World Bank to discontinue 'Doing Business' reports
…after data irregularities for four countries identifiedWednesday, September 22, 2021
The World Bank Group has announced that it will discontinue the 'Doing Business' reports following an investigation prompted by internal reports of data irregularities in its 2018 and 2020 editions, released in 2017 and 2019, respectively.
In January this year the World Bank carried out investigations to review the internal circumstances at the bank that contributed to the data irregularities for China, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Azerbaijan; who at the bank directed, implemented, or knew about the data changes and how their direction or pressure manifested; and what internal circumstances whether related to policies, personnel, or culture, allowed for the changes to take place.
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.
The Doing Business report, first published in 2004, was the dominant international scorecard, providing an annual snapshot of which countries provided better or worse business environments.
According to the initial Doing Business 2018 report, China had a score of 65.3 with a global ranking of 78, similar to the previous year. After the corrections in data for indicators like Starting a Business, Getting Credit, and Paying Taxes indicators, China's score fell to 64.5 and global ranking to 85.
“Taking as given the published data for all other countries, China's global ranking in Doing Business 2018 would have been 85, a decline of seven places relative to the previous year,” the World Bank had said in a review report.