ADB defines corruption as the abuse of public or private office for personal gain. This means any behavior in which people in the public or private sectors improperly and unlawfully enrich themselves or those close to them, or induce others to do so, by misusing their position. The purpose of ADB's Anticorruption Policy, approved in July 1998, is to reduce the burden corruption exacts from the governments and economies of the region. The policy has three objectives:
ADB's integrity is one of its strongest assets. ADB affirms a zero tolerance policy when credible evidence of fraud and corruption exists among ADB-financed projects or its staff. ADB's Anticorruption Policy covers all firms and individuals associated with ADB-financed projects, including all ADB staff. It covers proposed, ongoing, and completed projects in all ADB public and private sector operations.