Washington, DC April 14, 2007 - In response to questions about the personnel case involving Shaha Riza, the Office of the World Bank President, Paul Wolfowitz, has released the following direct quotes contained in documents released April 12 (documents also are attached):
June 2, 2005 – Correspondence during contract negotiations, letter from Roberto Danino, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the World Bank to Messrs. Robert Barnett and Michael O’Connor, Williams & Connolly, counsel for Mr. Wolfowitz, May 27, 2005
· “First, I would like to acknowledge that Mr. Wolfowitz has disclosed to the Board, through you, that he has a pre-existing relationship with a Bank staff member, and that he proposes to resolve the conflict of interest in relation to Staff Rule 3.01, Paragraph 4.02 by recusing himself from all personnel matters and professional contact related to the staff member.”
July 22, 2005 – Ethics Committee Discussion Memo, from General Counsel Roberto Danino
· “There would be two avenues here for promotion – an ‘in situ’ promotion to Grade GH for the staff member; and promotion through competitive selection to another position.”
· “The Bank can also decide, as part of settlement of claims, to offer an ad hoc salary increase.”
July 27, 2005 – Memo from Ethics Committee Chairman Ad Melkert to PW
· “Having considered different options, the EC advises:
a) That the staff member will be relocated to a position beyond (potential) supervising influence by the President and therefore will withdraw from the current selection procedure for job promotion within the MENA department;
· b)That at the same time the potential disruption of the staff member’s career prospect will be recognized by an in situ promotion on the basis of her qualifying record as confirmed by her shortlisting for the current job process and as consistent with the practice of the Bank;
· c) That the President, with the General Counsel, communicates this advice to the VPMENA and VPHR so as to implement a) and b) with immediate effect.”
August 8, 2005 – Letter from Ethics Committee Chairman Ad Melkert to PW
· “1) The EC cannot interact directly with staff member situations, hence Xavier should act upon your instruction.
· 2) The interaction with the staff member at this stage is only for information purposes, by way of courtesy, as both you and the EC have been preoccupied from the outset to have a procedure in place and an outcome reached that would duly recognize the record and career perspectives of the staff member, taking into account the scope of the EC which is limited to Board officials.
August 11, 2005 – Memo from PW to Xavier Coll, Human Resources VP
· “As you know, I recused myself from any personnel action or decision related to Shaha Riza, a proposal which would have afforded her the opportunity to continue on her professional career course at the Bank while avoiding any appearance of conflict of interest. The Ethics Committee advised me that my proposal was unacceptable. In addition, they stated that it was not appropriate for them to ‘interact with staff member situations’, therefore, I was directed to instruct you to inform her of their conclusions and develop a plan which ‘duly recognizes (her) record and career perspectives,’ and that I should complete the action by the end of this week.”
· “I understand your preference would be to offer her a financial settlement that would compensate her for both the lost opportunities related to promotion and the pain, suffering, and damage to her professional reputation that has been involved in her forced departure.
· “Based on your advice, I direct you to provide her a choice between her proposal and your alternative of financial compensation in lieu of promotion to I or J level. The H promotion should be included in either alternative.”
· “Finally, I wish to reiterate my deep unhappiness with the whole way of dealing with a situation that I still believe, and have been advised by experienced labor legal counsel, should have been resolved by my recusal.”
September 1, 2005 – Letter from Human Resources VP Xavier Coll to Shaha Riza
· “There is no precedent of this kind and no personnel policy that clearly applies to resolve it.”
October 24, 2005 – Letter from Ethics Committee Chairman Ad Melkert to PW
· “I am writing on behalf of the Ethics Committee to acknowledge the resolution of the conflict of interest in line with the guidance provided by the Committee, as conveyed through my informal draft of July 27, 2005. Your memo confirms that the staff member has agreed to be detailed outside the Bank Group, and that you withdraw your proposal for recusal. Because the outcome is consistent with the Committee’s findings and advice above, the Committee concurs with your view that this matter can be treated as closed.”
November 25, 2005 – Letter from Ethics Committee Chairman Ad Melkert
· “Dear Paul, This is (formally needed for the records) just to confirm the outcome regarding this extraordinarily difficult issue. I would like to thank you for the very open and constructive spirit of our discussions, knowing in particular the sensitivity to Shaha, who I hope will be happy in her new assignment.”
February 28, 2006 – Letter from Ethics Committee Chairman Ad Melkert to PW
· “Dear Paul, This is to inform you that the Ethics Committee has reviewed two emails from ‘John Smith’ dated January 21, 2006 and February 15, 2006, respectively, which were sent to the Bank’s Investigations Hotline and copied to the Executive Directors. The emails allege ethical lapses by the President of the World Bank.”
· “On the Basis of a careful review of the above-mentioned documents and the information provided by the President at the informal board meeting with Executive Directors on February 3, 2006, the Ethics Committee decided that the allegations regarding appointments of Bank staff do not appear to pose ethical issues appropriate for further consideration by the Committee. The Committee also decided that the allegation relating to a matter which had been previously considered by the Committee did not contain new information warranting any further review by the Committee.”
April 9, 2007 – Memo from Shaha Riza to Chairman of the Ethics Committee
· “I have now been victimized for agreeing to an arrangement that I have objected to and that I did not believe from the outset was in my best interest. My effort to accommodate the Board’s Ethics Committee and avoid creating distractions for Staff, Board and Management from their noble mission while protecting my interest, has only resulted in the most vicious public attacks on me.
· “I would like to reiterate that I did not wish to leave the Bank and I did not, and do not expect any special considerations. My commitment to the mission of the Bank is unshakeable and I still believe that my career and professional future is inextricably linked to this great institution and I hope, and would very much like, to return to the pursuit of my career from within it as soon as possible.”