IFTI Watch

  • 1 December 2002

    Lack of Transparency a Major Controversy in Cambodian Logging Dispute

    (The following six articles are reprinted with permission from The Cambodia Daily. They provide a vivid description of the importance of transparency and public review. The first article sets the stage, describing the controversy surrounding logging operations in Cambodia supported by the World Bank. The subsequent articles describe vividly the efforts of villagers to obtain […]

  • 22 November 2002

    Ugandan Judge Orders Release of Key Document on Bujagali Dam

    Ugandan Judge Orders Release of Key Document on Bujagali Dam. Relying on the open government clause of the Ugandan constitution, a top Ugandan judge Nov. 12 ordered the release of a key document about a controversial dam project that the Ugandan government and the World Bank declined to disclose. More … Judge Rejects Government Claims. […]

  • 22 November 2002

    Cutting Plans Criticized; Global Witness Seeks Halt to Logging

    By Richard Sine The Cambodia Daily, November 22, 2002 Three years ago, a major study commissioned by the Asian Development Bank found forests here so depleted, and cutting rates so rapid, that logging was only viable for a few more years on most concessions. In plans made public last week, every logging company appears to […]

  • 7 November 2002

    European Investment Bank Issues New Transparency Policy

    The European Investment Bank has written a new transparency policy. The new rule continues to emphasize the EIB’s willingness to honor requests for confidentiality by third parties. It indicates that the EIB will follow the disclosure practices of the banking industry. The new rule will soon be posted on the EIB web site (www.eib.org), but […]

  • 1 November 2002

    EBRD Announces Proposal to Modify Public Information Policy

    The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development Bank Oct. 23 proposed revisions to its Public Information Policy and invited public comment by Dec. 6. At the same time, the EBRD requested public reactions to an update of its policies on environmental reviews. Further, the EBRD unveiled a proposal for an “Independent Recourse Mechanism.” This would […]

  • 1 November 2002

    Environmental Group Analysis PPA

    The International Rivers Network (IRN) commissioned the Prayas Energy Group, a policy analysis organization based in Pune, India, to review the PPA. The analysis found that the capital cost of the project is "excessively high." It also contended that "a number of unusual requirements will be detrimental to Uganda." In particular, the study said the […]

  • 17 October 2002

    Top World Bank Official Supports More Disclosure of Oil Revenue Payments

    Top World Bank Official Supports More Disclosure of Oil Revenue Payments. Oil, gas and mineral companies should fully disclose their payments to governments of developing nations, the head of the World Bank’s private sector lending arm said recently, adding another voice to a steadily growing campaign for such disclosures. More … Woicke Statement Welcomed. International […]

  • 1 October 2002

    Disclosure or Deception? Multilateral Development Banks and Access to Information

    By Shalmali Guttal, Focus on the Global South, October 2002 Multilateral institutions such as the Asian Development Band (ADB) and the World Bank pride themselves on their information disclosure policies. Especially since the Asian economic crisis, they have held their policies up as evidence of their commitment to transparency, accountability and participation. Information disclosure policies […]

  • 1 September 2002

    Groups Suggest Changes in EBRD Public Information Policy

    The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is preparing a new draft of their Public Information Policy (PIP) that may be presented to the EBRD Board for first review sometime in the Fall. Groups following the EBRD have submitted many suggestions for change, as summarized below. Access to Evaluation Documents. Lack of Process for […]

  • 1 September 2002

    Analysis of Transparency Issues at the World Bank

    Despite changes made in the World Bank’s disclosure policies, more transparency is still possible. Below is a summary of current transparency issues. To read more about the Bank’s changes made in August 2002, see the policy itself made in 2002. Or read the summary from the Bank Information Center. Areas where improvements could be made […]

  • 1 September 2002

    Lack of Clarity in the Process for Rewriting the EIB Disclosure Policy

    On June 28, 2002, at a EIB consultation with NGOs in Copenhagen, Martin Koehler, a staff member with the Campaign to Reform the World Bank, demanded "a formalization of the disclosure policy review process, with clear timelines regarding the publication of drafts, the status of such drafts within the institutional decision-making process, and the period […]

  • 26 July 2002

    Ugandan High Court to Consider Releasing Key Document on Dam Project

    The Ugandan High Court will listen to arguments Aug. 22 to decide whether a contract document for the proposed Bujagali Dam should be released to the public. Neither the Ugandan government, nor the dam project’s sponsor, AES Nile Power, a subsidiary of AES Corp. of Arlington, Va., have previously refused to release the Power Purchase […]

  • 1 July 2002

    UNDP Report: “Serious Gaps in Transparency Remain”

    The need for greater transparency by governments and multilateral institutions is a thread running through a report on democracy internationally prepared by the United Nations Development Programme. The report takes a comprehensive look at the progress toward democracy, and backsliding. It looks at connections between development and democracy, providing exhaustive documentation and broad recommendations. The […]

  • 1 July 2002

    EBRD Reviewing Information Disclosure Policy

    The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is preparing a new draft of their Public Information Policy (PIP) that will be presented to the EBRD Board for first review sometime in the Fall, Bank officials confirmed. "This is a process of EBRD staff listening to comment and criticism, identifying where improvements can be made, […]

  • 1 June 2002

    NGO Reveals What Documents Governments Could Release

    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 […]

  • 1 June 2002

    Angola Oil Revenues: A Hidden Report

    It doesn’t look as though the World Bank will be releasing a $2-million "diagnostic" study by the KPMG accounting firm about where Angolan oil revenues have gone. The Bank shouldered 30 percent of the cost of the report, but it says the study is an Angolan government document, which means that disclosure of the findings […]

  • 1 June 2002

    World Bank Begins Pilot Programs on Disclosure

    Some 20 countries are about to embark on pilot programs with the World Bank in which they will disclose and disseminate more information than they have in the past – that is, more than what Bank policy currently requires. The exact dimensions of this effort will become clearer once the Bank makes an official announcement […]

  • 1 June 2002

    EIB Expects No New Disclosure Policy Soon

    The European Investment Bank has been working on modifications to its information policy for about a year, with the EIB’s critics scratching their heads over when a revised policy will finally emerge. More than 30 European NGOs have charged that the EIB’s disclosure policy is "critically deficient," and called for full, timely access to all […]

  • 11 May 2002

    New UN Secretary-General Discloses Personal Finances

    The new Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, has disclosed his personal financial statement, the first United Nations Secretary-General to do so. Ban’s statement was made public Jan. 26, and indicates that his net wealth is between $1,210,000 and $2,500,000. The range results from the construction of the disclosure form. For example, his apartment […]

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