WASHINGTON, Jan 29 (AFP): Barely eight months after taking office, World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz is fulfilling the fears of some staffers who looked askance at the hawkish former Pentagon number two's appointment.
"Communications with the management are pretty much non- existent, they do not understand the culture of the Bank," said one official at the international lender who, like other disaffected staffers, declined to give her full name.
"At first, we wanted to give him a chance," she said.
The honeymoon period for Wolfowitz seems to have been short- lived following his replacement of World Bank chief James Wolfensohn last June.
Many at the organisation had grave misgivings at the US government's nomination of a figure who was the "neoconservative" deputy to US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and a prime architect of the war in Iraq.
Those concerns were quieted initially by Wolfowitz's promises to continue the World Bank's action against global poverty and his insistence that he wanted to listen to the collective expertise present in its ranks.
But members of staff say that discontent has begun to simmer, in particular at the appointment by Wolfowitz of former US administration insiders to senior positions as he promotes an aggressive campaign against corruption.
Some appointments were uncontroversial, such as his choice of Swedish national Lars Thunel as head of the International Financial Corporation, the Bank's lending arm, and of Italian Vincenzo La Via as chief financial officer.
But other job placements have caused a stink, notably the naming this month of Suzanne Rich Folsom as director of the World Bank's Department of Institutional Integrity, its anti-corruption unit.