This site is the World Bank’s primary source of information on the legal aspects of the Bank’s work on the Governance and Anticorruption (GAC) agenda.
Among other things, it brings together the principal guidance that the Legal Vice Presidency provides on GAC-related legal issues, the legal framework for GAC-related aspects of Bank projects and programs, as well as the policies, procedures and guidance for the Bank’s sanctions regime, with links to key operational documents and other resources.
The Bank’s focus on the GAC agenda stems from its mandate to reduce poverty. GAC undertakings ensure that the Bank’s financing will be used for the purposes intended and to achieve the expected development outcomes.
In October 2007, the Bank adopted a strategy entitled "Strengthening Bank Group Engagement on Governance and Anticorruption", commonly called the "GAC Strategy". It calls for the strengthening of the World Bank Group’s engagement in governance and anticorruption at three levels: (i) at the project level, (ii) at the country level, and (iii) at the global level. The GAC Strategy, which was updated in March 2012 , puts renewed emphasis on the Bank’s “multistakeholder engagement”.
The Legal Vice Presidency plays a crucial role at all three levels, where important legal aspects are at stake.
Lastly, the Legal Vice Presidency has also played an active role in the ongoing GAC-related harmonization efforts, in particular in providing legal support for the MDB Cross-Debarment Agreement where the World Bank Group (WBG), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Asian Development Bank (AsDB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and the Inter-American Development Bank (IBD) agreed to recognize their respective debarment decisions provided that certain conditions are met.
- At the project level, the GAC strategy calls for enhanced preventive measures, such as "anti-corruption plans" for high-risk projects, increased use of country systems, and enhanced role and effectiveness of INT investigations and sanctions. At this level, the Legal Vice Presidency advises on the legal aspects of GAC in projects, in particular on the fraud and corruption aspects of the Bank’s legal agreements (GAC Operational Aspects).
There are a number of anticorruption tools with direct application to the Bank’s operations including the General Conditions, the Anticorruption Guidelines, and the Procurement and Consultant Guidelines. For the Bank’s new financing instrument, called Program for Results (PforR), a different set of Anticorruption Guidelines which are tailored to the specificities of this product line has been developed. In particular, the PforR Anticorruption Guidelines take account of the fact that the Bank will not be funding specific transactions.
In addition, the Legal Vice Presidency advises on the Bank’s Sanctions Regime designed to protect the funds entrusted to the Bank, while providing the accused party, known as the ‘Respondent’, with an appropriate level of due process before it is decided whether the Respondent will be sanctioned and, if so, which sanction is appropriate. The Legal Vice Presidency, as a neutral arbiter, gives advice on legal issues presented by the Integrity Vice Presidency (INT), the Office of Suspension and Debarment (OSD) or the Sanction Board (SB). OSD, and the SB if the case is appealed, decide a case independently. Also, the Legal Vice Presidency recently completed the first phase of a Sanctions Review that was conducted at the request of the Bank’s Audit Committee.
- At the country level, the GAC Strategy calls for the integration of GAC concerns into country assistance strategies (CASs), scaling up demand-side GAC activities (also known as "multistakeholder engagement"), and supporting legal and judicial reform. The Legal Vice Presidency, in collaboration with the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management (PREM) network, the World Bank Institute and other stakeholders, has issued advice on the legal parameters for multistakeholder engagement.
- At the global level, the GAC Strategy calls for promoting the adoption and implementation of the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), promoting the Stolen Assets Recovery (StAR) initiative and for greater harmonization with other international organizations and countries. At this level, the Legal Vice Presidency advises the StAR initiative on the legal parameters for country engagement and other aspects of its work, and frequently acts as peer reviewer of its products. The initiative is a partnership between the World Bank Group and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) that supports international efforts to end safe havens for corrupt funds.
Please feel free to contact Frank A. Fariello if you have any ideas for improving this site.