

Companies may also choose to self-report via the Voluntary Disclosure Program.  Working with INT, companies can more quickly resolve internal integrity issues and potentially achieve a more favorable outcome than undergoing an investigation.

  
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Do I need to identify myself when making a complaint or allegation?

No, only if you wish. When you telephone the hotline, you may remain anonymous. The call will not be recorded, and no attempt will be made to determine the number from which you are calling.  If you choose to give your name, but want your name to be kept confidential, the Bank will not reveal any information that may disclose your identity to anyone outside the investigative team and its managers and attorneys unless the Bank determines you have made an intentional misrepresentation or omission, or the Bank is required to do so by law.

 

We understand the value of complaints provided by individuals who desire to maintain their anonymity. We also understand the value of being able to contact complainants to ask for additional information or clarification of their complaint.  Often, additional information or clarification is necessary for successful conclusion of an investigation.  We encourage you to identify yourself; however, it is not required.  If you choose to identify yourself, but request confidentiality, we will not divulge your identity to outside agencies without your expressed consent unless the Bank determines you have committed a crime.  If you wish to remain anonymous, if possible, provide a means by which we may contact you, for example, a temporary email account using a pseudonym you have created for this purpose.

 

In order to protect the reputations and privacy rights of all parties, and to promote due process and the fairness of investigations, it is important that the information you provide be truthful, accurate, and given in good faith.

  
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Can I contact INT for Advance Fee Fraud concerns?

INT is responsible for investigating allegations of fraud and corruption involving Bank Group-financed operations or Bank Group staff.  It is not INT's responsibility to investigate the common scams known as "advance fee fraud" or "419" scheme.  In its most basic form, advance fee fraud involves unexpected solicitations in email, fax, or letter from an entity or individual requests victim to pay money up front in return for goods and/or services which the fraudster has no intention of supplying. The money paid in advance will be lost and the fraudster will move on to the next victim. The fraud schemes are often very imaginative and elaborate, and may entail money in unclaimed bank accounts or estate inheritances, unpaid contract payments, assets such as gold or diamonds, lottery/sweepstakes wins, etc.  Often the perpetrators claim an affiliation with the World Bank Group or other international financial institutions, as well as utilize seemingly official letterhead, in an attempt to lend credibility to their scheme.  Some will even blatantly misuse the names of actual World Bank staff.  Potential victims are advised to simply delete these emails and not respond in any way.

  

Last updated: 2009-11-30




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