The criticism over Riza's pay raises would undoubtedly have been less pronounced were it not for Wolfowitz's outspoken campaign to improve governance in the countries where the bank has been active.
Bea Edwards, international policy director at the Government Accountability Project in Washington, says the Riza scandal was embarrassing for Wolfowitz and his staff.
"As an international organization, the World Bank and its president and senior staff cannot go around the world lecturing governments about corruption, malfeasance, nepotism, cronyism, favoritism and at the same time manifest those same practices at the bank itself," she said.
The head of the World Bank Staff Association on Thursday called on Wolfowitz to step down. After a meeting of the association in Washington, Alison Cave, the group's chair, released a statement saying that Wolfowitz's conduct "has compromised the integrity and effectiveness of the World Bank Group and has destroyed the staff's trust in his leadership. He must act honorably and resign
WASHINGTON - The World Bank’s board of directors adjourned a meeting Friday to review the promotion by bank President Paul Wolfowitz for his girlfriend, Shaha Riza, saying it would move quickly to decide how to proceed.
In a statement, the board said it found that the terms and conditions of Riza’s promotion and salary increase were not reviewed by an ethics committee nor the board’s chairman before it was approved by Wolfowitz, shortly after he joined the institution in 2005.
“The executive directors will move expeditiously to reach a conclusion on possible actions to take,” the board said in a statement. “In their consideration of the matter the executive directors will focus on all relevant governance implications for the bank.”
I say it would be fitting to give Wolfowitz a rifle and have him stand guard at the oil rigs in Iraq.
With or without a girl to keep him company? He is, after all, a man of great wealth and privilege.
Actually, I read another news account which said that Wolfowitz approached some work committee right away about the woman's employment at the World Bank. So it appears he did the right thing there. So the facts are still not clear, nor do I entirely understand why the Bank employees have taken umbrage. Poor writing all around in my opinion. I see one of the accounts Cy posted above implies that Wolfowitz got the woman a promotion and salary increase at the World Bank. So there are conflicting facts.
The transfer of Ms. Riza from the World Bank to a higher-paying job at the State Department — although she remained on the World Bank payroll — has caused resentment among employees of the World Bank, and at an unfortunate time.