World Bank halts release of ‘Doing Business’ report over data irregularities

WASHINGTON, April 17, 2020 -- Photo taken on April 17, 2020 shows the World Bank headquarters in Washington D.C., the United States. The World Bank Group (WBG) is expected to launch health emergency programs in over 100 countries by the end of April to support the fight against COVID-19, with 64 already in operation, President David Malpass said Friday. (Photo by Ting Shen/Xinhua/IANS)

The World Bank has announced to halt the publication of the ‘Doing Business’ report as irregularities have been reported in the changes to the data published in October 2017 and 2019.

In a statement, World Bank Group said it has asked its independent Internal Audit function to perform an audit of the processes for data collection and review for ‘Doing Business’ and the control to safeguard data integrity.

“A number of irregularities have been reported regarding changes to the data in the ‘Doing Business’ 2018 and 2020 reports published in October 2017 and 2019. The changes in the data were inconsistent with the ‘Doing Business’ methodology,” it added.

It said the World Bank will act based on the findings and retrospectively correct the data of countries that were most affected by the irregularities.

The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank has been briefed about 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 statement added.

India was among the countries which witnessed the “most notable improvement” as per the ‘Doing Business’ 2020 report released in October 2019 with 63rd rank in the ease of doing business.

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