MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Office of Anticorruption and Integrity (OAI) sanctioned 90 companies and individuals for integrity violations in 2015, more than double the 40 sanctioned the previous year, reflecting expanded efforts to encourage staff and partners to report corrupt activities, a new report says.
OAI’s 2015 Annual Report notes that 106 entities were also cross-debarred in 2015 in line with a cross-debarment agreement with four other multilateral development banks. This is a slight increase from the 99 firms and individuals cross-debarred in 2014. Complaints received in 2015 climbed 18% year-on-year to a record 285.
“Corruption is a direct threat to better lives for millions of poor citizens in our region. It can only be combated by all development stakeholders taking an unequivocal stand that any transgression, no matter how big or small, is unacceptable,” said OAI Head Clare Wee. “OAI stepped up efforts and resources in 2015 to raise awareness on corruption in all its forms, and the rise in complaints reflects increased willingness to report actions that cross the line.”
To strengthen prevention, OAI ramped up staff resources to support 61 training sessions and six awareness-raising events. OAI also increased its support for ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department, with integrity due diligence advice provided on 346 companies and individuals—a more than 100% rise from the year earlier. The integrity due diligence advisory function was put in place 4 years ago due to a rise in ADB’s equity investments, lending, and development initiatives in the private sector.
OAI also carried out six reviews of project procurement procedures, up from four in 2014, and issued simplified checklists to help staff and agencies identify and prevent integrity breaches in procuring goods and services.
In 2016, OAI expects the growth in ADB’s nonsovereign and cofinancing operations to result in even larger numbers of requests for integrity due diligence advice. OAI will also roll out a technical assistance project to raise the capacity of financial institutions in ADB’s developing member countries to meet global regulations on anti-money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
A further initiative during the year will see OAI upgrade its reinstatement procedures for sanctioned companies and individuals aiming to become eligible for future ADB projects. This will ensure they take the necessary anti-corruption compliance actions to prevent any recurrence of violations.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region.