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TIB concerned over World Bank's stance on procurement

Press Release

Don't chop off the head because of a headache

TIB concerned over World Bank's stance on procurement

Dhaka, 11 November 2009:Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) today expressed concern over the position taken by the World Bank with regard to changes introduced recently by the Government in the public procurement policy. The World Bank measure, if enforced, will be counter-productive and will only punish the people of Bangladesh for no fault of theirs.

TIB is strongly opposed to the amendments introduced by the Government, and has been on record expressing the same very firmly. At the same time TIB sees no justification for omnibus suspension of flow of funds or project implementation, which will not help development efforts, nor will it prevent corruption. The World Bank stance smacks of "chopping off the head because of a headache" said TIB’s Executive Director Dr. Iftekharuzzaman.

Instead of using such unreasonable and unwarranted threats the Bank should engage more closely as a partner with the Government and other stakeholders to review the amendments. The Bank should also take greater responsibility in ensuring transparency, integrity and accountability in various stages of project implementation funded by it.

He questioned “if the Bank can spend millions for consultancies that are often not only debatable, but also considered to be among factors behind misuse of funds and corruption, why as an inter-governmental funding organization, the Bank does not contribute to building capacities to prevent corruption in various stages and processes of project implementation?”

 “Instead of developing a habit of threatening to withdraw or freeze funds, the World Bank would do better to its credibility by a shift in its approach and acknowledge the fact that in the ultimate analysis the funds it handles come from contributions of the people around the world, whom the Bank has no right to intimidate” he added.

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