ADB Steps Up Anticorruption Efforts to Enhance Asia's Development

The Asian Development Bank debarred 98 firms and 40 individuals for integrity violations in 2016, according to of the bank’s Office of Anticorruption and Integrity’s (OAI) 2016 Annual Report released.

The ADB is stepping up its anticorruption and integrity efforts, and has approved an update to its Anticorruption Policy. This is on top of other reforms and policies to be implemented over the next 12 months to improve the institution’s support to developing member countries (DMCs) to address issues such as tax integrity, according to the report.

Nine firms and one individual, meanwhile, were conditionally nondebarred, 18 firms and 9 individuals reprimanded, and 16 firms and 13 individuals cautioned.

Fraud made up 72% of the integrity violations investigated, followed by collusion (13%), corruption (5%), conflict of interest (1%), and others (8%).

OAI conducted seven proactive reviews — or Project Procurement-Related Reviews (PPRR) — of ongoing ADB-financed projects in 2016 with a value of $1.8 billion. PPRRs identify noncompliance issues, irregularities and integrity concerns, with project procurement, disbursements, and delivery of project outputs.

“ADB is not only about financing development projects for Asia and the Pacific. We are also about fighting corruption and making sure that our member countries and other development partners adhere to the same principle of integrity,” said Clare Wee, Head, OAI. “We, at ADB, are committed to redoubling our anticorruption efforts to better assist the region’s pursuit of a more sustainable and inclusive development.”

The 2016 report discusses some of the efforts ADB — through OAI — is planning to implement this year including a $2 million technical assistance to DMCs to counter money laundering and financing of terrorism, as well as technical support not only to tackle tax integrity issues but also to promote domestic resource mobilization.

OAI will also prepare new tax guidelines for ADB’s nonsovereign operations.

ADB will ensure that it retains a respectful work environment through a newly established Respectful Workplace Unit, which will include mandatory anticorruption and respect at work training for all staff.

These efforts will ride on the back of a successful anticorruption and integrity drive from ADB through both enforcement and prevention strategies in 2016.

The OAI 2016 Annual Report also includes a special feature on tax integrity and development, outlining ADB’s leading role in responding to issues like tax secrecy, tax evasion, and aggressive tax planning.

Among other steps, OAI will report on its tax integrity activities to ADB’s Board of Directors in 2018, and every 3 years thereafter. This will ensure that ADB remains in line with international developments in this issue.