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Records of the Office of the President
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Records of the Portfolio Management Task Force (Wapenhans Report) and follow-up

In February 1992, Lewis Preston ordered a study of the Bank's basic portfolio management and evaluation process for loans and credits. Headed by Willi Wapenhans, who was assigned to the President's office for the study, the Portfolio Management Task Force produced a report in September 1992 that is one of the most famous in the Bank's history. It argued that the Bank did not pay enough attention to the implementation and supervision of loans and that sustainable development impact is the true measure of success. The Wapenhans Report, as it came to be known, was presented to the Board of Executive Directors in November 1992. In January 1993 Preston assigned Visvanathan Rajagopalan, who as a vice president who had been a member of the advisory council to the Task Force, to coordinate discussions regarding the implementation of the recommendations in the Task Force report.

The files are in 2 parts. The first part is the files of Wapenhans as the chair of the Task Force. These files were inherited by Rajagopalan as he worked on the implementation of the report during 1993. The second are the files of Rajagopalan, both a file regarding the work of the Task Force that he had maintained while he was the Vice President, Sector and Operations Policy, and files that he created during the follow-up period.

This series is the central source for information on the work of the Task Force. It includes the record of the discussion of the Executive Directors at the time the Task Force was formed and the background documents for the meeting of the Executive Directors after the report was issued, the minutes of the meetings of the Task Force from March through June and the audio tapes and the transcripts of a 2 day meeting with partner organizations (cofinancers), and feeder studies on topics ranging from the Bank's internal culture to the use of information technology.

Records regarding the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)

This series contains records compiled by Visvanathan Rajagopalan in his capacity as Chairman of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). The records include his correspondence, agendas and travel plans for meetings, copies of papers presented at meetings or circulated prior to meetings, copies of his introductory remarks delivered at meetings, his briefing books for International Centers Week (the annual meeting of the international agricultural research centers that form the CGIAR network), and scattered reports of the CGIAR Oversight Committee and its Technical Advisory Committee. Correspondence covers meeting arrangements; appointments, salaries, and other personnel matters affecting staff; and resource allocations. The series includes a small amount of the correspondence of Wilfried Thalwitz, Rajagopalan's predecessor as chair of CGIAR.

Chronological files

This series contains President Preston's outgoing correspondence, principally letters, between December 1990 and May 1995, as well as some incoming correspondence addressed to Preston, and other correspondence originating in the Office of the President. The first file predates Preston's tenure at the Bank. As the series covers the entirety of Preston's term, records created during his leave of absence by acting President Stern and other Office staff are included.

Because the Preston records are scant, this series of formal outgoing letters provides an important overview of the external liaison activities in which the President engaged.

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