Suspension and Debarment on the International Stage: Experiences in the World Bank's Sanctions System
(2016) 25 Public Procurement Law Review 61
11 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2016 Last revised: 27 Jun 2016
Date Written: June 8, 2016
As the world becomes ever more globally integrated, efforts to combat cross-border fraud and corruption become more important. International development banks have worked to protect development funds from fraud and corruption and help their member countries to improve governance and establish robust anti-corruption programs. This article describes the contours of the World Bank’s suspension and debarment (also known as the “sanctions”) system and how debarment functions in the World Bank context. It goes on to describe several lessons learned in the first few years of the current World Bank system.
Of course, the World Bank sanctions system differs from national suspension and debarment systems by virtue of the Bank’s status as an international organization. For example, suspension and debarment in the United States is a prophylactic measure designed to protect the government from contractors that are not presently responsible. The European Union’s exclusion provisions arguably serve similar purposes, including protection of public budgets and the public interest. The World Bank’s system, on the other hand, is grounded primarily in the fiduciary duties to its member countries and a desire to deter misconduct and promote development. Accordingly, the purpose and goals of any suspension and debarment system will inevitably dictate the extent to which useful guidance might be gleaned from the World Bank’s experiences. Nevertheless, the World Bank system can still be a useful reference point for those countries considering administrative sanctions systems as part of their anti-corruption toolbox.
Keywords: suspension, debarment, sanctions, anti-corruption
JEL Classification: K33, K4
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation