IFTI Watch

  • 13 November 2006

    World Bank Anticorruption Strategy May Spark Changes in Disclosure Policy

    Adoption of a new anticorruption strategy at the World Bank may lead to changes in the Bank’s disclosure policy. The broad suggestions of such changes must still be converted into specific proposals, however–a process that has only just begun. If fully implemented, the changes could bring about improved transparency on proposed Bank projects and their […]

  • 25 October 2006

    UNDP Panel Makes First Decision, And Guts Disclosure Policy

    Alasdair Roberts Syracuse University The UNDP Oversight Panel, established in 1997 to oversee the organization’s Information Disclosure Policy, issued the first decision in its history on October 9. Unfortunately, the decision robs the Information Disclosure Policy of most of its power. The UNDP Policy is widely regarded as a model for other international organizations. It […]

  • 22 September 2006

    Access to Article IV Reports Remains Major IMF Disclosure Issue

    The major disclosure issue at the International Monetary Fund remains access to its key reports about member countries, the so-called Article IV reports. Although more of these reports are now released–about 83 percent of them–there are still more than 30 countries that legally veto their disclosure. This core of resistance includes some larger countries, including […]

  • 22 September 2006

    World Bank Disclosure Policies Change Slowly

    Notwithstanding periodic reviews and modest advances, the World Bank’s disclosure policies continue to shield many important documents from disclosure. Take, for example, the baby step forward in 2005 to release minutes of Board meetings. An advance, no doubt, but the minutes themselves are skeletal. The much more useful "summaries" of Board meetings, though carefully-worded to […]

  • 22 September 2006

    GTI Launches Transparency Charter

    A set of principles to inform the disclosure policies of international financial institutions was announced Sept. 17 in Batam, Indonesia, by the Global Transparency Initiative (GTI). The nine principles were developed, with public comment, over the past year by the GTI, a nongovernmental network of civil society organizations of which freedominfo.org is a member. It […]

  • 4 August 2006

    World Bank Continues Work on Anticorruption Strategy

    Liberally sprinkled with references to “transparency,” the latest internal World Bank draft anticorruption strategy appears to follow through on President Paul Wolfowitz’s pledge to increase investment in the areas of media and freedom of information. While lacking in operational details, the “revised draft” of July 20, 2006, obtained by freedominfo.org, calls for a new stress […]

  • 17 July 2006

    UNDP Seminar Spotlights Complexity of Expanding Right to Know

    By Toby McIntosh Fostering the right to know in developing countries requires multi-faceted, flexible strategies, according to the minutes of a May 2006 seminar sponsored by the United Nations Development Program. The 31 seminar participants, with practical experience in many parts of the world, reviewed the impediments to improving government transparency and shared insights on […]

  • 9 May 2006

    EIB Adopts New Disclosure Policy

    The European Investment bank has released its new disclosure policy, making a variety of improvements while sticking to secrecy in several areas. The changes were “welcomed’ as “a step in the right direction” by the CEE Bankwatch Network, a nongovernmental organization that monitors the EIB. Toby Mendel, from Article 19, commented: “We are pleased to […]

  • 13 April 2006

    Wolfowitz Stresses Media and FOI as Anticorruption Tools

    World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz on April 11 put “the media and freedom of information” at the heart of his anti-corruption agenda, raising intriguing, if yet unanswered, questions about the specifics of his plans. “I will be asking my staff in high-risk countries to develop a strategy to mobilize all World Bank instruments — loans, […]

  • 22 March 2006

    Freedom of Information Laws Added to the Development Agenda

    By Toby McIntosh Riding a wave of transparency, the idea of encouraging Freedom of Information (FOI) laws as part of the development agenda is gaining currency, but slowly. With research and case studies increasingly identifying transparency as a key tool in fighting corruption and facilitating development, more attention is being paid to the development of […]

  • 22 March 2006

    EBRD Seeks Comment on Draft of New Disclosure Policy

    At the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the board recently released a proposal to modify its disclosure policies, with comments due April 14. The EBRD included in its announcement a number of new provisions. First, two new categories of information would be disclosed: General Institutional Information and Accountability and Governance. Second, the EBRD […]

  • 20 January 2006

    New Steps Toward IFI Transparency: The Use of Domestic Remedies

    Mexico established a landmark precedent for the application of national freedom of information laws to the activities of international institutions when its Information Commission on Nov. 16, 2005 ordered the disclosure of documents related to a $108 million World Bank loan to the state of Guanajuato, México. The decision by the Federal Institute for Access […]


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