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Steps To Ensure Data Integrity Urged By World Bank-IMF Development Panel

Steps To Ensure Data Integrity Urged By World Bank-IMF Development Panel
In the wake of the data-rigging scandal that was centered around the World Bank's now-canceled "Doing Business" report, which also enmeshed IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, the World Bank-International Monetary Fund Development Committee called on the bank to take additional steps to "assure the integrity and credibility of data."
In a communique, the panel, which serves as the World Bank Group's steering committee, stated that the multilateral development lender should implement measures to develop a corporate culture in which bank employees feel comfortable and safe in reporting wrongdoing.
"We call for stronger whistleblower protection and a zero-tolerance policy for abuse and misconduct," the committee said.
This statement by the panel was issued after Georgieva was cleared of wrongdoing by the IMF executive board on Monday after an external investigation by the World Bank that claimed she and other bank officials put "undue pressure" on bank staff to alter data in the lender's flagship "Doing Business" report to boost China's ranking when she was World Bank chief executive in 2017.
The Development Committee's demand for more steps to ensure data integrity is similar to that of US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who called for a thorough investigation into the allegations, according to law firm WilmerHale.
"Results of the investigations into Doing Business irregularities could reduce confidence in the international financial institutions if there is not strong action to boost accountability, protect data integrity, and prevent misconduct," Yellen said in a statement on Thursday.
The interim results of the current talks with its member countries about the fund for the poorest countries that have been proposed by the World Bank, the International Development Association, were encouraging, the Development Committee also said. IDA countries "will face exceptionally high financing needs" in the next few years, it also added.
In order to refinance the IDA, a sum of $100 billion year-end target was adopted earlier this week by the World Bank President David Malpass and said on Thursday that the bank hopes that more contribution to the IDA would be made by China – the second largest economy of the world.
The World Bank was also urged by the panel to accord equal importance to arranging funds for projects related to climate adaptation and mitigation of carbon emissions, while also calling on the World Bank to closely consider more options for mobilizing more funds to fund the climate change adaptation financing efforts from the private sector.  

Christopher J. Mitchell

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