The World Bank has suspended the ‘Ease of Doing Business Report’ following a number of irregularities that have been reported in the Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 reports.
In a statement, the global lender said that the changes in the data were inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology.
The report has been in existence for over 17 years now, and has been an important tool for countries seeking to measure costs of doing business.
“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,” the World Bank said in a statement.
World Bank has promised to ‘rectify’ the data of the affected countries after the investigations are concluded.
World Bank did not however mention the names of the countries which were affected in the irregularities, hence it would not be easy to determine whether the data was deliberately manipulated in certain countries or regions.
According to the now-withdrawn World Bank report, the economies with the most notable improvement in Doing Business 2020 were Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Togo, Bahrain, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Kuwait, China, India and Nigeria.