IFTI Watch

  • 1 April 2003

    IDB Extends Comment Period on New Disclosure Policy

    Evidence of the collaboration between development policy NGOs and FOIA-oriented groups is seen in letters sent to the Inter-American Development Bank about its proposed new information disclosure policy. The IDB has extended the comment period until April 15. A series of consultations also are being planned. Extensive comments were generated by the Bank Information Center. […]

  • 1 April 2003

    85 NGOs Write EBRD on Transparency, Environment

    Representatives of Russia, Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asian NGOs submitted a letter to the EBRD Jan. 21 calling for access to more environmentally significant information on Bank projects. In particular, the groups wrote: "The following changes are necessary in the revised Policies to improve access to environmentally significant information: — Provide the public information, […]

  • 1 April 2003

    Formation of Global Working Group, New Alliances

    A number of new advocacy plans are under way, outgrowths of a meeting in early February attended by several dozen transparency activists from around the world. Brought together for the weekend session by freedominfo.org (with grant funding from the Arca Foundation and The Open Society Institute) were representatives of civil society groups that work on […]

  • 1 April 2003

    New Matrix Examines IFI Disclosure Policies in Fresh Detail

    A new microscope being applied to international financial institutions is making it possible for the first time to see their information disclosure policies in high definition. A 255-item matrix, focused on 10 institutions, is making possible the most sophisticated comparison ever of transparency policies. The preliminary findings indicate many common weaknesses – few open meetings, […]

  • 31 January 2003

    World Bank Denies Access to Documents on Laos Dam Project

    The World Bank has rejected requests to disclose several key documents concerning the controversial $1.1 billion Nam Theun 2 hydropower project in Laos. The documents — the "power purchase agreement" and the "concession agreement" — must stay private, the Bank said, because they contain proprietary commercial information that the Bank said it promised not to […]

  • 21 January 2003

    Asian Development Bank Plans Spring Announcement of New Disclosure Policy

    Early in 2003, the Asian Development Bank will be announcing a new policy on information disclosure, an ADB official has told freedominfo.org. The Bank intends to take action in the first quarter of 2003, the official said, following an internal review that has been under way for more than a year. During that time, the […]

  • 1 January 2003

    EBRD’s Information Policy Proposal Criticized; Deadline Extended

    The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s proposed changes to its public information policy have drawn criticism from environmental groups in Central and Eastern Europe who have filed some of the first comments. The Bank requested public comment on the revisions in October, with an initial deadline for comments of Dec. 6, but has subsequently […]

  • 1 January 2003

    Most Investment Banks at Some Stage of Reviewing Disclosure Policies

    Most international financial institutions are engaged in reviewing their information disclosure policies, according to a freedominfo.org survey. The banks’ reform efforts are at various stages, and their plans continue to face criticism from nongovernmental institutions. In surveying activity at various banks, freedominfo.org has learned that the Asian Development Bank, whose disclosure policy web page has […]

  • 1 January 2003

    IMF Sets Stage for June Reconsideration of Article IV Disclosure

    In June 2003, the IMF Executive Board is planning to reconsider whether to force the release of more, maybe all, Article IV reports, the country-specific assessments that guide IMF lending. The IMF has edged slowly to this point and the IMF staff is continuing to study its disclosure policies. The Board, in a Sept. 27, […]

  • 1 January 2003

    Release of Secret Loan Document in Uruguay Fuels Public Debate

    The leak of a usually secret document describing the terms of a recent World Bank loan to Uruguay has stoked public anger at conditions attached to the loan, according to activists and journalists there. The release also showed how much crucial information was being withheld from the public. The document signed by Uruguay’s finance minister […]

  • 1 January 2003

    Civil Sector Groups Criticize New EIB Disclosure Policy

    CEE Bankwatch Network and Friends of the Earth International Dec. 4 charged that the European Investment Bank’s new information policy “fails to live up to expectations” and after two years in the making is “only a slight improvement over the previous one.” “It’s amazing how vague the new policy is,” said Magda Stoczkiewicz, EIB Campaign […]

  • 1 January 2003

    How EIB Officials Look at Transparency: A freedominfo.org Interview

    The European Investment Bank is "not comparable" to other international financial institutions, began Henry Marty-Guaquie, Director de la Communication for the EIB, in an interview about transparency with freedominfor.org Nov. 5. By this he means that the EIB should be viewed less as a policy-setting organization than as a financial institution with special needs to […]

  • 1 January 2003

    Inter-American Development Bank Announces Consultation on Disclosure Policy

    The Inter-American Development Bank Jan. 14 announced a public “electronic consultation” on a major rewrite of its Policy on Information Disclosure. The Bank issued a 16-page description of its proposed policies, the first significant revision since 1994. The changes “would considerably broaden the scope of the kinds of information that Bank management would regularly make […]


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