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Integrity Milestones at the World Bank



James Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank, launches the Bank's fight against the "cancer of corruption" in his Annual Meetings address.

1997The World Bank adopts a four part strategy to its fight against corruption. The first of these four parts is to prevent fraud and corruption related to Bank-financed projects.
1998The World Bank creates the Oversight Committee for Fraud and Corruption to supervise the investigation of fraud and corruption within the Bank in Bank-funded projects.
1999The World Bank creates the Anti-Corruption and Fraud Investigations Unit (ACFIU), a Bank unit dedicated solely to the investigation of allegations of fraud and corruption in Bank projects.
The first debarment by the World Bank takes place in March.

The Anti-Corruption and Fraud Investigations Unit (ACFIU) and the Business Ethics Office (including the unit undertaking investigations into allegations of staff misconduct) merge into the Department of Institutional Integrity (INT).


In December 2001, the staff counseling and advisory services are formed into a newly created Business Ethics Office reporting to the Office of the President.

2002-2003Dick Thornburgh, the former United Nations Undersecretary and former U.S. Attorney General, leads a team conducting a review of the proposed strategy and adequacy of the World Bank's mechanisms and resources for implementing its antifraud and corruption strategy. 
2004The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approves a three-year strategic plan for the work of the Integrity Department and sanctions reforms, as well as a communications policy on investigations and sanctions.
As part of its sanctions reform process, the Bank's Board of Executive Directors approves the adoption of a Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDP) in July.

Taking another step in its anticorruption efforts, the World Bank releases its first annual Integrity Report on investigations into allegations of fraud and corruption, both internally and in Bank-financed projects.

2006In February, the creation of a Joint International Financial Institution (IFI) Anti-Corruption Task Force is agreed upon to "work towards a consistent and harmonized approach to combat corruption."
The final programmatic elements of the Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDP) are approved by the Executive Board on 1 August, and the program is publicly launched.
In September a Uniform Framework for Preventing and Combating Fraud and Corruption in their activities and operations is announced in a joint statement by the African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank Group, Inter-American Development Bank Group, International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank Group.

Paul Volcker heads an independent panel of experts to review the operations of INT.  In September the panel puts forth recommendations for improving the department's effectiveness in the context of the World Bank's Governance and Anticorruption strategy.

2008INT releases a Detailed Implementation Review (DIR) of the public heath sector in January.  With the support of the Government of India, the World Bank announces immediate steps to investigate indicators of wrongdoing and implement further safeguards in health projects. 

For the first time, a redacted report concerning an INT investigation is publicly disclosed as a result of the recommendations of the Volcker Panel.  The investigation, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, found evidence of fraud and corruption in the bidding and execution of contracts financed under the Emergency Demobilization and Reintegration Project.





Last updated: 2008-05-02

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