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GAP Letter To World Bank Asks for Debarment Clarification

Bea Edwards, January 14, 2009

GAP has been pursuing disclosures concerning the relationship between the World Bank and the scandal that ultimately brought down Satyam Computer Services, Ltd. of India. After repeated investigative media reports, Bank officials admitted last month to GAP that the World Bank had, in fact, debarred Satyam from direct contracts for eight years due to financial misconduct. In the weeks since, Satyam’s Chairman has admitted that he personally, and other high-level company officials, committed large-scale financial fraud over a period of years, leading to an economic crisis in India, and prompting the SEC in the US and the Securities and Exchange Board of India to investigate. The World Bank’s debarment of Satyam, now known as “India’s Enron,” was apparently never communicated to the company’s board or the SEC in the US.

Today, GAP is sending a letter to World Bank Managing Director Juan Jose Daboub asking him to detail the Bank’s debarment policy, a process that has been shielded from public view, and remains obscure even now. By answering these questions in full, it is GAP’s hope that the Bank can progress toward more openness and accountability on this important issue, which has occasioned the collapse of Satyam’s stock and a precipitous decline in India’s stock market overall.

Click here for the letter