ANU Law student Maxine Viertmann helped investigate fraud and corruption in World Bank-funded projects during her internship in the Bank’s Washington DC office.
The 2017 winner of the ANU College of Law’s World Bank Scholarship says the experience added an extra dimension to her Bachelor of Law (Honours) / Bachelor of Commerce double degree.
“My time at the World Bank gave me a unique opportunity to learn about the operation of the World Bank’s sanctioning system, the nature of corruption in public procurement, and the obstacles faced in the fight against corruption,” Maxine says.
“It also allowed me to practice my legal drafting, editing and investigative skills.
“Overall, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with the kind and supportive people in the Bank’s Integrity Vice Presidency’s Special Litigation Unit, who welcomed and mentored me throughout my time there.”
The 2018 internship – applications for which close at 11:59pm on Friday 6 April – is for six months from June, so the successful applicant will have to defer their studies in semester two.
Maxine applied for the scholarship last year because she was already interested in transnational corporate corruption and corruption in public procurement after doing an internship at the International Bar Association in London.
“I saw the World Bank Fellowship as a good opportunity to get practical exposure to anti-corruption efforts and broaden my experience in the anti-corruption field,” Maxine explains.
“I’ve always wanted to work in an international environment and was also curious to witness the inner workings of a multi-lateral development bank.
“The World Bank is truly a microcosm of the world – it’s definitely one of the most multicultural and diverse work environments I’ve ever been exposed to.”
She worked in the Bank’s Integrity Vice Presidency Special Litigation Unit which investigates and pursues sanctions related to allegations of fraud, corruption, collusion, coercion or obstruction.
“Working in the unit, I had the opportunity to prepare, compile, draft and edit Statements of Evidence and Accusations, and Negotiated Resolution Agreements in preparation for submission to the Office of Suspension and Debarment.
“I also assisted in the investigation of fraud and corruption in a number of World Bank-wfinanced projects. The Bank also holds presentations on a variety of topics and I made it my mission to attend as many as I could to learn about the World Bank Group’s five institutions and their development efforts.”
Maxine urges ANU Law students to apply for the $25,000 scholarship.
“I would definitely recommend this scholarship to anyone who is interested, particularly if you have an interest in the intersection between anti-corruption, legal frameworks and global development.”