Monday, April 9, 2007

Paul Wolfowitz and Accountability at the World Bank

I don't suppose World Bank employees are unionised just cronyized.


Congress Needs to Hound Answers from Paul Wolfowitz
April 9th, 2007
Last week, the Government Accountability Project (GAP) released documents to journalists showing that World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz’ girlfriend and fellow Bank staffer, Shaha Riza, received raises far in excess of what World Bank regulations stipulate for her position. Riza, who works at the State Department for the Bank under Karen Hughes and Liz Cheney, currently makes $193,590 take-home, a salary far greater than Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s.

Yesterday, GAP released documents showing that Riza’s raises have caused an uproar among Bank staff employees, as evidenced by an internal Bank email from the World Bank Staff Association to all staff detailing that the association was “inundated with messages from staff expressing concern, dismay and outrage.”

Predictably, it appears that Wolfowitz is not intent on explaining himself, but rather finding the leaker of the information. An article by Inter Press Service quoted an anonymous Bank staffer as saying “Wolfowitz is much, much more concerned about who leaked the information than about how to rectify the situation. He’s just furious.”

You may realize at this point that while everything is coming from GAP, we don’t have a public whistleblower going on record with this case. As the nation’s leading whistleblower organization, we typically assist whistleblowers who go public. Our sources in dealing with this case are anonymous, because whistleblower protections do not exist at the World Bank. If they did, this gross waste and misuse of public funds could have been easily avoided. But because Bank staffers are helpless if they report wrongdoing to superiors, no one came forward years ago to stop the problem.

Congress should hold hearings to investigate Wolfowitz’ actions during his tenure at the Bank for this and other acts of cronyism.

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