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IDB reforms ethics, conduct and grievance systems

Following recommendations from Global Compliance Services

The Inter-American Development Bank is carrying out a series of reforms to strengthen its staff ethics, conduct and grievance systems, after an independent review conducted by Global Compliance Services Inc.

The changes will build on IDB reforms over the past few years that have improved its effectiveness, transparency and accountability.

The review, requested earlier this year by the IDB’s Board of Executive Directors, compared the IDB’s ethics mechanisms, policies and practices with those of other international organizations and corporations. Global Compliance also conducted surveys and focus groups among staff.

Overall, Global Compliance concluded that the Bank has a solid system for addressing allegations, and that, in the last several years, the IDB has taken a number of positive steps in establishing an effective ethics program and fostering an ethical culture. These included, among others, updating the IDB’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct and its Whistleblower Protection Policy, creating an Ethics Office and providing training to every staff member on these issues. The review also found that, to a higher degree than in other organizations analyzed by Global Compliance, staff considered the IDB an ethical place.

“We have made a commitment to improve our ethics, conduct, and grievance systems,” IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno said, “and the achievements we have reached thus far, are important.”

“We have continued to improve the Bank’s anti-corruption framework, by strengthening the investigations and sanctions process, updating the Access to Information Policy and the Independent Consultation and Investigation Mechanism. The Board of Executive Directors, the Senior Management, and I are absolutely committed to ensuring that we have the strongest possible ethics, conduct, and grievance systems in place,” Moreno added.

The Review of the Ethics, Conduct, and Grievance Systems of the Inter-American Development Bank contained a series of recommendations which were analyzed by IDB management, the IDB Staff Association and the independent Administrative Tribunal, which judges disputes between IDB staff and management.

These included reducing the average time for resolving Administrative Tribunal cases, introducing a mediation system with professional mediators as a prerequisite for access to the Administrative Tribunal, and requiring annual ethics training, among others.

The implementation of Global Compliance’s recommendations reflects the IDB’s commitment to raising its ethics policies and mechanisms to best practice standards. In recent years the IDB, as part of its reforms to improve its anti-corruption framework, has taken steps to strengthen its Office of Institutional Integrity, which investigates suspected cases of fraud and corruption in IDB-financed operations, among other actions. The IDB has also updated its Access to Information Policy and launched an Independent Consultation and Investigation Mechanism, to address complaints by communities or individuals who allege they may be adversely impacted by an IDB-financed operation.

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