World Bank report on governance

Written by  //  July 13, 2007  //  Geopolitics, Government & Governance  //  Comments Off on World Bank report on governance

By Krishna Guha in Washington and Richard McGregor in Beijing
Published: July 12 2007 17:19

Nine of the World Bank’s 24 executive directors have written to its new president Robert Zoellick challenging its role in publishing controversial indicators that attempt to measure the quality of governance in its member countries.
The letter, signed by directors representing China, Russia, Mexico, Argentina and other predominantly developing countries, presents Mr Zoellick with the first serious test of his World Bank presidency less than two weeks after he succeeded Paul Wolfowitz.
It follows the publication earlier this week of the annual Worldwide Governance Indicators report, which infuriated a number of governments. The report is not an official bank document, but is produced by bank researchers and is highly influential in development circles.

China is believed to have been annoyed by its score on accountability, which was skewed by the fact that it is not a representative democracy.

Beijing also maintains that it has a strong record in fighting corruption, pointing to the tens of thousands of officials arrested each year for graft, something it believes was also not reflected fairly in the report’s findings.

Some in Washington draw parallels between this controversy and China’s unusually public opposition to the new surveillance regime at the bank’s sister institution, the International Monetary Fund, seeing a pattern of greater assertiveness within these organisations.

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