David Theis: 202-458-8626
Edith Wilson: 202-473-1104
LONDON, March 16, 2005 — World Bank President James D. Wolfensohn today hailed Transparency International’s 2005 report as another important and practical contribution in curbing corruption. "TI has once again shown its ability to combine research and policy analysis not just to shine a light on the deeply embedded problems of corruption in the international construction industry, but to propose progressive solutions to safeguard public monies and public trust," said Wolfensohn.
The publication today by Transparency International of its annual report on global corruption is "an important contribution toward curbing corruption," Wolfensohn noted. "The report has again shown the vital role TI plays the international debate about how to clean up public procurement projects."
"The diversion of funds from publicly financed projects represents an unacceptable tax on the poor," Wolfensohn added. "In the construction sector, it represents a deplorable opportunity lost for the delivery of essential services, and it undermines citizen trust in government. The information in this report should be widely read and discussed. We will certainly be examining how the findings and recommendations can be applied in the World Bank’s work in development lending and post-conflict reconstruction. These are issues of deep concern to us."
In the report, TI chairman Peter Eigen calls the World Bank's adoption of an integrity clause for all companies bidding on large Bank-financed projects a "major breakthrough." This integrity clause requires companies to certify that they "have taken steps to ensure that no person acting for [them] or on [their] behalf will engage in bribery." The report also notes the Bank's leadership in the use of investigations and debarments as tools in anti-corruption work.
In the report, Transparency International also proposes Minimum Standards for Public Contracting and makes recommendations for compliance systems and codes of conduct for business, governments, international lenders, shareholders and auditors, among others.
For more information on the Bank’s anti-corruption programs, please visit: www.worldbank.org/corruption