Archive for 2004

  • 21 December 2004

    European Investment Bank Plans Disclosure Policy Review

    The European Investment Bank Dec. 14 announced plans to conduct a review of its Public Information Policy, and requested public comment on its existing policy. The consultative process will be launched in the first quarter of 2005. The EIB did not offer proposal for change, asking instead that comments focus on the EIB’s existing public […]

  • 21 December 2004

    IFC Provides freedominfo.org With Draft Confidentiality Agreement

    The World Bank’s private lending arm, the International Finance Corporation, uses confidentiality agreements with its clients to protect business information from disclosure, but treats such information as confidential with or without such agreements, according to an IFC explanation provided to freedominfo.org. How the IFC should handle business information is one of several main issues being […]

  • 21 December 2004

    IFC Reformulates Draft Disclosure Policy, Slightly The International Finance Corporation, having previously described its proposals for disclosure of information in a "concept paper" has now reformulated its thinking in a "working draft." The Nov. 24 draft issued by the World Bank’s private sector lending arm consists of three parts, each four pages long, and appears […]

  • 21 December 2004

    World Bank Pulling Back on Transparency Pilot Project

    The World Bank’s board of executive directors is resisting pro-transparency reforms recommended by Bank president James Wolfensohn, cutting back particularly on his proposals to experiment with the release of "draft" materials. It now appears that the board has decided against a proposal to let the public see a handful of key documents at the same […]

  • 21 December 2004

    Critics Fault ADB Draft Public Communications Policy

    The Asian Development Bank’s second draft of a new communications policy is meeting with some praise, and also with continuing criticism. Common themes included: demands for more disclosure about private sector operations, recommendations for releasing the key documents as they go to the board, and appeals for an independent appeals process. The comments are posted […]

  • 10 December 2004

    Information Requests Reveal Destruction of Records by Administrative Agencies in Japan

    Information Clearinghouse Japan, a non-profit organization, conducted an investigation based on information requests filed under the Japanese public information disclosure law regarding the destruction of official records before that law came into effect in March 2001. The records showed that at least ten agencies significantly increased their disposal of documents during fiscal year 2000, some […]

  • 5 November 2004

    Serbian Parliament Adopts Access Law

    The Serbian National Assembly, in its Plenary Session on November 2, 2004, adopted the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance. The Law will enter into force eight days after its publication in the Official Gazette of Serbia. The Law establishes the right of free access to information in the possession of public […]

  • 5 November 2004

    ADB Issues Second Draft of Revised Disclosure Policy

    The release of the revised policy triggered a second public comment period, with a deadline of Nov. 24. Getting a decision by ADB board in early 2005 is the goal. The more detailed draft is accompanied by various appendices, including a lengthy accounting of the operational documents produced by the ADB and a description of […]

  • 30 September 2004

    MIGA Intends to Review Disclosure Policies After IFC Finishes

    The World Bank’s insurance branch, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, is planning to review its own disclosure policies, probably beginning early next year. MIGA’s process, expected to take a year or more, will commence once the International Finance Corporation, the Bank’s private sector lending arm, completes its ongoing disclosure policy review, according to Judith Pearce, […]

  • 30 September 2004

    Parliamentarians Seek Larger Role in IFI Decision-Making

    Parliamentarians around the world are intensifying their request to be "systematically involved in formulating and monitoring development policies related to IMF and World Bank operations within their own countries." Those are the key words from a petition being circulated by the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank (PNoWB) in conjunction with an international coalition of […]

  • 30 September 2004

    Activists Criticize IFC Consultations; IFC Expands Consultations

    The International Finance Corporation has increased the number of consultations it will hold on proposed disclosure and safeguard policy revisions after the outreach process came under criticism by activists as inadequate and rushed. The changes were announced just before the IFC held its first consultation, in Buenos Aires Sept. 27, where attendance was about half […]

  • 7 September 2004

    IFC Issues Broad Guidelines for New Disclosure Policy

    The International Finance Corporation, the World Bank’s private sector lending arm, has issued a "concept paper" on disclosure policy, outlining "principles," "objectives," and "frameworks," but providing few specifics and making few changes in current policies. For relevant documents click here. The generality is intentional, in part because the document is meant to provide the basis […]

  • 6 August 2004

    IFC Discusses "Concept Paper" on Disclosure Policy

    The International Finance Corporation, having announced plans to review its six-year-old disclosure policy, appears to be starting with a very general statement of concepts likely to disappoint transparency advocates. A draft of a July 13 “Concept Paper” provided to freedominfo.org “attempts to define the framework for a new approach to disclosure issues.” The document, recently […]

  • 6 August 2004

    World Bank Backs More Transparency for Oil Revenues

    While deciding to continue investing in oil, gas and mining ventures, against the advice of an internal report, the World Bank Board of Directors Aug. 3 said it would insist on greater transparency about the revenues from such projects (http://www.worldbank.org/ogmc/). The Bank "will begin requiring disclosure of revenue figures for new major extractive industries projects […]

  • 21 July 2004

    Four MDB’s Fail to Protect Whistleblowers, Group Finds

    The protection of whistleblowers at four major multilateral development banks is deficient, according to a report by The Government Accounting Project. Using a 24-point checklist, the Washington-based nongovernmental organization said none of the four institutions merited a passing grade. Out of a total of 100 possible points, the World Bank rated 60, the Asian Development […]

  • 21 July 2004

    EIB Board Discusses Transparency, Offers Some Reforms

    The European Investment Bank Board of Directors has taken some steps toward disclosing some additional documents and more financial information about by key bank officials. The 25 specific changes were announced by the board in mid-June in a nine-page document that pledges to reach "a high level of transparency of its activities." The bank did […]

  • 21 July 2004

    ADB Critics in India, Bangladesh Protest ADB Policies, Disclosure Proposal

    Critics of the Asian Development Bank’s Proposed Disclosure Policy staged a walk-out of the ADB’s consultation in Bangalore, India, July 16, and issued a sharply critical statement in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The walk-out in Bangalore by civil society representatives came after they made a statement criticizing the procedures of the consultations as not representative, poorly planned […]

  • 21 July 2004

    ADB Announces Grants for Civil Society Participation in Government Processes

    The Asian Development Bank July 2 announced a $400,000 technical assistance grant to “help make public service delivery more responsive to the poor by promoting greater civil society participation in resource allocation and budgeting.” The grant will go to selected regions of three countries, Indonesia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The areas for the pilot projects […]

  • 21 July 2004

    ADB Holds Consultation in Washington

    The deadline for the Asian Development Bank to rewrite its disclosure has been pushed back for a second time, with completion now targeted for March 2004. This was one bit of news from ADB officials during a June 21 consultation with about 30 persons about the draft disclosure policy held in Washington, D.C. After introductions […]

  • 1 July 2004

    IMF Registers Slight Improvement in Disclosure of Article IV Reports

    Slight progress was made during 2006 toward increasing the number of countries willing to disclose the key analytical report on their country prepared by the International Monetary Fund, according to a recent IMF report. The figures show that 15 percent of the countries whose Article IV and/or Use of Fund Resources reports were reviewed by […]

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