On October 7, the World Bank Group (the Bank) Integrity Vice Presidency (INT) released its Annual Update for the 2016 Fiscal Year (the FY2016 Report or the Report). This Report emphasizes INT’s endeavor to protect Bank-funded procurement projects in the immediately preceding fiscal year, and sets out INT’s current and future policy, investigation, and enforcement objectives.
INT’s FY2016 track record is perhaps best described as mixed. On the one hand, INT introduced several initiatives aimed at realizing its goals of pursuing more and more complex cases, targeting its limited resources so as to more effectively identify sanctionable conduct in Bank-funded procurement projects, preventing sanctionable conduct in the first place, and increasing cooperation with national authorities. On the other hand, the “trend-lines” of INT’s enforcement statistics were basically flat, with the number of investigations opened, and companies and individuals sanctioned dropping below historical trends, while the number of sanctions cases INT submitted to the Bank’s Office of Suspension and Debarment (OSD) for evaluation returned to 2014 levels. The number of Negotiated Resolution Agreements (NRA) entered into, however, did increase. For more information, please see our advisory.