World Bank retaliates against Parliamentary Whistleblower

World Bank retaliates against Parliamentary Whistleblower

Monday, August 27, 2007

UK Houses of Commons invitation to become a World Bank Whistleblower

A UK Houses of Commons International Development Committee press Notice of the 11th July 2007 invites interested organisations and individuals to submit evidence focusing on DFID’s ability to ensure that assistance delivered through the World Bank is in line with DFID’s own priorities and objectives.

The release lists the areas of interest for the International Development Committee, under the following headings:
  • The World Bank’s relationship with DFID, other donors and stakeholders
  • Policies on governance and conditionality
  • World Bank internal governance

The Committee invites written submissions from interested organisations and individuals - especially those from developing countries - by 12th October 2007.

The press release explains that once submitted the evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the internet, by printing it or by making it available through the Parliamentary Record Office. It then adds that if there is any information the interested organisations and individuals believe to be sensitive they should highlight it and explain what harm they believe would result from its disclosure.

The press release does not however explain how the Committee will commit to full confidentiality for the interested organisations and individuals who may respond to the request, nor does it say that the Committee will not release the evidence to the public (or to others), even though the very word ‘evidence’ implies that the Committee expects incriminatory rather than supportive information.

An ‘Individual’, who submitted ‘evidence’ to a Parliamentary Commission and to the World Bank in 2004, has been taught how devastating World Bank ‘Whistleblower’ reprisals can be. Today, despite comprehensive documented ‘evidence’ of fraud and corruption in World Bank projects, and with the support of the Government Accountability Project (GAP), Washington’s most influential ‘whistleblower’ support organisation, a claim at the Department of Institutional Integrity (INT), the World Bank’s watchdog organisation, continues to gather dust, awaiting resources for a full investigation.

Efforts by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and by the British Embassy in Washington have also been to no avail, and the INT Director simply ignores letters from the British Government asking that enquiries be concluded expeditiously in order to bring the matter to a timely and appropriate conclusion.

Any organisation or individual interested in submitting ‘evidence’ to the International Development Committee should be aware that reprisals against ‘Whistleblowers’ can be utterly devastating, especially in a developing environment, and especially if the ‘evidence’ is about the World Bank.

Full details of the ongoing action with the INT can be found on:

‘The World Bank Whistleblower’

No comments: