who will be next World Bank President What will they do


More conflicts of interest: Riza 'worked in Iraq without Bank permission'. One of our energetic correspondents in Washington is tearing their hair out wondering why nobody is reporting on a very interesting angle opened by GAP International. It's a saga about Riza working for a defense and intelligence contractor in Iraq without World Bank permission (and while in its employ).

The GAP press release from 6 April sets out the story:
"According to an article published in Vanity Fair in March, Riza was a “subject matter expert” for the Middle East during the Iraq War run-up at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), a firm focused on defense capabilities and intelligence gathering. At that time, Paul Wolfowitz was the Deputy Secretary of Defense.

Inside sources at the Bank have verified to GAP that Riza never applied for nor received permission to provide these consultant services to SAIC. This is a gross violation of World Bank staff rules, which require Bank employees to clear extracurricular professional activities with the Outside Interests Committee in order to prevent conflicts of interest. Such undisclosed parallel employment, GAP sources say, would never have been tolerated by the Bank and are grounds for dismissal".

“Considering that Riza was reportedly romantically involved with Wolfowitz at the time, that the Iraq War was imminent, that SAIC was a defense contractor, and that the World Bank had active projects in Iraq, multiple conflicts of interest probably existed,” said GAP International Program Director Bea Edwards.

I couldn't agree more.

Alex Wilks ~ April 14, 2007

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