WASHINGTON, Sept 27, CMC – The Washington-based Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has confirmed that its president Mauricio Claver-Carone “will cease to hold the office” effective Monday.
In a statement, the IDB said that its Board of Governors had accepted the unanimous recommendation by the Board of Executive Directors that Claver-Carone be removed from office effective September 26.
“In accordance with the Bank’s Charter, the Executive Vice President, Reina Irene Mejía Chacón, will act as President, under the direction of the Board of Executive Directors, until a new President is elected.
“An election will be conducted as per the Bank’s Charter and the Regulations for the Election of the President of the Bank. The IDB Group and its teams continue to operate normally to comply with the IDB’s mission of improving lives in Latin America and the Caribbean,” the brief statement said, giving no reasons for Claver-Carone’s removal.
But international media said investigators found evidence to conclude Claver-Carone, an American, had a relationship with a staff member who reported directly to him, and to whom he gave raises totalling more than 45 per cent of base pay in less than one year.
Last week, Claver-Carone, said while he welcomed the findings of an “unprecedented investigation”, the process failed to meet international standards of integrity that both the IDB and the region strive to exemplify.
He said while the investigation did not “substantiate the false and anonymous allegations that were made against me or IDB staff in the press,” it is the first time in the history of any multilateral development bank that a process like this takes place, where an elected leader has been subject to an arbitrary investigation without any formal complaint within the administrative rules of the organisation and launched on the basis of anonymous and unsubstantiated allegations.
“It is unprecedented. Despite the absence of due process, I fully cooperated without relinquishing my constitutional rights. The handling of the investigation has repeatedly violated the Ethics Rules of the Bank, basic norms, and raised seriously questionable practices, including manipulating, distorting, and knowingly using information proven to be unreliable to predetermine an outcome instead of presenting a fair and unbiased review.”
Claver-Carone, who was elected to the IDB top post on September 12, 2020, did not detail the allegations made against him and the Washington-based financial institution but said transparency, accountability, and due process are key components of trust, which is of the utmost importance today to the IDB’s work as a development institution.
“I believe that complaints, even if anonymous, should be taken seriously and handled with care, and firmly uphold that the IDB should be a rules-based institution, as established by charter, and not a political organisation that is driven by ideological or partisan interests,” said Claver-Carone.
“In clear and direct contravention of IDB ethics rules, neither I nor any other IDB staff member has been given an opportunity to review the final investigative report, respond to its conclusions, or correct inaccuracies,” continued Claver-Carone.
“These rules, which apply to all IDB employees including myself and staff that the allegations are against, require that IDB employees be given 15 business days to respond to the allegations. The rules are designed to ensure due process and fair outcomes.”
Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago are the Caribbean countries with membership in the IDB.