who will be next World Bank President What will they do


Do as I say, not as I do. Script-writers on Yes Minister could not have made it up. A recent World Bank publication has an introduction from its president Paul Wolfowitz which reads: "We must also ensure that Bank staff continue to maintain high standards of conduct ... recent corporate scandals around the world have shown that the actions of even a very small number of individuals can tarnish the reputation of an entire organization."

Wolfowitz's introduction (PDF) kindly explains that "this report details the steps the Bank is taking to confront fraud and corruption in our projects, as well as to promote the highest standard of conduct amongst our staff".

He goes on that "Every development institution, including the World Bank, has a responsibility to safeguard every dollar, to ensure that it is spent as wisely as possible and to set a standard that we can be proud of".

The World Bank board members currently investigating allegations of impropriety relating to several Bank staff contracts will certainly want to take a look at Wolfowitz's own statements here.

They may also like to turn to the report's Executive Summary, which says the institution seeks to "encourage the highest standards of personal honesty, integrity and ethical behavior within the Bank...". Or the words of Department of Institutional Integrity head Suzanne Rich Folsom "President Wolfowitz has made his position clear. The Bank will continue down the path of zero tolerance toward fraud and corruption and commit itself to a ‘gold standard.’"

What the World Bank board absolutely needs not to do is to roll over and say "yes, president".

Alex Wilks ~ April 24, 2007

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