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Fighting corruption in Asia and the Pacific

Video | 1 April 2019

ADB is committed to promoting the highest ethical standards in our operations and among our staff. Office of Anticorruption and Integrity Head John Versantvoort discusses the biggest challenges in fighting corruption. He also explains how we help our developing member countries meet international standards in countering money laundering and financing of terrorism.


Speaker: John Versantvoort 
Head, Office of Anticorruption and Integrity 
Asian Development Bank 

ADB boosts efforts to promote good governance, fight corruption in Asia and the Pacific.  

JV: ADB is committed to promoting the highest ethical standards in our operations, and in our developing member countries, as well as among our staff. Last year, ADB was ranked number 1 in the International Aid Transparency Index. To build on this achievement, last year, we have also started to take a new approach to the way in which we assess and investigate complaints. This new approach has allowed us to close almost 40% more complaints in 2018 than in 2017. We have also issued a record number of remedial actions, such as debarment.  

What are the challenges for ADB in fighting corruption?  

JV: One of the main challenges of any investigative office in a multilateral development bank is that we really depend a lot on information that we can get from willing partners, or from information in the public domain. The information in the public domain nowadays is so vast, there’s so many, there is so much data out there, that to really access that information in a meaningful manner, we will need to deploy technology more efficiently, so that we can find the needle in the haystack much quicker.  

How does ADB support its developing member countries?

JV: This past year, we have put a lot of emphasis on expanding our technical assistance program to our developing member countries. In recent years, there’s been a proliferation of international standards in the areas of anti-money laundering, countering the financing of terrorism, tax transparency, and tax integrity. To make sure that our developing member countries can continue to participate in the global financial architecture, we provide technical assistance for them to adjust to and adopt these international standards.