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Harry Cassin
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World Bank opens 68 new investigations during FY2018

World Bank Integrity Vice President Pascale Hélène DuboisThe World Bank Group debarred 78 firms and individuals during fiscal year 2018 and opened 68 new investigations into allegations of misconduct in bank-funded projects. 

The bank also recognized 73 cross debarments from other multilateral development banks during the year, according to a report published this month.

There are five types of sanctionable practices while participating in a World Bank-funded project — fraud, corruption, collusion, coercion, or obstruction.

Fifteen firms and individuals were released from sanctions during the year and became eligible to work on bank-funded projects again, the Sanctions System Annual Report FY18 (pdf) said.

The bank’s Integrity (INT) Vice President is Pascale Hélène Dubois. She’s a Belgium national, a lawyer, and a Certified Fraud Examiner.

Before her appointment in mid 2017, she was the World Bank’s Chief Suspension and Debarment Officer.

During FY2018, the INT staff worked on 390 projects in which the World Bank had committed about $2.2 billion in funding.

“The [Integrity] team also trained approximately 1,650 people over the course of the year and provided advisory services in 28 countries,” the report said.

Other multilaterial development banks that recognize cross-debarments are the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the African Development Bank.

A list of all World Bank debarred entities and individuals is here.


Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.

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  1. There is no doubt that Pascale is doing a yeoman’s job with the mandate and tools she has at hand. However, there is little doubt that she and all of the Banks could do much more to assess, harness and catalyze the Bank’s funds and programs if they embraced 21st century whistleblower systems and transparency policies. The research and know-how to encourage and protect whistleblowers, anonymous or otherwise, is out there. But the political will to do so and the Bank’s willingness to expose corruption, often deeply embedded within Bank projects at the country level, is sorely lacking.

    Pascale can’t make the decision to move in this direction. This will take strong support from the Bank’s President and a strong push from the new U.S. Congress. It’s past time to give whistleblowers both inside and outside the Bank the protection and award incentives they deserve and for the Bank to set the example.

    I hope someone at the Bank will blow the whistle on their misguided, outdated punitive whistleblower system and policy.

  2. Kindly note that the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB began operations in 2016) also recognizes the cross-debarments made by the MDBs that are party to the Agreement on Mutual Enforcement of Debarment Decisions (AMEDD). This is provided for in AIIB’s Policy on Prohibited Practices (PPP) which was one of the first policies to be approved by its Board. In time AIIB aims to be a signatory to AMEDD. See

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