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Sunday, 16 March 2014

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ADB penalises 60 entities for corruption

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) imposed sanctions on 60 people and firms after these entities were found guilty of corruption in 2013. In the 2013 Annual Report of the ADB's Office of Anti-corruption and Integrity (OAI), the sanctions on these entities were the result of 250 complaints received by the OAI last year.

"Fraud related to work experience, qualifications, and technical and financial capacities of consulting firms or consultants continues to be the most common type of integrity violation reported to OAI," ADB OAI Head Clare Wee said.

The OAI said the majority of complaints came from external ADB stakeholders, highlighting the crucial role of civil society in combating threats to the integrity and effectiveness of ADB's development work. In 2013 the OAI investigated 239 cases and closed 76; while the Integrity Oversight Committee (IOC), a three-member panel that decides whether to impose prohibitions, confirmed sanctions on 30 people and 30 firms.

As part of an agreement between the ADB and four other multilateral development banks, the ADB cross-debarred 324 entities. The stringent measures help ensure development funds deliver desired results and benefit the people of Asia and the Pacific.

In 2014 OAI expects to update its Integrity Principles and Guidelines, consistent with similar reviews being conducted by other multilateral development banks. OAI will also continue its awareness-raising programs in 2014 to help ADB staff to spot the warning signs of corruption and fraud.

In the Philippines two firms and people have been barred by the ADB from participating in the bidding for projects funded by the Manila-based multilateral agency.

All the people and one firm were barred indefinitely while one firm's debarment will last until 2017.

Based on ADB rules, sanctions for integrity violations require a three-year debarment. The IOC may impose a greater or lesser debarment periods depending on the circumstance of each case.

For firms and people experiencing first debarments, including cases where a party has previously been given a reprimand.

For people, the sanction could last from a year to indefinite while firms' sanctions could last as long as seven years. For firms and people experiencing second debarments, the sanction for people could last indefinitely while firms' sanctions could last up to 10 years.

The ADB said subsequent debarments means that sanctions for people could be indefinite while sanctions for firms can reach up to 20 years.

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