The Asian Development Bank (ADB) says it increased the number of pre-project due diligence reviews it carried out last year. The work by its Office of Anticorruption and Integrity (OAI) is designed as a preventive and proactive approach to corruption.

The OAI said requests for due diligence reviews were up +73% in 2014, compared to 2013, adding that last year was the third year it has offered this service. It said the increase was due to a rise in the ADB’s equity investments, lending, and development initiatives involving the private sector, and reflected an increased need for the bank to evaluate and minimise reputational risks in dealings with other entities.

OAI head Clare Wee said, “Detecting and preventing corruption beforehand is preferable to dealing with it after the fact. However, investigations and related remedial actions, debarments and cross debarments will remain a mainstay and continue to be an essential feature of ADB’s holistic approach for fighting corruption.”

The ADB added that it had seen a slight dip in the number of new complaints for integrity violations in 2014. It received 241 complaints, compared to the record 250 in 2013. The bank added that total complaints converted into investigations dropped to 84 in 2014, compared to 92 in 2013, which it claimed was partly due to its more robust screening process.

The ADB said this year will see it begin reporting on the value of contracts implicated in OAI investigations as a tool for quantifying the costs of integrity violations to the bank.

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