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13.04.2010 Technology

TI welcomes multilateral banks' commitment to fight corruption

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Accra, April 12, GNA -Transparency International (TI), the global coalition against corruption, has welcomed an agreement by the World Bank and four major regional development banks to join forces to fight corruption by debarring firms and individuals found guilty of fraud and corruption in development projects.

"Fraud in development projects disadvantages the most vulnerable. This agreement is an important signal that the development banks are making a concerted effort to sanction corruption around the world," said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International (TI).

A statement copied to the GNA in Accra said the agreement meant that a company or individual debarred for more than one year by one bank may now be debarred from doing business with all five development banks.

The inclusion of individuals in the joint sanction accord is very important, since many corruption schemes are arranged by agents or individual consultants, the statement added.

It noted that debarment could be an effective tool to deter corruption as it affected future revenues and credibility of the firms involved.

To further strengthen its enforcement, TI has called on the banks to publish their agreement in full and to vigorously ensure the cross-debarment of delinquent entities.

In addition, the banks should make every effort to prevent illicit practices by requiring all contractors on bank-financed projects to have effective anti-corruption compliance programmes.

"Coordinated worldwide efforts are needed against corruption. The development banks are ahead of governments, which lag behind in terms of exchange of information and coordinated enforcement against contractors and officials involved in cases that have resulted in debarment," the statement said.

The agreement includes the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank Group and the World Bank Group.