World Bank pledges global partnership for Africa, others against fraud, corruption

The World Bank Group has pledged to partner Nigeria and other African countries, among other nations of the world, in the fight against pervasive corruption, which has retarded the pace of economic growth in most countries.

The pledge is coming as Nigeria and other African countries continue to struggle against massive poverty attributable to public sector corruption.

President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim, said in its latest annual report that corruption and anti-fraud interventions in the coming decade would need to rely on concerted international efforts, country leadership and a set of principles guiding solutions and initiatives.

Kim said the World Bank Group support to country-led efforts was critical to turning the tide against corruption once and for all, adding that the group would provide tools that transform ideas into action, diffuse knowledge across the globe on what works and why, and help countries adopt successful strategies, adding that it would also help citizens hold their leaders accountable for making pledges to make governance more accountable.

The World Bank had established an Integrity Office in 1999 to strengthen integrity function at the group leading to development of the unit into an Integrity Vice Presidency (INT) with mandate to prevent, deter and investigate fraud and corruption in bank-financed operations.

As part of its strategic update, INT is looking into ways of spreading its impact more effectively across regions while incorporating prevention and compliance as critical elements of its response to clients.

“Our focus is on identifying alternative solutions to persistent anti-corruption challenges that can sustain collective action by our development partners and clients,” said World Bank Group Integrity Vice President, Leonard McCarthy.

During this fiscal year, INT’s investigative results led to sanctioning of 71 firms and individuals for misconduct including corruption, collusion, fraud and/or coercive practices.  As of the end of this fiscal year, the Integrity Compliance Office was actively engaged with 13 multinational companies. Preventive tools that were developed include the use of checklists for procurement staff to assist them in reviewing bids as well as changing project delivery models to allow for more diligent community oversight. INT is also investing in technology and data-driven solutions to help identify and stop fraud and corruption through reverse engineering of some of its cases.

Engaging with members of the World Bank Group’s International Corruption Hunters Alliance, a series of webinars was delivered this fiscal year to strengthen the capacity of heads of anti-corruption agencies, public prosecutors and attorneys general in financial crime detection and whistleblower protection. The third meeting of the alliance is scheduled for the end of 2014 at the World Bank Group Headquarters.

Source : SunOnline

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