Today Bloomberg reports:
World Bank employees who lead the agency's drive to battle corruption in poor nations urged ``clear and decisive actions'' to decide the future of President Paul Wolfowitz.
"We are deeply concerned by the impact of the current leadership crisis on the bank's credibility and authority,'' said the letter to Wolfowitz and the bank's board, signed by 46 employees. ``Our own governance standards must be upheld and enforced impartially and without exception,'' the letter said, ``even when they touch the highest levels of this institution.''
Wolfowitz, under investigation by the bank's board for arranging a pay increase and promotion for his companion, has rebuffed staff demands for his resignation. The controversy has undermined the Washington-based agency's ability to fight graft and promote good government, said the members of the group.
``It is a problem when your own resident experts on corruption are stating that the bank is not practicing what it preaches,'' said Manish Bapna, director of the Bank Information Center, a Washington-based group that monitors the agency.
Never having heard of The Bank Information Center before I did a quick google search.
This is how this tax-exempt groupit describes itself:
The Bank Information Center (BIC) partners with civil society in developing and transition countries to influence the World Bank and other international financial institutions (IFIs) to promote social and economic justice and ecological sustainability. BIC is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization that advocates for the protection of rights, participation, transparency, and public accountability in the governance and operations of the World Bank, regional development banks, and IMF.
The above mission rests on the core premise that socially and environmentally sustainable development is not possible without the informed and active participation of local communities. All too often, powerful interests prevent local voices from shaping development policy and projects. Many of the current economic and social crises affecting the world's poor are in large part a result of their marginalization. By opening political space around development decision-making, BIC aims to ensure that local communities and civil society organizations have an important voice in decisions that affect them. BIC assists these groups through its information dissemination and capacity building activities, coalition building, project and policy monitoring, and advocacy support services.
BIC is supported by private foundations and organizations that work in the fields of environment and development. BIC is not affiliated with any of the Multilateral Development Banks, nor does it receive any funding from them.
It is funded by the same left oriented tax-exempt foundations that fund most of the anti-Administration "public interest" groups, including the Stewart Mott Foundation, Soros' Open Society Institute, the Tides Foundation (of which Teresa Heinz is a large contributor), and the Ford Foundation. Mr. Bapna opposed Paul Wolfowitz from the moment he was nominated. As he wrote to the editors of the New York Times:
The United States' nomination of Paul D. Wolfowitz to be the next president of the World Bank represents the outcome of an opaque and undemocratic selection process ("Why Paul Wolfowitz?," editorial, March 17).
The nomination suggests a narrowing convergence between United States geopolitical interests and the operations of international financial institutions.
Mr. Wolfowitz is not an obscure figure but a controversial actor on the world stage whose nomination reflects substantial political maneuvering by the United States. Allowing this process to proceed unchecked or unchallenged would be a troubling development at a time of heightened global concern about the role of the United States in the international arena.
While reactions to Mr. Wolfowitz's candidacy emerge and public opposition mounts, member governments of the World Bank must propose additional candidates and push for a genuine opening of the process to greater public scrutiny.
Urgent efforts are needed to render the presidential selection more democratic and transparent and ultimately to reinforce the accountability of the World Bank's governing body to the public that the institution is intended to serve.
Bank Information Center
Washington, March 17, 2005
On Friday, April 13 at 12pm, actor, producer and activist Danny Glover will be joining civil society organizations to demand that the World Bank be put on trial for the devastation that its economic policies have wreaked on poor communities and for their contribution to global warming.
"The peoples of Africa and the world are demanding an end to economic policies that put profit over and above the needs of people and the environment," said Danny Glover. "We will come together on April 13 to give a clear message to the Bank and the IMF: get out of the business of reshaping economies in a manner that increases inequalities and stop funding projects that destroy people's lives and threaten our ecosystem."
This information was never provided to Bloomberg's readers. It took me about one-half hour with Google.
And while The Bank Information Center says it promotes transparency, it might have honestly said that its opposition to Wolfowitz was long-standing and based on its transnational anti-US and anti-Administration point of view.That would be transparency.