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Wednesday, 3 December 1986
Page: 3251

Senator HAINES —Is the Minister representing the Treasurer aware of a report in the Australian Financial Review last week that a Mr Peter Nelson, formerly a senior financial analyst for the Asian Development Bank, alleged that the ADB invented figures to justify its development projects? As Australia has apparently contributed over $2 billion to the ADB in the past 20 years and is the fifth largest shareholder of the ADB, has the Government taken any steps to investigate or instigate an investigation into Mr Nelson's serious allegations? If it has not, why has it not?

Senator WALSH —I am told that the Government has been in touch with its representatives on the Asian Development Bank regarding this matter. Australia recognises that there have been some difficulties in bringing forward ADB projects of uniformly high quality and has been working within the bank, along with other members, to improve that situation. However, we believe that it would be wrong to suggest that there are any major weaknesses in this area. Further, we consider the ADB to be a generally effective and efficient channel for multinational aid for the region.