In a statement issued today in Washington DC, the World Bank said it had appointed Maarten de Jong, a Dutch national, as Director of its Department of Institutional Integrity. “I am confident that Mr. de Jong will ably carry out the mission of ensuring rigorous, prompt, and objective investigation of all allegations of fraud or corruption or misconduct either by Bank staff or in Bank-financed projects,” said World Bank President James Wolfensohn. In his new post, Mr. de Jong who is currently Managing Director of the European Institute for Law Enforcement Cooperation (EULEC), will advise senior management on corruption issues, and further develop the Bank’s investigative strategies and procedures, contributing to policy initiatives and programmes that will strengthen the Bank’s anti-fraud and corruption efforts.Since late 1997, the World Bank has undertaken more than 600 specific anti-corruption programs and governance initiatives in 95 borrower countries. According to the Bank, its investigations have so far resulted in a permanent ban of 58 firms and individuals from future Bank-financed contracts. The Bank is the first multilateral development institution to publish on its external web page the names of firms and individuals found to have committed some form of fraud or corruption.