World Bank Staff ‘Forced’ to Manipulate Ease of Business Rankings
According to an internal investigation, World Bank’s staff members faced “undue pressure” to “manipulate” data.
World Bank’s staff members faced “undue pressure” to “manipulate” data and adjust scores in two key reports that ranked nations by ease of doing business, the bank said after an internal investigation.
The World Bank has made corrections in the two reports ranking countries on ease of doing business, Bloomberg reported on Friday.
In the 2018 report, China should have been shown dropping seven places to 85th rather than remaining 78th, the report pointed out.
The reports released in October 2019 showed that Saudi Arabia was not the top improving economy, and Azerbaijan would have moved up and been one of the top 10 improvers.
India’s ranking, however, has remained unaffected.
When the irregularities were brought to the attention of the management of the World Bank, a probe of the publication on 27 August was called for and the changes will be reflected in the next report due in March 2021.
“In Doing Business 2018, the published score including irregularities affecting the Starting a Business, Getting Credit, and Paying Taxes indicators was 65.3 with a global ranking of 78. After correcting the irregularities described above, the Doing Business 2018 score is 64.5,” the World Bank said about China in its release, stated the media report.
The World Bank has not identified those responsible for the irregularities and the matter is under review.
“The lack of a safe speak-up environment within the DB [Doing Business] team led to a fear of retaliation for those who would escalate and report pressures to manipulate data. This contributed to the compromise of data integrity in the DB report,” the review added, reported Hindustan Times.
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