The FINANCIAL — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a package of reforms to improve and speed delivery of its assistance to member countries and enhance operational efficiency, contributing to a core component of the Midterm Review (MTR) of Strategy 2020.
“The reforms approved by the Board of Directors demonstrate ADB’s commitment to be stronger, better and faster,” said ADB President Takehiko Nakao. “The reforms will help to reduce the time and resources to prepare and administer loans and technical assistance (TA). The overall gains in savings of procedural and staff time from these reforms will be significant.”
With the enhanced operational efficiency, ADB will be better positioned to capitalize on the expected increase in ADB’s lending following the combination of the Asian Development Fund operations with the ordinary capital resources balance sheet in 2017. The merger will boost ADB’s total annual lending and grant approvals to as high as $20 billion—50% more than the current level, according to ADB.
The new measures will simplify certain procurement processes by reducing red tape and delegating authority. The enhancements include greater use of financing procedures that will allow ADB to finance contracts awarded before loan signing; procurement from non-ADB member countries under specific circumstances; and more flexibility in application of ADB’s procurement procedures.
The reforms will simplify procedures for ADB to establish trust funds and administer cofinancing arrangements. Board approval procedures will also be simplified.
ADB is also introducing streamlined and improved business processes for country partnership strategies, loan and TA operations, and disbursements. These will help improve not only the quality of the documents but also substantially reduce the cost and the staff time involved.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region. In 2014, ADB assistance totaled $22.9 billion, including cofinancing of $9.2 billion.