World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim has declared corruption as “public enemy number one” in developing countries, while speaking at an event hosted recently by the World Bank’s anti-corruption investigative arm, Integrity Vice Presidency, in Washington, USA, and said, “We will never tolerate corruption.”
The Integrity Vice Presidency is an independent unit within the World Bank Group which is assigned the function of investigating and pursuing sanctions related to allegations of fraud and corruption in Bank Group-financed activities. The investigations INT substantiated in FY 2013 involved 112 contracts worth approximately $998 million, up from 84 contracts and $178 million in 2012. Twenty-four of the 112 contracts amounted to almost 80 per cent of the total contract value. Approximately $422 million spread across 34 contracts were not awarded to companies bidding on World Bank-financed projects because the wrongdoing was detected prior to contract award. Around 89 per cent, or $374 million of the $422 million, was subsequently awarded to other vendors.
An important step toward fighting corruption and helping more people lead better lives is to build institutions with greater integrity, Kim noted. He listed three key elements in tackling corruption: First, improve the way we share and apply knowledge about building institutions with greater integrity; second, empower citizens with information and tools to make their governments more effective and accountable; and third, build a global movement to prevail over corruption.
World Bank Group will be creating a single pool of technical experts in law, public sector, financial and state management, and public procurement, which with “global practice on good governance” will become a major player in the anti-corruption effort for years to come.