Wall Street Journal (01.14.2008) - Friday, January 14, 2008
On Friday, the World Bank announced that an internal review
launched in 2006 has uncovered "serious incidents of fraud and
corruption" in five health projects it has funded in India.
The projects, which total $570 million, include efforts to
slow HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, the bank said.
"The probe has revealed unacceptable indicators of fraud and
corruption. The government of India and the World Bank are
committed to getting to the bottom of how these problems
occurred" said bank President Robert Zoellick.
The internal review follows a 2005 investigation that
uncovered corruption by two Indian drug companies involved in
a bank-backed child- and reproductive- health project in the
country. Those findings led Paul Wolfowitz, then the bank's
president, to suspend health loans to India until it addressed
concerns about procurement procedures.
Zoellick did not indicate that the current report's findings
would prompt him to make a similar move. But he did say that
outside reviewers will examine the bank's own anticorruption
efforts and that the World Bank will address staff failures in
project design, supervision, and evaluation.
It is not yet clear whether the wrongdoing involves staff at
the bank, Indian government officials or other parties, such
as companies contracted to supply drugs or other materials for