ADB debarred 31 companies in 2011

By Helen Wright14 March 2012

Last year, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) debarred 31 companies and 34 individuals from participating on projects it funds, and said it received a record 225 complaints about corrupt activities.

Investigations by the ADB's Integrity Oversight Committee (IOC) exposed cases of bid rigging, fraud, misrepresentation and collusion on a number of its infrastructure projects, resulting in sanctions including bans of up to seven years.

Under the 2010 Agreement for Mutual Enforcement of Debarment Decisions, signed by the ADB and other development banks including the World Bank, the ADB also cross-debarred 27 companies and 12 individuals last year. It also submitted seven companies and six individuals for cross debarment by the other development banks.

The ADB said the agreement, which renders the same companies ineligible to participate in projects funded by any of the participating development banks, had "significantly extended" the reach and impact of its sanctions.

The ADB said that in addition to the 225 complaints it received in 2011 - more than any other year - it had 95 open complaints from previous years.

Peter Pedersen, head of the ADB's Office of Anticorruption and Integrity (OAI) said, "To the extent debarments help us to mitigate the negative impacts of fraud and corruption in ADB financed projects, then these numbers are important."

However, he said the OAI expected complaints to continue to increase in number, complexity and sensitivity, requiring sophisticated investigative techniques.

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