EBRD Makes Modest Changes to Assist Requesters

1 April 2007

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has modified some portions of its disclosure policy, largely making procedural changes that may make it easier to make requests for information.

However, the Bank did not adopt a handful of other recommendations from civil society commenters, such as CEE Bankwatch and the Global Transparency Initiative.

The changes largely concern procedural matters mostly contained in the Bank’s Information Requests Guide. The EBRD report on the public comments received is available at http://www.ebrd.com/about/policies/pip/comment.pdf.

On the positive side, the EBRD indicated that requests will be satisfied in the same mode as the request is made, unless the requestor specifies otherwise. Further, responses will be made in any of the Bank’s official languages (English, Russian, German and French), and replies will be in the language of the requester. Requests may also be submitted in the official national language of the country of operation, with the reply also in that language. Also clear now is that requests can be made to any resident office.

The appeals process has been altered so that the Secretary General will always consult with the General Counsel and other members of the Executive Committee. The EBRD, however, declined to create an independent review mechanism, a component of a good disclosure policy as defined by the GTI Charter.

The Bank also turned down suggestions to assist requesters, cut the deadline for response from 20 to 15 days, and publish a register of the types of information held.

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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