Tue, Dec 17, 2019 - Page 3 News List

World Bank clarifies rules after passport policy report

Staff writer, with CNA

The World Bank on Sunday said that its employees from countries that are not members of the bank would still be eligible to work for it.

A World Bank spokesperson said that it has changed its employment guidelines, which previously said that current or prospective employees from Taiwan must submit a Chinese passport.

The guidelines were revised after US-based news Web site Axios reported on Friday that World Bank human resource personnel had told Taiwanese that they would only be hired if they submitted documents issued by the People’s Republic of China.

The spokesperson, who spoke on condition of anonymity, on Sunday said that the employment guidance, which was on the bank’s internal Web site, dated back to 1999.

However, “it was never adopted as policy by the bank and it is not based on the institution’s principles of staff employment or our articles of agreement,” the spokesperson said.

When the World Bank’s senior management were made aware of the Axios report, they took immediate steps to amend the guidance so that employees who are not nationals of a World Bank member country or a country in which the World Bank group operates are able to retain their employment, the spokesperson said.

“Our principles of staff employment require that we treat our staff fairly,” the spokesperson said. “It is regrettable that this past practice has led to some staff being asked to obtain another passport for purposes of employment.”

“This is not consistent with our values as an institution and has been remedied,” the spokesperson said.

The World Bank has 189 member countries. Taiwan is not one of them.

The bank has three employees who hold Republic of China passports, sources familiar with the matter said.

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