Manila, January 30:

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said today it has banned 37 companies from dealings with it for up to 10 years for violating the bank’s anti-corruption code.

The Manila-based lender said its Integrity Oversight Committee found 37 firms and 32 individuals had violated policy in 2006. It banned 34 firms for periods ranging from one to seven years and three firms for 10 years from competing for ADB contracts. Fourteen individuals were banned indefinitely and 17 for periods ranging from one to seven years, while one person was reprimanded, the ADB said in a statement.

The ADB said it “does not publicly name those on its debarment lists.” The ADB’s fraud investigators received 171 complaints last year, down from 199 in 2005, according to the Annual Report of its Integrity Division. More than half of the cases opened in 2006 involved corrupt practices and 42 per cent fraud.

“During the year, the Integrity Division referred seven staff cases to the ADB’s Human Resources Division to consider disciplinary action,” the statement added. “The most common form of fraudulent practice investigated in 2006 was misrepresentation and falsification of documents.