The World Bank Group has decided not to publish its Doing Business report anymore amid the allegations of data irregularities.
The management of the group took the decision yesterday, according to a statement.
Over the 17 years of its existence, the Doing Business report has been a valued tool for countries seeking to measure the costs of doing business.
Doing Business indicators and methodology are designed with no single country in mind, but rather to help to improve the overall business climate, according to the WB.
“After data irregularities on Doing Business 2018 and 2020 were reported internally in June 2020, World Bank management paused the next Doing Business report.”
The WB also said it had initiated a series of reviews and audits of the report and its methodology.
“In addition, because the internal reports raised ethical matters, including the conduct of former Board officials as well as current and/or former Bank staff, management reported the allegations to the Bank’s appropriate internal accountability mechanisms.”
After reviewing all the information available to date on Doing Business, including the findings of past reviews, audits, and the report the bank released Thursday on behalf of the Board of Executive Directors, World Bank Group management has decided to discontinue the Doing Business report, the statement said.
However, the World Bank Group said it remains firmly committed to advancing the role of the private sector in development and providing support to governments to design the regulatory environment that supports this.
“Going forward, we will be working on a new approach to assessing the business and investment climate. We are deeply grateful to the efforts of the many staff members who have worked diligently to advance the business climate agenda, and we look forward to harnessing their energies and abilities in new ways.”
In the statement, the WB said trust in the research of the World Bank Group was vital.
“World Bank Group research informs the actions of policymakers, helps countries make better-informed decisions, and allows stakeholders to measure economic and social improvements more accurately.”
Such research has also been a valuable tool for the private sector, civil society, academia, journalists, and others, broadening understanding of global issues, it said.
According to the WB, a number of irregularities have been reported regarding changes to the data in the Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 reports, published in October 2017 and 2019, respectively.
The changes in the data were inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology.