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. . . as World Bank issues amnesty for whistleblowers

News

The World Bank is cracking down on international corruption on infrastructure projects by launching an amnesty to encourage the naming and shaming of corrupt ofcials.

The bank's Voluntary Disclosure Programme (VDP) will allow companies to report governments and individuals involved in corruption without fear of reprisals. Their details will be kept condential and they will not face sanctions for their part in the corruption.

Balfour Beatty chief executive Ian Tyler welcomed the initiative. 'We want to work on a level playing field so the approach of creating a kind of amnesty is an excellent idea. We would take all steps to further the anti-corruption agenda, and if it is the right thing to do, we would [take part].' Other engineers warned that the programme does not tackle policies within the bank, which exacerbate the problem.

The bank sometimes demands that the government concerned commits to keeping the pay of civil servants below a certain level, ' said Engineers Against Poverty director Petter Matthews.

'This makes it more likely that they then become involved in corrupt practice.'

Once an incident has been reported the bank will carry out an internal investigation. If evidence of corruption is found it will be taken to the government concerned which will be expected carry out its own investigation and prosecute individuals that are found to have engaged in corruption.

For more on the VDP programme, visit www. nceplus.co. uk.

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