Corruption amnesty

29 April 2008

World: The World Bank has launched a new anti-corruption program. The scheme allows companies or aid groups to avoid being blacklisted by the Bank provided they disclose all previous wrongdoing and comply with anti-corruption measures in the future.

World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz said the Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDP) was designed to prevent corruption in Bank projects and contracts. Under the scheme participants must commit to stop paying bribes or engaging in fraud, corruption, collusion or coercion.

They must also disclose all past misconduct in Bank-supported projects or contracts, implement a “robust and monitored compliance program”, and pay the bulk of the costs associated with their participation in the VDP.

Participants can be companies or other entities, such as Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) or individuals. Those currently under investigation by the World Bank are not eligible to enter the program.

In exchange for disclosing past misdemeanours participants will avoid disqualification on future, or current, projects. To date the Bank has excluded more than 330 companies and individuals.

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