World Bank pauses annual global business surveyThe Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank has been briefed on the situation as have the authorities of the countries that were most affected by the data irregularities.
Due to irregularities, the World Bank Group last week suspended publication of the Doing Business annual report that covers over a 100 countries. The 2021 report was due out in October.
For nearly two decades, this high profile survey has become a useful source of information for gauging a country’s competitiveness in attracting new business and investment. It ranks how business-friendly a country is based on a set of criteria, however in recent years critics have claimed the survey is subjective and biased against certain countries as was the case in 2018 for Chile.
In a statement, The World Bank Group said, ‘Over the 17 years of its existence, the Doing Business report has been a valued tool for countries seeking to measure 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.
‘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. The changes in the data were inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology’.
According to the statement, the Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank has been briefed on the situation as have the authorities of the countries that were most affected by the data irregularities. ‘The publication of the Doing Business report will be paused as we conduct our assessment’
The multilateral institution based in Washington D.C. said the integrity and impartiality of their data and analysis is paramount.
The statement continued: ‘We are conducting a systematic review and assessment of data changes that occurred subsequent to the institutional data review process 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. We will act based on the findings and will retrospectively correct the data of countries that were most affected by the irregularities’.