Integrity and anti-corruption in IFAD financed activities
IFAD’s anticorruption policy establishes zero-tolerance towards prohibited practices, such as fraud and corruption, in IFAD-funded or managed operations and activities.
Where it has determined that fraudulent, corrupt, collusive or coercive practices have occurred in projects financed through its loans and grants, IFAD applies a range of sanctions, including disciplinary measures for IFAD staff, and pursues the recovery of any losses in accordance with the provisions of the applicable IFAD rules and regulations and legal instruments. IFAD recently revised its Policy in line with evolving best practices, and now includes obstructive practice as one of its prohibited practices.
The revised Policy is being integrated into IFAD's legal framework (Project Procurement Guidelines, General Conditions for Agricultural Development Financing) and applies to all recipients of IFAD financing.
IFAD publishes annual reports on Investigation and Anticorruption Activities summarizing actions taken to combat fraud and corruption. The list of entities debarred by IFAD is accessible on request.
IFAD terms the following as prohibited practices:
External parties – Vendors, contractors, suppliers, and other external parties involved in IFAD-funded or managed activities who engage in fraud and corruption are considered to have committed wrongdoings and can be sanctioned by IFAD’s Sanctions Committee.
- Corrupt practice: the offering, giving, receiving or soliciting, directly or indirectly, of anything of value in order to improperly influence the actions of another party.
- Fraudulent practice: any act or omission, including a misrepresentation, that knowingly or recklessly misleads, or attempts to mislead, a party in order to obtain a financial or other benefit or to avoid an obligation.
- Collusive practice: an arrangement between two or more parties designed to achieve an improper purpose, including improperly influencing the actions of another party.
- Coercive practice: impairing or harming, or threatening to impair or harm, directly or indirectly, any party or the property of the party in order to improperly influence the actions of that or another party.
- Obstructive practice: (i) deliberately destroying, falsifying, altering or concealing evidence that may be material to an investigation by the Fund or making false statements to investigators in order to materially impede an investigation by the Fund; (ii) threatening, harassing or intimidating any party in order to prevent that party from disclosing its knowledge of matters relevant to an investigation by the Fund or from pursuing such an investigation; and/or (iii) the commission of any act intended to materially impede the exercise of the Fund’s contractual rights of audit, inspection and access to information.
Staff or consultants - Misconduct, includes all violations of the rules of conduct, or standards of behaviour, prescribed by IFAD (IFAD’s Code of Conduct), including provisions relating to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA).
Obligation to report prohibited practices
IFAD’s legal framework requires IFAD staff, consultants and project parties to promptly notify IFAD of any allegations of fraud and/or corruption in relation to project activities. IFAD's Office of Audit and Oversight (AUO) will investigate an allegation to gather all relevant evidence and try to determine the facts so that IFAD can take the appropriate action to prevent the misuse of project funds and avoid negative consequences on the persons relying on a project to help them improve their lives.
How to report allegations of prohibited practices
If you suspect misconduct or wrongdoing, or have an allegation to report, please contact AUO's Investigation Section at tel: +39 06 54592888 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. These are secure and confidential channels managed by the Investigation Section of IFAD.
Please provide as much information as possible including who, what, when, where, why and how. Allegations may be reported anonymously, however, we encourage you to provide your contact details in case we need more information. A lack of adequate information may limit the likelihood and extent of an investigation. Please be assured that the information you provide will be treated with utmost confidentiality.
IFAD will take measures to prevent retaliation against anyone who, in good faith, has reported suspected fraud, corruption and misconduct, or who has otherwise cooperated with an investigation. It is important to state, however, that IFAD’s ability to guarantee personal or professional security for persons other than IFAD staff is limited (for IFAD staff, please see the IFAD's Whistleblower Protection Procedures). The best protection is to be as discreet as possible about the fact that you have made a complaint.
If an allegation is malicious IFAD may take appropriate action to prevent damage to the reputation of those subject to deliberately false allegations.
AUO maintains strict confidentiality of the received allegations. This means that, if requested, the complainant’s identity will remain known only to the staff of the AUO Investigation Section. This applies even if the investigation later proves that the complainant was mistaken, provided that the person making the complaint did so in good faith.