The African Development Bank (AfDB) has tightened its anti-corruption agenda as well as its procurement rules and procedures to bring them in line with practices in peer development finance institutions.

To this effect, the Bank?s Board of Directors in a meeting chaired by its President Donald Kaberuka on July 5, 2012 approved new policies designed to strengthen the institution?s decision.

The Board approved the following policies:

?    A Proposal for the Implementation of a Sanctions process within the African Development Bank Group which includes the establishment of 1) a sanctions Office comprising a Sanctions Commissioner, an Alternate Sanctions Commissioner, and Secretary to the Sanctions Office; 2) a Sanctions Appeal Board comprising three substantive members, three alternate members and a Sanctions Appeal Board Secretary; 3) terms of reference for the sanctions and Appeal Boards; 4) expansion of the range of sanctions to include reprimand, conditional non-debarment, debarment, restitution and remedy, as the case may be.

?    Amendment to Rules and Procedures for procurement of Goods and Works; and Rules and Procedures for the use of Consultants.

?    Restructuring of the Integrity and Anti-Corruption Department.

In a statement, the AfDB explained that these ?approvals empower the Bank to implement the Agreement for Mutual Enforcement of Debarment Decisions signed by Development Finance Institutions on April 9, 2010.? The agreement establishes a framework within which entities or persons found to have engaged in wrongdoing in development projects financed by the IFIs may be sanctioned for the same misconduct by other participating development Banks in circumstances where such entity or person is debarred by one IFI for a period exceeding a year.

The Bank?s revised ICT Operations Strategy and Action Plan for the Medium-Term 2012-2014 was also approved.

The statement noted that the executive directors approved the creation of The Multi-donor Trust fund for Transition which is designed to provide the Bank with additional grant resources to deliver quick support to countries in transition. The Fund will commence operations with North African countries in transition, the Bank said.

By Ekow Quandzie

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