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World Bank releases suspension and debarment report

The World Bank’s Office of Suspension and Debarment released its report Thursday on suspension and debarment from 2007 through 2013 arising from Bank-financed projects.

The report highlights the World Bank’s efforts to be fully accountable to the public as it pursues its twin aims of ending extreme poverty and increasing shared prosperity. 

“With the release of this report covering the first six years of operations of our office, and with the inclusion of case processing and other performance statistics, the World Bank has added a new dimension to transparency,” said Pascale Hélène Dubois, pictured, the Bank’s Chief Suspension and Debarment Office.

“Confidentiality must be preserved with regard to individual cases, of course. Overall trends, however, are not confidential and can serve as performance indicators. That’s the point of the report, in some sense. Measuring everything you do from day one is essential to understanding where time and resources are being spent, revealing patterns, and suggesting ways to improve efficiency, effectiveness and fairness. And it can be done at very low cost,” she said.

Within the World Bank, the Office of Suspension and Debarment (OSD) represents the first level of adjudication. Often referred to as the World Bank’s “sanctions regime,” it’s designed to exclude proven wrongdoers from World Bank-financed operations, while ensuring that accused parties are treated fairly and given a chance to mount a defense. 

Since its inception, the OSD has imposed temporary suspensions on 239 firms and individuals. The number of temporary suspensions climbed from 51 in 2010 to 55 in 2011, and to 58 in 2012.

In 2013, the number of temporary suspensions declined to 41.

The World Bank fully debarred or otherwise sanctioned 224 firms and individuals between 2008 and 2013 pursuant either to settlement agreements or sanctions proceedings. In 2013, 11 of 47 were sanctioned through settlement agreements.

The cases and settlements considered by the OSD break fall under the general categories of fraudulent practice (86% of cases), corrupt practice (14%), collusive practice (9%), obstructive practice (2%) and coercive practice (1%).

Sixty percent of the cases were were resolved at the OSD level, and 40% led to at least one appeal at the Sanctions Board level.

The World Bank’s just-released OSD Report is here.


Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.

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