"Melkert acted as expected"

20th April 2007, Comments 0 comments

20 April 2007, AMSTERDAM – Former Dutch minister Ad Melkert acted as would be expected of him as chairman of the ethical committee at the World Bank at the time of the scandal surrounding bank president Paul Wolfowitz

20 April 2007

AMSTERDAM – Former Dutch minister Ad Melkert acted as would be expected of him as chairman of the ethical committee at the World Bank at the time of the scandal surrounding bank president Paul Wolfowitz

Finance Minister Wouter Bos and Development Coordination Minister Bert Koenders wrote this to Parliament on Thursday.

Democrats D66 had asked for clarification on Melkert's role in the scandal surrounding World Bank president Wolfowitz. 

Wolfowitz's girlfriend received a controversial pay rise when she had to be placed in a job outside of the World Bank because of her relationship with the bank president. Shaha Riza, Wolfowitz's girlfriend, had been working at the bank for some time before Wolfowitz joined the organisation and was on the verge of promotion.

Bos and Koenders say Melkert only advised Wolfowitz on how to prevent any semblance of a conflict of interest, but did not give any instructions for the pay package Shaha Riza should be offered in her new job. Melkert released a statement on Wednesday in which he denies all involvement.

Shaha Riza, Wolfowitz's girlfriend, was transferred to the US department of state in 2005. Since the woman's career was disrupted by the transfer, the ethical committee chaired by Melkert indicated that it would not be out of place for her to receive some compensation. What form this compensation should take was left to Wolfowitz to work out in consultation with others.

Last week it emerged that the woman received an enormous pay rise. The case has put Wolfowitz in a difficult position.

The most important policy committee at the bank released a statement after its spring meeting last weekend that it is very concerned about the bank's reputation. Bos and Koenders agree that the matter has put "the credibility of the World Bank at stake."

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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