who will be next World Bank President What will they do


Board take note: doubts about credibility of key document in Rizagate scandal. Questions have been raised today about an important document that is supposed to show how Wolfowitz and his key advisers approached the Riza pay issue. Someone with a very good knowledge of the Bank's internal systems has written to us casting doubt on the authenticity of an e-mail that forms part of the evidence released by the Bank's board on 12 April (PDF, 120 pages).

The document in question is document 12 the "draft e-mail" from Robin Cleveland) of the documentation published by the World Bank Board on 12 April. (You can find this on page 77 of the PDF).

Our correspondent's doubts arise from three things they have spotted about the e-mail.

1. Why is the e-mail only a draft? Why is the actual sent e-mail not attached? Who was it to? Surely this would have been in the documentation received either by HR, the Ethics Committee or the General Counsel and part of their records?

2. The contact phone number is a little odd. In Lotus Notes - the software used by the Bank - an individual's phone number is not shown in full, rather only the last five digits are shown, ie in the case of Robin Cleveland it would be 37129 and not 473-2179.

3. the "q" would not appear before the phone number. It is not clear how that got there - it certainly does not appear on anyone's e-mail in the Bank.

For the following reasons, my deduction from this is that the e-mail was typed ex-post:
-- It is only a draft because it was never sent. If it was actually sent, then there would be evidence of who it was to and the copy list and the date and time it was sent.
-- The person who typed it up did not think about how the system would show such e-mails - the phone number would certainly not appear like that in an internal e-mail.
-- they accidentally typed a "q" instead of a tab key (they are, after all, next to each other on a keyboard) when they were typing the e-mail in a word document.

I am not in a position to judge all of the above, but from where I sit, these questions look well worth the board's earnest consideration. If anyone out there has views on the above, please drop us a line (contact@worldbankpresident.org).

Alex Wilks ~ April 25, 2007

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