IDB to Adopt New Anti-corruption Probe, Sanction Process

Starting April 1, the Inter-American Development Bank will employ its revamped process of investigating and sanctioning corruption cases in activities financed by the regional lender.

Under the new framework, the bank’s Office of Institutional Integrity will submit findings of its probe into corruption issues to a case officer, who will decide whether to sanction a firm or an individual.

Juan Ronderos, who previously worked at the World Bank’s Integrity Vice-Presidency as regional team leader for Latin America and the Caribbean, is the new case officer.

Decisions made by the case officer may be appealed through the Sanctions Committee, which will be composed of seven members, four of whom are external members. These include Andrés Rigo, former acting vice president and general counsel at the World Bank, Josefa Sicard-Mirabal and John Detzner, juris doctor graduates from Harvard Law School, and Alejandro Garro, a graduate of doctor of the science of law from Columbia University.

The bank also expanded its definition of fraud and corruption by introducing the term “prohibited practices,” which includes corrupt, fraudulent, coercive, collusive and obstructive practices.

IDB said it has also modified procurement procedures to help implement an agreement among multilateral development banks to jointly blacklist and debar companies and consultants found to have engaged in corrupt practices in bank-financed development projects. The agreement was signed in April by IDB, World Bank, African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Meanwhile, IDB has released its 2010 development effectiveness report, which examines what the bank is doing to evaluate the development impact of its five institutional priorities - social policy for equity and productivity, infrastructure for competitiveness and social welfare, institutions for growth and social welfare, competitive regional and global international integration, and environment and climate change.

The report finds that the bank has made strides in improving the transparency, accountability and development impact of its projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. It warns, however, that “relevant knowledge gaps “still remain on development interventions in areas such as gender policy, regional public goods and fiscal reforms.

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About the author

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    Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.