Sharing information: Who should have access to what and when?
We are always careful with whom we share information when dealing with sensitive matters such as corruption. We are especially diligent when it comes to protecting the source of the information, redacting information to such an extent that the source cannot be identified.
The Bank's Integrity Vice Presidency (INT) primarily deals with national anti-corruption agencies with which it has established trusted relationships.
Under certain conditions, INT has the ability to enter into a Confidentiality Agreement to protect the source of the information. This governs how INT stores, uses, acts on and shares the information obtained under such an Agreement.
By way of example, a source may be very concerned about threats to his or her personal safety or risks to their livelihood. Others, however, are more than willing to provide information openly. Each case is judged on its merits.
At times, the reporting on alleged corruption in particular jurisdictions can act as a trigger to information sharing and investigative actions.
Information obtained through media and civil society undergoes a considerable amount of scrutiny and corroboration.
The reporting of cases prosecuted by national authorities may highlight risks to Bank operations in certain countries or sectors. For example, an entity prosecuted in one country for corrupt activities in a second country in which the entity also won World Bank-financed contracts heightens awareness of risks of corruption under those contracts. On occasion, the Bank's Integrity Vice Presidency (INT) has opened its own investigation as a result.
One aim of the inaugural meeting of the International Corruption Hunters Alliance to be held next week will be to strengthen information exchange among the Alliance members and to discuss the best platform for this to take place in a secure environment.