who will be next World Bank President What will they do


What have they been smoking? Clearly Paul Wolfowitz's spokesman Bob Bennett has been busy today, trying to divert attention from his client's actions and the ensuing cover-up. As if Shaha's extraordinary promotion/raise/secondment and ghost job weren't bad enough, the Big Bad Bennett is huffing and puffing about other World Bank salaries and perks. That, of course, is not the issue.

What is the issue--are you listening Paul and Bob--is the shoddy corporate governance Wolfowitz and his cronies have brought to the World Bank group since he arrived two years ago.

The hypocrisy becomes even more obvious when one contrasts Paul Wolfowitz's actions with the most recent, and, um, delayed report from the World Bank Department of Institutional Integrity. INT, you'll recall, has been in the safe hands of Wolfowitz crony Suzanne Rich Folsom since late 2005. Even as acting, Suzanne's prior claim to fame was organizing prayer breakfasts for George and Barbara Bush (parents of the gentleman who took a man "who couldn't organize his own desk" and made him World Bank President two years ago.)
The smoke Bob Bennett's been blowing today should be contrasted with INT's latest report, where the words speak for themselves about how Wolfowitz and Suzanne say one thing, and do something quite different.

Contrast this with Selected Quotes from the World Bank Institutional Integrity Department's Annual Report for FY05 FY06

Paul Wolfowitz, President, World Bank Group

This report details the steps the World Bank is taking to …promote the highest standard of conduct amongst our staff….

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 which we can be proud of. …

We must ensure that Bank staff continue to maintain high standards of conduct. The overwhelming majority of people working in the Bank Group are exceptionally dedicated professionals, but 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 [emphasis added]

From the INT report

[Our goal is to] Encourage the highest standards of personal honesty, integrity and ethical behavior within the World Bank….

Public awareness of entrenched corruption erodes trust in government institutions, leading to acceptance of substandard public services …and an environment that discourages the reporting of allegations of fraud and corruption.

To credibly promote good governance and anticorruption worldwide, one needs to start with best practices at home. Recognizing this, the World Bank has also looked inward to stamp out conflicts of interest and any possible corrupt practices among its own staff [emphasis added].

Paul Wolfowitz, Remarks to the Business for Social Responsibility Conference, Washington DC, November 4, 2005

“But punishing corruptors isn’t the only solution. In fact, it probably isn’t the best solution. The best solution is in fact improved transparency, improved accountability, so that corruptors know ahead of time that they can’t hide. Prevention is much better than the cure. Businesses and civil society organizations can play an important monitoring and advocacy role here, so can the press. And anyone who says that the issue of press freedom is purely a political issue that has nothing to do with development, I don’t think understands just how important accountability is to preventing corruption, and just how serious a threat corruption is to the development process [emphasis added].” (p.25)

Couldn't agree more on just how important transparency, disclosure and accountability are. And in the next 48 hours, the Board will have the opportunity to confirm that, big time.

And a little Update here: IT staff and others who should know confirm that someone working for Suzanne on Thursday afternoon did, indeed, ask at least four IT staff for non-disclosure agreements. They were reportedly not related to email, but to another very secure database associated with another investigation seemingly unrelated to The Current Situation. What is interesting is that INT did not realize how any request to read or access anything would be interpreted by honest Bank staff. So while this incident does not appear related to emails and leaks, you have to wonder why all those PR and former EXT people Suzanne has over there didn't see how inopportune and inappropriate anything seen as furtive and secretive would have appeared.

Deep Insider ~ April 30, 2007

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