The World Bank Group, Washington, DC
Tracing Loans Across Borders
The Washington Post reported on July 16, 1998 the headlines “World Bank Hires Auditors to Probe Its Own Spending” “Possible Kickbacks, Embezzlement Cited”. It states: “World Bank President James D. Wolfensohn acknowledged yesterday that within the past two months he has setup a special internal fraud team and hired the global accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers”.
As the engagement partner, I had the opportunity to work with counsel in conducting global investigations into allegations of corruption, conflicts of interest and fraud, regarding the Bank’s loan program and to advise on the Bank’s anti-corruption initiative. This effort was the result of President Wolfensohn’s belief that “corruption effects development.”
After 18 months, our work led to the disbarment or removal of various companies and individuals in several foreign countries from any future involvement with any World Bank project. Thereafter the Bank created its own permanent investigation group.