President Nakao leads ADB’s continuing fight against corruption
ADB staff joined the President in commemorating International Anti-corruption Day on 9 December at ADB headquarters in Manila. President Nakao in his remarks pledged to continue to ensure that ADB’s resources are used for their intended purpose. Keynote speakers Raul Pangalangan, an International Criminal Court judge; and Aruna Roy, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan's co-founder, delivered speeches on good governance, the right to information, and anti-corruption. See the photo.
ADB holds Forensic Accounting Workshop in Sri Lanka
A total of 68 representatives from Sri Lanka's Supreme Audit Institution, investigative bodies, and private auditing firms attended the workshop organized by ADB's Office of Anticorruption and Integrity (OAI) on 14-15 September in Colombo. The workshop exchanged fraud prevention and detection techniques and fostered information sharing. To request for similar trainings, contact OAI.
Three Anticorruption Seminars in Sri Lanka
About 120 staff from executing and implementing agencies; representatives from international and local civil society organizations; and consultants, contractors, and suppliers in Sri Lanka attended three different anticorruption seminars hosted by ADB's Office of Anticorruption and Integrity (OAI) on 9-11 September in Colombo. The seminars aimed to enhance the participants' knowledge of ADB's Anticorruption Policy, and improve fraud and corruption detection and prevention skills.
Anticorruption Seminar in Armenia
Representatives from the Ministries of Finance, Economy, Transport and Energy, other executing and implementing agencies, private sector, and civil society organizations in Armenia attended OAI's anticorruption seminar from 23-25 June in Yerevan. The seminars focused on raising anticorruption awareness and enhancing participants' skills at detecting fraud and corruption during project implementation.
ADB and NDF Sign Anticorruption MOU
ADB, through OAI, and the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to foster cooperation and mutual interests in the fight against fraud and corruption. The MOU sets out the practical modalities of the parties' working relations.
Improved Institutional Governance, Political Will Essential in Combatting Corruption
Countries in Asia and the Pacific still face huge challenges in addressing and curbing corruption, which hinders economic development and efforts to reduce poverty.
At the 8th Regional Conference of the ADB-Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Anticorruption Initiative for Asia and the Pacific on 3 September 2014, Clare Wee, head of ADB’s Office of Anticorruption and Integrity (OAI), emphasized the need for a determined and unified endeavor to stop what seems to be a worsening problem of corruption in the region.
Citing a Transparency International report, Wee said in her welcome remarks that more than half of the countries in the region scored lower than 40 points (out of 100) in the Corruption Perceptions Index.
The conference in Phnom Penh, Cambodia brought together policymakers from the region. This year’s theme, Building Trust, recognizes the importance of building trust among the government, private sector, and civil society in the collective action against corruption.
"The ADB-OECD Anticorruption Initiative is uniquely placed to be able to influence key policymakers of our countries. It was the first, and is I believe still the largest, network of anticorruption authorities in Asia and the Pacific, and has the potential of being the most influential in the longer term," said Wee.
Success in the fight against corruption can only be ensured by improving institutional governance and transforming institutions into having a strong commitment to transparency, accountability, and enforceability, said Wee. "Today, experts tell us that fighting corruption cannot work without political will, and that a successful fight against corruption must come from the top."
Commitments made at the conference were: increasing transparency in government institutions, fiscal matters, and decision-making; updating and modernizing anticorruption strategies, including through the use of technology; encouraging companies to adopt measures to prevent and detect corruption; increasing prosecutions of individuals and companies that engage in corruption; and enhancing the right to information, media freedoms, and monitoring by civil society.
In ADB, the Regional Sustainable Development Department spearheads the implementation of the ADB-OECD Anticorruption Initiative, in close collaboration with other departments, including OAI.
ADB's Office of Anticorruption and Integrity Promotes the Role of Civil Society in Fighting Corruption
In April and June of this year, the Office of Anticorruption and Integrity (OAI), in coordination with other ADB departments, held two learning events at ADB Headquarters in Manila to highlight the role of civil society organizations (CSOs) in monitoring and preventing corruption, specifically in the field of public education delivery.
