THE World Bank Group has resolved to discontinue its ‘Doing Business Report’ following criticism over a number of reported ‘irregularities’ regarding changes to data in the 2018 and 2020 reports.
The multilateral finance institution has said the changes in the data were inconsistent with its business methodology.
This resulted in the suspension of the Doing Business Report last month, placing on pause the popular report that has been a valued tool for countries seeking to measure costs of doing business.
According to Bloomberg, since 2003 the report has ranked 190 economies based on how easy it is to do business there, taking into account trading regulations, property rights, contract enforcement.
“After reviewing all the information available to date on Doing Business, including the findings of past reviews, audits, and the report the bank released today (Thursday) on behalf of the board of executive directors, World Bank Group management has taken the decision to discontinue the Doing Business report,” said the bank in a latest statement.
“After data irregularities on Doing Business 2018 and 2020 were reported internally in June 2020, World Bank management paused the next Doing Business report and initiated a series of reviews and audits of the report and its methodology.
“In addition, because the internal reports raised ethical matters, including the conduct of former board officials as well as current and/or former bank staff, management reported the allegations to the bank’s appropriate internal accountability mechanisms.”
In discontinuing the report, the World Bank said “trust in the research” was vital as it informs the actions of policymakers and helping countries make better-informed decisions while allowing stakeholders to measure economic and social improvements more accurately.
Going forward, the World Bank has said it will be working on a new approach to assessing the business and investment climate.