2022 World Bank Group Sanctions System Annual Report

i-AML 2022 World Bank Group Sanctions System Annual Report

The World Bank Group’s commitment to fighting corruption is reflected in robust mechanisms across the institution that enhance the integrity of our operations. We take very seriously any allegation of fraud, corruption, or other sanctionable practices in the programs we finance.

The World Bank Group reviews all complaints it receives, including those submitted anonymously. All information provided will be treated in the strictest confidence.

INT launched a Strategy Update following a robust consultation process that, while maintaining focus on INT’s core anticorruption mandate, will allow INT to achieve greater impact by enhancing its risk-based approach to investigations, strengthening the delivery of timely and actionable prevention support, and developing its knowledge management processes and products.

  • INT received 3,380 complaint submissions, opened 330 new external preliminary investigations, and started 48 new and closed 31 existing external investigations.
  • INT submitted 18 sanctions cases, and 12 settlements to OSD. An additional 3 settlements were submitted to the IFC Evaluation Officer for review.
  • The Integrity Compliance Office (ICO) sent 33 notices to newly sanctioned parties on their conditions for release from sanction and engaged with 81 sanctioned parties towards meeting their conditions for release.

 In addition, the ICO determined that 22 entities had met their conditions for release from sanction and that 1 entity had met the conditions for the conversion of their debarments with conditional release to conditional non-debarments.

  • OSD reviewed 15 cases and 12 settlements, temporarily suspended 14 firms and 6 individuals, and sanctioned 11 respondents via uncontested determinations.
  • The Sanctions Board published 4 fully-reasoned decisions resolving 4 contested sanctions cases against 6 respondents. The Sanctions Board convened a virtual hearing in 1 of those cases.




 Beyond the core mandate of the WBG’s sanctions system, in FY22:

  • INT pursued 28 cases of alleged fraud and corruption involving WBG staff and 19 cases involving corporate vendors. INT substantiated misconduct allegations in 1 WBG staff case and in 3 corporate vendor cases.
  • INT leveraged closer collaboration between its prevention, complaints intake, forensic and digital audits, and data analysis teams to enable its more risk-based approach to action on complaints, case prioritization, and proactive risk identification, and it developed new business processes and digital tools in support of these efforts.
  • In April 2022, OSD led the organization of a two-day symposium on Supranational Responses to Corruption in Vienna, Austria, based on a call for papers addressing current and prospective anticorruption efforts at the supranational level. The event provided a valuable opportunity to raise awareness of the WBG sanctions system, connect with and learn from a diverse range of relevant stakeholders, and expand the WBG sanctions system’s network at a global level
  • OSD organized internal and external events to discuss the recently launched Global Suspension & Debarment Directory and the use of exclusion as an integrity tool. To further raise awareness of the WBG’s sanctions system, the SDO participated in an interview series regarding the sanctions and debarment regimes at various multilateral development banks.
  • The Sanctions Board Secretariat authored timely thought pieces that were published on a widely read international forum for commentary on anticorruption.

 In one piece, the Secretariat discussed the Sanctions Board’s nuanced and predictable approach to selecting proportionate sanctions. In another piece, the Secretariat discussed how the Sanctions Board has endeavored to be agile and adaptive in reviewing and resolving sanctions cases.

  • The Sanctions Board Secretariat continued to engage with global stakeholders, including by launching its inaugural newsletter, participating in conferences and workshops on sanctions matters with other MDBs, co-coordinating a graduate course on anticorruption issues in public procurement, and sharing knowledge through a program established by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

 The staff across the WBG sanctions system bring diverse experiences, skills, and backgrounds that reflect the shared commitment to principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion by the offices of the sanctions system. Including the Sanctions Board members, staff across the sanctions system come from 44 countries spanning the world.


October 16, 2022 Published by The World Bank Group. (Download Report PDF)


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