who will be next World Bank President What will they do


Shengman speaks and it's not good for Paul Wolfowitz and Shaha Riza. You'll recall that a centerpiece in their statements about why they colluded to break the rules about managing their, er, conflict of interest, was "everyone was doing it." Specifically Shaha mentioned the wife of Shengman Zhang, former MD, whose case Wolfowitz had used to bargain his own special deal. Well, Shengman's statement was posted on the Bank's internal discussion space this morning. Again, the facts are different from what Ms. Riza would have us, and the Board, believe. Shengman Zhang's statement to the Committee

Dear Mr. Wijffels:

I am writing because I understand that Mr.Wolfowitz has attempted to use my wife's employment with the Bank as a way to justify his initial insistence in maintaining ongoing professional contact with Ms. Riza and thus be exempt from Bank rules.

Please note that the rule applicable to spouses and domestic partners (Staff Rule 4.01 - 5.02) is completely different than the rule applicable to sexual relationships between a supervisor and a staff member (Staff Rule 3.01 - 4.02). The rule for spouses expressly permits them to work in the Bank under certain conditions. ( Indeed, there were over 200 staff whose spouses worked in the Bank at that time. ) The Bank's rule on sexual relationships considers them a de facto conflict of interest.

In other words, the rule for spouses is a conditional PERMISSION and the rule for sexual relationships is an express PROHIBITION.

My wife was working in the Bank before I joined the Bank as a staff member in 1995. Subsequently, as i was asked to take on more responsibilities as a Managing Director, my wife's unit came under my area of responsibility, where she held a position five levels down from mine. More importantly, in that position, I had no direct or indirect professional contact with my wife nor did I ever participate in any of the personnel decisions regarding her. The rule expressly permits spouses to work in "the same vice presidency or department, if neither supervises the other, directly or indirectly, and their duties are not likely to bring them into routine professional contact".

Although my wife and I were in full compliance with the spousal rule, in June 2005 it was brought to my attention that our case was being used by Mr. Wolfowitz as the basis to insist in him maintaining ongoing professional relations with Ms. Riza in violation of the rule applicable to sexual relationships. To avoid the manipulation of my situation and any attempt at misconstruing it as a non compliance with the rules, I immediately agreed in writing to have my wife transferred in a specific period of time, I believe it was 90 days, so as to allow her to wrap up the projects she was working on. At the end of the day, the transfer did not materialize because I had announced to leave the Bank.

I trust this clarifies the misleading attempt to equate my case to that of Mr. Wolfowitz. My wife and I worked at the Bank under a rule which expressly permitted it. Mr. Wolfowitz attempted to have Ms. Riza work for him in defiance of an express prohibition. These were two completely different situations.

Best regards,

Shengman Zhang

At least someone knew what the rules were in mid-2005 (when Robin was off hiring lawfirms to represent the Bank against Shaha and her lawyer), and they were not the ones Paul Wolfowitz and Shaha thought should apply to them.

Deep Insider ~ May 02, 2007

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