Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bar Complaint Charges Former World Bank Official with Ethics Violations

Bank Finds Former INT Attorney under Wolfowitz Guilty of Unethical Conduct;

Same Attorney Involved in AIG Controversy

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, April 6, the Government Accountablity Project (GAP) filed a complaint with the Washington, D.C. Bar Association against Suzanne Folsom, former Director of the Department of Institutional Integrity (INT) at the World Bank from 2006 to 2008. The complaint reveals unethical actions taken by Folsom as the manager of the Bank’s investigations unit, including improper interference with an external review, abuse of authority, harassment, and deception of INT staff.

According to the complaint, concerns about mismanagement at INT under Folsom became so serious in 2007, that then-World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz was obliged to convene an independent external panel chaired by Paul Volcker to review the investigative practices in place. In the two years since the Volcker Panel issued its report, Bank management has repeatedly heralded the implementation of the Panel’s recommendations as evidence of effective action to combat corruption. Rulings handed down in December 2009 by the Administrative Tribunal (AT), the Bank’s internal court, in response to sixteen complaints filed by INT staff members, however, illustrate Folsom’s deliberate and substantial interference with this supposedly independent commission. The rulings show that Folsom manipulated the inquiry in order to influence its findings and weaken its recommendations.

When Folsom managed INT, GAP also released a report on management at the unit that documented widespread irregularities, in contrast to less critical conclusions of the Volcker Panel.

The bar complaint is available on GAP’s website by clicking here.

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