Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - A Quiet Banker



A Quiet Banker

A Quiet Banker

World Bank Cambodia Country Director Ian Porter's response (PPPost, Issue 14/08,

April 22-May 5, 2005) to my piece regarding demobilization (PPPost, Issue 14/05,

March 11-24, 2005) was in several respects thoroughly predictable. Critics of Bank

projects were, as always, characterized as impatient, naive, opposed to due process,

and unaware that many problematic issues lay "outside the Bank's mandate."

The surprise in Mr. Porter's response was his willingness to make my main point even

more skillfully than I had. His brief homily on the difficulties of working in Cambodia

was followed by a laundry list of the Bank's current anticorruption projects and

a recycled description of the investigation into fraudulent procurement. But the

main issue I raised - that of World Bank staff members' culpability in the project's

many problems - went wholly unaddressed. Had Mr. Porter nothing to say about the

twisted imperatives that led to the project? No response to some of his staff members'

clearly lax attitudes on fraud? Not enough humility to admit that some of the problems

that brought the project down were ones that had been brought to the Bank's attention

years in advance? I find Mr. Porter's silence not just deafening but damning.

Mr. Porter was willing to acknowledge that "the project ... [ran] into difficulties."

But apparently no one at the Bank was or is responsible for those difficulties, and

therefore none of its staff members has had to suffer any adverse consequences. In

fact, many of those who worked on the project have been retained by or promoted within

the Bank; others now run firms that are eligible for lucrative Bank contracts; another

is now her country's Finance Minister. It would appear that the Cambodian government

has found a perfect partner in its efforts to build a transparent, meritocratic,

fiscally responsible regime.

Sophie Richardson

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR

  • Cambodia ready to exit LDC status

    Cambodia is well-prepared to minimise economic risks when it graduates from its Least Developed Countries status, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Commerce on May 7. Four LDCs – Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh and Nepal – met at a virtual workshop last week to explore potential

  • Nine US franchises eye Cambodia debut

    Nine famous US franchising companies are looking for business opportunities and expansion into Cambodia to build a footstep for a strong foundation in Southeast Asia. The US embassy in Phnom Penh, in partnership with the US Foreign Commercial Service and with support from the American

  • Nearly 2,000 detained for Phnom Penh curfew breach

    Nearly 2,000 people were detained in the capital for violating the curfew imposed by the government and Phnom Penh Municipal Administration. Municipal police spokesman San Sokseyha told The Post on May 16 that people were detained in two phases. In phase one, the government locked down Phnom

  • Jab drive announced for two more Phnom Penh districts

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration on May 15 announced a first-dose novel-coronavirus vaccination campaign for Boeung Keng Kang and Sen Sok districts from May 18-31, and a follow-up second-shot drive from June 1-15. Twenty vaccination sites have been set up in a combined 13 communes across both