Recognizing that corruption undermines sustainable economic growth, on September 17th, 2006, the leaders of the African Development Bank Group, the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund, the Inter-American Development Bank Group and the World Bank Group agreed to establish a Joint International Financial Institution Anti-Corruption Task Force.
The International Financial Institution Anti-Corruption Task Force agreed on:
- Standard definitions of fraudulent and corrupt practices;
- Common principles and guidelines for investigations;
- Exchange of information in connection with investigations;
- General Integrity Due Diligence principles relating to private sector lending and investment decisions;
- Further exploring alternatives for mutual recognition of debarment decisions; and
- Supporting anti-corruption efforts of member countries.
These elements are the foundation of a harmonized strategy to fight fraud and corruption, which is further elaborated in the Uniform Framework for Preventing and Combating Fraud and Corruption . The framework also introduced a set of guidelines and principles to conduct investigations.
Under this framework, the Office of Institutional Integrity (OII) works closely with the investigative and preventive offices at other IFIs to discuss best practices and standards and to harmonize procedures.
Perhaps the most significant tool adopted under the framework is the Agreement for Mutual Enforcement of Debarment Decisions entered into by and between the African Development Bank Group, the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the World Bank Group and the Inter-American Development Bank Group. The Agreement, now in effect for all signatories, set the basis for the mutual recognition of certain sanctions imposed by any of the institutions against firms and individuals found to have engaged in Prohibited Practices.
In furtherance to the agreement, other principles and guidelines have been adopted by the signatories:
The MDB Harmonized Principles on Treatment of Corporate Groups – a set of principles to set out common standards to impose sanctions against entities within corporate groups.
The General Principles and Guidelines for Sanctions – a set of principles to ensure consistent treatment of individuals and firms in the determination of sanctions.