The Siemens initiative is part of the World Bank-Siemens AG comprehensive settlement that was agreed on July 2, 2009. “We welcome the company’s initiative in support of fair and equal conditions in a highly competitive global market,” commented Leonard McCarthy, World Bank Integrity Vice President. “This initiative can help spread the word and change expectations of the business environment particularly in parts of the world where governance and integrity remain a challenge to development effectiveness.” The Siemens Integrity Initiative supports projects that prevent and fight fraud and corruption. These include training and education projects as well as collective action, in which companies and institutions build alliances to achieve clean markets and fair competition. The selection process will favor projects having a direct impact on the private sector and that aim, among others, to strengthen compliance standards and legal systems.
Those eligible for funds include non-government organizations (NGOs), international organizations, associations and universities. Applications for funding must be submitted to Siemens at latest by January 31, 2010. The World Bank Group will have audit rights over the use of these funds and veto rights over the selection by Siemens of anti-corruption groups or programs receiving funds. Additional information on financing eligibility is available at: www.siemens.com/integrity-initiative
The comprehensive settlement with Siemens arose out of a World Bank investigation and the company’s acknowledgment of past misconduct in its global business. As part of the settlement, Limited Liability Company Siemens (OOO Siemens), a Russian subsidiary of Siemens AG, has been debarred for four years in connection with violations committed prior to 2007. The findings resulted from an investigation by the World Bank's Integrity Vice Presidency into fraudulent and corrupt practices under the Bank-financed "Moscow Urban Transport Project".