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Washington, August 28, 2020
The World Bank Group on Thursday announced that the publication of the annual Doing Business report will be paused while it conducts an assessment of irregularities that have been reported regarding changes to the data in the 2018 and 2020 reports.
"Over the 17 years of its existence, the Doing Business report has been a valued tool for countries seeking to measure costs of doing business. Doing Business indicators and methodology are designed with no single country in mind, but rather to help to improve the overall business climate," the World Bank said in a statement.
"A number of irregularities have been reported regarding changes to the data in the Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 reports, published in October 2017 and 2019. The changes in the data were inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology," it said.
"The integrity and impartiality of our data and analysis is paramount and so we are immediately taking the following actions:
"We are conducting a systematic review and assessment of data changes that occurred subsequent to the institutional data review process for the last five Doing Business reports.
"We have asked the World Bank Group’s independent Internal Audit function to perform an audit of the processes for data collection and review for Doing Business and the controls to safeguard data integrity.
"We will act based on the findings and will retrospectively correct the data of countries that were most affected by the irregularities," the statement said.
The statement said the Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank had been briefed on 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.