Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Ernest Wilson
WILSON: Yes. Not for auditors as such, but ROCAP financed key positions in the Bank and contracted for outside assistance the Bank needed, etc.
Q: Were there any major audit issues?
WILSON: There were issues like the utility of building a road that ended at a border and didn't go across the border, linking up roads, and that sort of thing. There was a question of the utility of building this road to this point at the border of Honduras when Honduras has not put up its share to link the road up with its interior road system. At the time you were dealing with two different sovereign countries, each setting its own priorities.
Q: That was a Bank program?
WILSON: Yes, we lent the money to the Bank for certain purposes. The Bank in turn loaned the funds to the Central American governments. Some of the loans were repayable to the Bank in hard currency, some in a combination of currencies, etc. All loans to AID were repayable in the currency loaned - usually U.S. dollars. They were referred to as two-step loans.
Q: What is a two step loan?
WILSON: Lending to one entity for relending to another entity.
Q: How did you find that worked?
WILSON: It worked well... at least in principle. We were in the early stages of the lending and repayment cycles. Many loans had not reached the point where repayment was to commence. But actually, the Bank over time, was very successful.
Q: Were they responsive to your audits?
WILSON: On large issues, the Bank was generally quite responsive. ROCAP participated in placing many of the bank officials in their positions and they were responsive to AID's concerns.
Q: Did the roads ever get connected?
WILSON: They did eventually, yes.