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Rapid Response Team: 0800 559 3500
Switchboard: +44 (0)203 947 1539
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Switchboard: +44 (0)203 947 1539

The man with the task of managing the World Bank’s anti-corruption efforts has spelt out how he intends to go about it

Author: Niall Hearty  20 May 2021

Niall Hearty of financial crime specialists Rahman Ravelli considers the proposals.

The head of the World Bank’s anti-corruption unit has outlined his plans for tackling wrongdoing.

Mouhamadou Diagne, who runs the World Bank’s Integrity Vice Presidency (INT), has said he is aiming to strengthen the bank’s corruption prevention efforts. He has detailed how he intends the INT to manage future investigations and has raised the possibility of employing INT officials around the world.

Diagne has said the bank may have previously put more emphasis on detection and deterrence than prevention. But he insists the World Bank’s “core mandate’’ remains investigations. He has emphasised that while the numbers of cases ongoing remains relevant, he does not intend to play “a numbers game’’. He will instead be focusing on the impact of investigations while also ensuring the bank’s financial resources are well managed.

As part of the importance he places on efficiency, Diagne said he is considering whether the INT should employ staff around the world rather than just in Washington DC. 

“We're going to look very carefully at whether the current model of everyone in headquarters makes sense, or if we need to start also following the institution, and having some presence in the field,” he said.

He believes having INT representatives placed in various locations could help develop local contacts and improve intelligence gathering, which would help the bank identify possible problems. 

His approach is a new one, with prevention now at the core of the bank’s new mission statement. This is not surprising given what multilateral development banks have being saying about fraud prevention in recent years. 

What remains to be seen is whether investigations will now have less resources devoted to them if prevention is the new focus. But looking to reduce or remove the risk of wrongdoing rather than managing it when it happens is a welcome new direction for the World Bank’s anti-corruption team. 

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Niall has a wealth of corporate crime expertise and an ability to coordinate global bribery and corruption cases. His achievements in such investigations have made him a logical choice for corporate clients.

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