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World Bank should end corporate anonymity in Bank-funded procurements

107 groups call on the World Bank to collect and publish the beneficial ownership information for all legal entity bidders

Transparency International – USA together with 106 other civil society organizations from around the world has sent a letter to the World Bank urging the Bank to require that all legal entity bidders on Bank-financed procurements disclose their beneficial ownership information and that the Bank publish this information in an open data format as part of its wider efforts to foster transparency in its own contracting practices.

Corporate anonymity facilitates corruption in public procurement by allowing government officials and politically-connected bidders to conceal their conflicts of interest. Requiring that all legal entity bidders disclose the identity of their true or beneficial owners and then publishing this information would foreclose this common corruption scheme and help ensure that the Bank’s funds are not stolen or diverted from their intended purposes.

Anonymous companies are also utilized for corrupt purposes in many other situations, including facilitating illicit financial flows, money laundering, abuses in the extractive industries sector, and kleptocracy. Civil society campaigners have been pushing for global action against corporate anonymity.

“We believe that governments and international organizations should all take concrete steps to end corporate anonymity. For too long, the corrupt have been able to exploit corporate anonymity in order to illegally enrich themselves. Establishing public beneficial ownership registries is an important goal if we want to seriously reduce corruption, money laundering, and the impunity which fuels kleptocracy,” said Shruti Shah, Vice President of TI – USA.

The World Bank, present in over 120 countries and with an annual investment portfolio of around $40 billion, is well-place to lead in the fight to end corporate anonymity.

“It is our hope that the World Bank, by taking action to end corporate anonymity in Bank-finance procurements, will catalyze action by other international financial institutions and by the countries in which it does business. The World Bank can and should be at the forefront of the fight against corporate anonymity and the massive corruption it fuels,” said Daniel Dudis, Senior Policy Director at TI – USA.

Transparency International-USA is the U.S. chapter of the global Transparency International movement, which is present in more than 100 countries around the world. TI-USA is committed to combating corruption by strengthening transparency and accountability both in the United States and internationally.

Notes to Editors:

  • The full letter to the World Bank and the list of signatories can be read here.

For any press enquiries please contact

Shruti Shah
T: 202-589-1616
E: [email protected]

Daniel Dudis
T: 202-589-1616
E: [email protected]