It is difficult to overlook the sweeping proliferation of anti-corruption laws and cross-border enforcement efforts among governments worldwide. This trend continues to manifest itself not only among governments, but also intergovernmental bodies which share a parallel interest in taking action against corrupt conduct. International organisations such as the World Bank and its sister multilateral development banks (MDBs) continue to be at the forefront of investigating and preventing corruption and fraud in the projects they finance.

Established in 1944 as an international financial institution to facilitate reconstruction and development post-World War II, the World Bank has undergone significant changes over the years as it has sought to ameliorate the effects of poverty in low income countries. As part of its mission, the World Bank exercises its fiduciary duties to ensure that the more than US$64bn in loans, grants, investments and guarantees are adequately safeguarded from corruption, fraud and collusion through its sanctions regime. The World Bank effectuates its sanctions regime by invoking audit rights reflected in its contracts, which then generally lead to investigations. These investigations are often far-reaching, protracted exercises that subject companies to burdensome demands for documentation, data and witness interviews, and often result in referrals to national authorities, and debarment actions against companies and individuals.

Jan-Mar 2018 Issue

Baker McKenzie LLP