The first event, held on 3 April 2014 in coordination with ADB's Regional and Sustainable Development Department's (RSDD) Insight Thursday series, showcased a talk by Jecel Censoro of Checkmyschool.org, a participatory monitoring initiative that aims to promote social accountability and transparency in delivering services for public education in the Philippines. Censoro discussed the role of civil society, including the youth, in monitoring and reporting corruption in schools. She also suggested greater participation of civil society as watchdog in ADB projects.
The second learning event, a forum on "Good Governance and Anticorruption in Public Education" was held on 17 June 2014, led by OAI and RSDD's Governance and Public Management (RSPG) Communities of Practice (CoPs). Bart Edes, RSPG Director, moderated the forum, which discussed the collaboration between ADB, CSOs, and the public sector in promoting transparency and accountability in public education.
Jouko Sarvi, RSPG Advisor and Practice Leader for the Education CoP, shared how ADB is helping improve governance in the education sector. The forum was attended by Checkmyschool representatives from the Philippines, Mongolia, Indonesia, and Cambodia and the relevant ministerial counterparts from the Philippines, Mongolia and Cambodia, facilitating an informative and interactive discussion on CSOs and its impact on governance in the public education sector.
The two events are in line with ADB's "iACT: I fight corruption" campaign, which was launched in December 2011. iAct encourages the active participation of ADB staff in combatting corruption by providing them with the right tools and opportunities to report questionable activities in any ADB-related projects.
Former ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda had stated this in a previous iACT activity - "ADB acknowledges the challenges of fighting corruption, which in itself is a huge deterrent to economic growth in any country".
Current ADB President Takehiko Nakao also emphasized during the International Anticorruption Day Celebration in 2013, "that there must be a collective effort against corruption if there is to be any success in implementing economic programs".
ADB has been advocating programs aimed at eliminating fraud and corruption not just in its projects but also in government and private offices in the Asia Pacific region.
Anticorruption Seminar in the Lao People's Democratic Republic
ADB's Office of Anticorruption and Integrity conducted a seminar in Vientiane, Lao People's Democratic Republic on 18-20 March 2014 to strengthen the participants’ skills in identifying and responding to fraud, corruption, collusion, and coercion in procurement and project implementation.
Almost 120 representatives from the country's executing and implementing agencies of ADB-supported projects, members of civil society organizations, and consultants and contractors participated in the event.
During the seminar, ADB’s Anticorruption Policy was outlined, strengthening the participants’ skills in identifying and responding to fraud, corruption, collusion, and coercion in procurement and project implementation. Their capacity to conduct due diligence was also reinforced.
In her opening remarks, Sandra Nicoll, Country Director of the Lao PDR's ADB office, explained that ADB puts a lot of effort on combating corruption as part of its broader work on good governance and capacity building.
OAI Integrity Specialists Cholpon Mambetova and Anne Gin discussed the negative impacts of corruption on economic development and poverty reduction, and guided the participants on how to detect red flags in procurement processes.
Participants from executing and implementing agencies included project directors, procurement specialists, and budget managers. They actively engaged in exercises, which included the determination of fraud and other integrity violations through sample case studies on due diligence.
Separate sessions were also conducted for civil society organizations, and consultants and contractors. During the session for civil society organizations, both international and local representatives shared with OAI their thoughts and opinions on corruption in the Lao PDR.
ADB unveils "iACT: I fight corruption!" 2013 poster campaign
Throughout the year, OAI organized initiatives to extend the "iACT: I fight corruption!" message to the resident missions (RMs) through distribution of posters and presentations focused on empowering and engaging RM staff as frontliners in ADB's anticorruption efforts.
ADB Joins International Conferences on Integrity in Tunisia
ADB's Office of Anticorruption and Integrity (OAI) participated at the Multilateral Develoment Bank (MDB) Heads of Integrity Meeting and 14th Conference of International Investigators, hosted by the African Development Bank on 18-20 September in Tunis. An OAI team gave a presentation on project procurement-related reviews.