NGO Reveals What Documents Governments Could Release

1 June 2002

The Bank Information Center, a Washington-based NGO, is attempting to monitor compliance with the World Bank’s new disclosure policy.

Under the new policy, individual governments now have more latitude to release documents. When such disclosure becomes an option, BIC spreads the news. It e-mails NGOs in a country if a document could be released at their government’s discretion. By doing so, BIC hopes that groups in borrowing countries will pressure their governments to make the material available.

In addition, BIC has written dozens of letters to Bank officials requesting materials related to particular structural adjustment lending decisions. BIC also asks the country directors to encourage governments to make public certain documents.

The BIC letter-writing campaign will remind Bank officials of the new policy and test Bank compliance with it. Eventually BIC plans to make an assessment of how much information is actually disclosed when governments are given discretion.

Those interested in receiving such notifications for their countries may contact Graham Saul, 1-(202)-624-0626, or gsaul@bicusa.org.

BIC also has a lovely paper on transparency issues at the Bank.

By Toby McIntosh

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Filed under: IFTI Watch

ABOUT IFTI WATCH

In this column, Washington, D.C.-based journalist Toby J. McIntosh reports on the latest developments in information disclosure in International Financial and Trade Institutions (IFTI).
Contact: freeinfo@gwu.edu or
1-(703) 276-7748