World Bank suspends ease of doing business assessment to investigate irregularities

The World Bank Group has temporarily suspended the World Bank Doing Business Report publication which has been published for the last 17 years. 

The rankings were paused to allow for investigation and assessment of allegations related to irregularities.    

 

The rankings rank countries on the basis of their ease and cost of doing business based on 10 indicators.

 

A statement by the bank released on Thursday, August 27, this week said they had opened investigations following a number of irregularities that have been reported regarding changes to the data in the Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 reports.

 

The reports were published in October 2017 and 2019 respectively.

The changes in the data were inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology, the bank said.

In an attempt to salvage the reputation of the report, the bank has commenced a review and assessment of data changes that occurred for the last five Doing Business reports.

“We have asked the World Bank Group’s independent Internal Audit function to perform an audit of the processes for data collection and review for Doing Business and the controls to safeguard data integrity,” the Group said.

Rwanda has previously raised concern about the abrupt changes in the methodology of the ranking. For instance, last year, Rwanda expressed concern on adjustments made in the report that had not been communicated as is standard practice.

Among the changes made by the World Bank abruptly in the previous report was in an indicator relating to assessment of the stock market.

According to the latest ranking, for an economy to be seen as having an active stock market that protects minority investors, it has to show at least 10 companies listed and trading equities.

The abrupt uncommunicated adjustment saw Rwanda drop in position in protecting minority investors where Rwanda was placed 114 globally from 14th in the previous report.

cmwai@newtimesrwanda.com

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