Approximately 10 years after former World Bank Group President James Wolfensohn’s famous “cancer of corruption” speech, the World Bank under Paul Wolfowitz has added another arrow to its anticorruption quiver. Specifically, on August 1st, the World Bank board of executive directors formally launched a new, proactive Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDP). The VDP allows World Bank contractors to identify, investigate and rectify privately, and without the specter of debarment from World Bank programs, conduct that otherwise would be sanctionable by the World Bank’s Sanctions Committee. Through the VDP, the World Bank has enabled the private sector to self-police and join the global fight against corruption, and, more importantly, to avoid joining the more than 330 companies on the World Bank’s debarment “black list.” The VDP is managed by the Bank’s Department of Institutional Integrity, which investigates allegations of fraud and corruption in World Bank-financed projects and staff misconduct, and develops proactive measures for early detection and prevention of corruption.

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