The World Bank recently released a list of firms and individuals that are ineligible to receive World Bank financed contracts, for breaching fraud and corruption provisions. The Bank defines 'corrupt practice' as the offering, receiving or soliciting anything of value to influence contract execution. On the other hand, it defines 'fraudulent practice' as misrepresentation of facts in order to influence contract selection or execution, as well as collusive practices among consultants against free competition.
Whereas the bank ought to be hailed for coming up with such noble ideals, it ought to walk the talk before incriminating others. An investigation carried out by the Government Accountability Project (GAP) in 2006 revealed that the bank’s funded projects are plagued by kickbacks, payoffs, bribery, embezzlement and collusive bidding. The World Bank ought to do what it was originally intended to do: help reconstruct devastated parts of the world instead of funding economic hit men to destabilize upcoming economies as revealed by John Perkins, a former respected member of the international banking community, in his book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.
African countries on the other hand should ensure that proper procurement structures are put in place. Most often, African governments hurriedly award contracts to multinationals on the basis of advice from World Bank 'experts' and often after being given kickbacks. This gives rise to white elephant projects as well as shoddy services with taxpayers bearing the brunt.
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