World Bank retaliates against Parliamentary Whistleblower

World Bank retaliates against Parliamentary Whistleblower

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Latest News on this Action

Friday 24th August 2007

Since reaching the Front Page in Washington last week, despite the efforts in Armenia to suppress the media, this action has taken on a new significance.

Earlier this week the British Ambassador in Armenia invited this whistleblowing individual to his office for another discussion.

The Ambassador explained that, since his letter to
the Director of the INT on the 29th May, a senior British Embassy representative in Washington has been monitoring the situation and has been in communication with the INT. But he is still awaiting an official response.

So the Ambassador recently wrote again to the UK representative office at the World Bank in Washington, requesting the latest information on the pending INT investigation. Washington replied to the Ambassadors message and confirmed that a meeting is scheduled with INT next week. Hopefully there will be good news. The Ambassador also wrote to the Foreign and Commonwealth (FCO) in the UK, and has received a reply confirming that the FCO has again contacted the Serious Fraud Office about the case and passed on my expression of concern.

Of course, there is no question that the World Banks Municipal Development Project was plagued with wide-ranging corruption. If that were not the case, this action would have not attracted such high-level and growing support. An important factor has however been the reason for the corruption.

The question is whether the corruption could have been for personal gain, for collective gain, to foster economic growth through unconventional means, or in the pursuit of a political agenda, either domestically or internationally motivated - or a combination of any of these, plus possibly other reasons. It seems that the corruption surrounding World Bank projects in Armenia has quite simply been a very basic desire for personal or collective gain.

The latest information from GAP is that, since the 29th March Demand Letter to Suzanne Folsom, GAP has been in regular contact with the INT. In early August GAP sent a letter, reminding the INT that it has not yet formally responded to the demand letter. The INT has however verbally stated that a full investigation in Armenia will be carried out, so GAP continues to press for information about when the INT team will be traveling to Yerevan.

In September, GAP will be submitting a report on the study it has been conducting into the INT, in parallel to the Volcker Panel, and this Armenia action is to feature as part of that report. At the end of September / early October, GAP will be continuing their work with the U.S. Congress, and this Armenian action will also be featured in that effort.

I wish to thank all of those who have written to express their support to this effort and request that if you feel strongly enough to add your comment, you may do so directly to me at

Bruce Tasker

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