African Development Bank Behind on Disclosure Policy Review

19 April 2007

The African Development Bank is a year behind in conducting a review of its disclosure policy, and on writing a staff handbook on disclosure policy.

According to the AfDB policy approved in March 2004, the Tunis-based Bank was to assess its policy after two years. The policy states, "Two years after the effectiveness of this revised policy, Management will submit a report to the Boards of Directors of its observations on the effectiveness of the Bank Group’s Disclosure of Information Revised Policy and any recommended modifications."

According to a Bank official, "The review will likely be undertaken much later in the year or early 2008 to ensure the completion of the full two year period."

The AfDB in 2005 slightly modified its policy as adopted in March 2004. The highlighted portions of the document (in yellow) represent the areas in which changes were made to constitute the final version. The document posted here is the final version.

In the 2005 disclosure policy, the AfDB board directed the preparation of a staff information handbook on the policy, but that project "has not yet been finalized," the Bank official informed Freedominfo.org. "Its finalization awaits the completion of parallel business process documents on which the handbook depends," according to the official.

Among the 2005 changes was a decision that individual Country Performance Assessment ratings, including all of its components, will be disclosed in 2006, tracking a World Bank change. In addition, the "Summing Up" of the decisions of the Board was to be made available. Board minutes are disclosed 60 days after a meeting, but minutes of the meetings of committees are not disclosed.

In another addition, the AfDB decided to provide an annual summary report "highlighting important indicators of progress in attainment of project development objectives and implementation progress."

By Toby McIntosh

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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).
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