IFTI Watch

  • 5 December 2003

    Information, Consultation, Participation (and the Lack Thereof)

    The Inter-American Development Bank and Plan Puebla-Panama Journalist Wendy Call reports on the controversy over the IDB’s multi-billion-dollar development plan for southern Mexico and Central America, with specific attention to information access, public consultation, and participation of stakeholders (and the lack thereof). On September 17, 2003, a representative of the Inter-American Development Bank in Guatemala, […]

  • 1 December 2003

    IDB Adopts Amended Public Disclosure Standards

    The Inter-American Development Bank on November 26 agreed to publish the minutes of its executive board meetings, the first development bank to do so. The disclosure of minutes was the main advance made as the IDB board revised its entire disclosure policy. The IDB board decided to continue giving governments and private sector partners effective […]

  • 1 October 2003

    IMF Decides Against Mandatory Disclosure of Article IV Reports

    The International Monetary Fund executive board has decided not to require the disclosure of a key document, the Article IV staff report. The board opted instead to say that publication of the Article IV reports is "voluntary by presumed." This new formulation very slightly ratchets up the existing policy of voluntary disclosure while still permitting […]

  • 1 October 2003

    African Development Bank Proposes New Disclosure Rules

    The African Development Bank in September proposed modifications of its information disclosure policy. Overall, the bank does not appear to be making many substantive improvements, but does propose to update the disclosure policy to reflect new documents that have come into use since 1997, when the last policy was written. The draft Information Disclosure Policy […]

  • 1 August 2003

    Inter-American Development Bank Revises Disclosure Policy Proposal

    The Inter-American Development Bank Aug. 4 modified its proposal for a new disclosure policy, making changes that appear to cut in both directions. The bank’s revised 14-page draft is available at: http://www.iadb.org/exr/pic/consultation.htm On the positive side, the IADB appears to adopt stronger, clearer language for the disclosure of drafts of operational policies, sector policies, sector […]

  • 1 August 2003

    Asian Development Bank Launches Transparency Policy Review

    The Asian Development Bank Aug. 8 officially kicked off its disclosure policy review by asking for public comments on the current policies. Anticipating a year-long process, the ADB has established a web site (http://www.adb.org/Disclosure/default.asp). It provides links to relevant background documents, the review timeline, and contact information for sending comments and asking questions about the […]

  • 1 July 2003

    World Bank Reviews Disclosure Policy, Postpones Action on U.S. Reform Ideas

    The World Bank’s Executive Board has asked its staff to examine several transparency issues raised by the United States and other members, including the possibility of releasing draft documents prior to board discussions and disclosure of board minutes, according to informed sources. The ideas for expanded disclosure were raised when the Board on July 3 […]

  • 1 July 2003

    World Bank Disclosure Report Makes Recommendations for Change

    The World Bank has encountered some difficulties implementing its disclosure policy, according to a Bank progress report published June 6, but overall the experience has been "generally good." The report acknowledged some areas of weakness, particularly in disclosure policy awareness among Bank employees and in the Bank’s ability to monitor and evaluate its disclosure practices. […]

  • 1 July 2003

    IMF Board Discusses Transparency, Announcement Expected

    The International Monetary Fund Executive Board met June 27 to discuss the Fund’s current transparency policy and possibly increasing the accessibility of IMF documents to the public. Although no immediate announcement has resulted, Fund officials said a press release, and a staff report, will be issued soon. “It should be concluded this week, there are […]

  • 1 July 2003

    IMF Board Requests Research on Legality of Mandatory Disclosure

    The International Monetary Fund Executive Board has asked its staff to study whether there are legal impediments to requiring countries to disclose certain documents, according to informed sources. The research effort is an outgrowth of a debate at a June 27 Board meeting, held to review its disclosure policy. One topic on the table, for […]

  • 1 July 2003

    Monkeys Play Role in NGO Protest on EIB Transparency

    Seeking to dramatize demands for more transparency at the European Investment Bank, three persons in monkey suits greeted EIB governors arriving for the EIB annual meting June 3 in Luxembourg. “The Monkeys, covering respectively their ears, eyes and mouth were sent to convey the message: EIB – SEES NO PROBLEM, HEARS NO COMPLAINTS, GIVES NO […]

  • 1 July 2003

    Transparency Deficit One Reason Dutch Bank Withdraws From EIB

    A lack of transparency at the European Investment Bank was one of several reasons cited by the Dutch bank ASN July 17 when it announced its plan to stop investing in the EIB.    

  • 1 July 2003

    Asian Development Bank Begins Disclosure Policy Review

    The Asian Development Bank has kicked off its review of the ADB information disclosure policy, appointing a steering committee to manage the effort. The five-person steering committee, composed of senior-level Bank officials, which held a closed meeting May 29, announced plans to “bear in mind the views of all stakeholders. The ADB opening a new […]

  • 1 June 2003

    June IMF Meeting on Transparency Planned

    Optimism that the MDBs will follow through on suggestions for greater openness from the G-8 is not high among transparency activists. An article published recently by the Bretton Woods Project reflecting on the potential disclosure of more documents, observes: "It is unlikely that the IFIs and their borrower governments will readily acquiesce to the publication […]

  • 1 June 2003

    G-8 Urges More MDB Transparency, Disclosure of Extractive Industry Revenues

    The Group of Eight countries, meeting in Evian, France, on June 2 restated their support for some additional transparency at the multilateral development banks and added a new endorsement, for greater disclosure by corporations and governments of the revenues from extractive industries. Neither statement was seen as sufficient by transparency activists, but the extractive industries […]

  • 1 May 2003

    EBRD Modifies Disclosure Policy; US Says Reforms Insufficient

    The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development April 29 approved amendments to its Public Information Policy over the objections of the United States. Specifically, the United States urged the bank to release draft versions of proposed country strategies before they are sent to the executive board for approval. The United States also pushed for the […]

  • 1 May 2003

    World Bank Report Urges Disclosure of Oil Revenues

    Multinational corporations should be required to disclose more about payments they make to countries for extracting natural resources, according to a new World Bank report "Breaking the Conflict Trap," a report released May 14, concludes in part that "there is a strong link between dependence on natural resources and the risk of civil war and, […]

  • 1 May 2003

    IMF Counsel Outlines Restrictions on Sharing Documents With Legislators, Public

    The International Monetary Fund prohibits representatives of member governments from sharing confidential IMF documents with national legislators, according to a speech presented by a top IMF lawyer. In essence, the IMF lawyer emphasized that members have an obligation to protect the confidentiality of IMF documents. That requirement of confidentiality is transferred to national officials if […]

  • 1 May 2003

    NGOs Advise ADB on Procedures for Revamping Disclosure Policy

    The Bank Information Center and 54 civil society organizations from different parts of the world have urged the Asian Development Bank “to ensure meaningful civil society participation” as it begins a reviews of its Confidentiality and Disclosure of Information Policy. The ADB has yet to officially announce the start of its disclosure policy review, but […]

  • 11 April 2003

    World Bank Plans to Expand Publicity About Competitive Bidding Opportunities

    The World Bank is moving toward a new policy that will at least double the number of contract bidding opportunities publicized internationally, according to bank officials and business sector observers. The change will substantially increase the visibility of bank-financed contracts subject to international competitive bidding, with the aim of reducing costs. If all goes well […]


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