IFTI Watch

  • 12 December 2007

    World Bank Grants Access to Database on Loan Conditionality

    The World Bank has granted researchers access to an internal database used to track the conditions placed on Bank loans, an action that bodes well for similar transparency requests. The unusual grant of access helped the European Network on Debt and Development (EURODAD) to create a report somewhat critical of the Bank, as indicated in […]

  • 12 December 2007

    EBRD Begins Process to Review Public Information Policy

    The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has begun a review of its Public Information Policy. Setting a deadline of Dec. 21 for public comments, the EBRD has put out a four-page issues paper as the first step in a three-stage process. The issues paper makes no suggestions for changes, but invites comment regarding the […]

  • 5 October 2007

    EBRD Praised for Disclosing E-Mail Contacts

    Transparency advocates have praised the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for disclosing the e-mail addresses of the EBRD Board of Directors through a dedicated Web page. “We also welcome the commitment in the EBRD’s May 2006 Public Information Policy (PIP) to release minutes of Board meetings.” The letter continued, noting that the minutes “do […]

  • 5 October 2007

    EBRD Preparing to Issue Discussion Paper on Disclosure

    The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is very close to putting out a "discussion paper" as a first step in a review of its Public Information Policy (PIP) and inviting public comments, according to an EBRD official. The information policy review is being done in parallel with an ongoing review of the EBRD’s environmental […]

  • 20 September 2007

    Volcker Report Urges More Transparency at World Bank

    The new “Volcker Report,” critiquing the World Bank’s internal investigations unit, makes several recommendations in favor of greater transparency. The report was commissioned to review the work of the Bank’s anti-corruption unit, the Department of Institutional Integrity (INT)-headed by Suzanne Rich Folsom, an appointee of former Bank President Paul Wolfowitz. The panel was chaired by […]

  • 28 August 2007

    World Bank Issues Implementation Plan for Anticorruption Strategy

    The World Bank has released its long-awaited “implementation plan” for its governance and anticorruption strategy, a document much shorter and less specific that the guiding Bank “strategy” set in March. There are some new revelations, however. The implementation plan issued Aug. 21 for the first time reveals a budget, $14.8 million for fiscal 2008. And […]

  • 21 May 2007

    ADB Assesses Positives and Negatives of New Disclosure Policy

    In a detailed report on the first year of its revised disclosure policy, the Asian Development Bank says the rollout has gone pretty well, despite a few gaps concerning project-related information. One weakness concerned a primary source of information about projects under consideration. The Project Information Documents (PIDs) for proposed private sector projects are supposed […]

  • 19 April 2007

    IDB Working Toward Disclosure Policy Review This Year

    The Inter-American Development Bank is moving toward the start of a review of its disclosure policy, according to officials at the institution. First, a paper is being drafted by the Office of External Relations about issues and potential remedies. That paper is scheduled for completion by mid-May, at which point it will go to senior […]

  • 19 April 2007

    African Development Bank Behind on Disclosure Policy Review

    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 […]

  • 19 April 2007

    IDB, Norway Launch $4.9 Million Transparency Fund

    The Inter-American Development Bank has received $4.9 million from the government of Norway to conduct projects concerning transparency and anticorruption efforts. According to a Feb. 26 memorandum of understanding, the IDB will establish a new trust fund, the Anticorruption Activities Fund, "to strengthen IDB member countries’ institutional capacity in order to improve overall governance as […]

  • 12 April 2007

    World Bank Hires Washington Law Firm to Probe Leaks

    Almost 10 weeks after announcing plans to investigate leaks of internal documents to Fox News, the World Bank has hired a Washington, D.C., law firm to conduct the probe, according to an announcement made internally April 9. The firm of Williams & Connolly has been selected to examine not only the first leak, of board […]

  • 1 April 2007

    EBRD Makes Modest Changes to Assist Requesters

    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 […]

  • 1 March 2007

    World Bank Seeking Outside Counsel to Conduct Leak Probe

    The World Bank has decided to seek outside help to track down who leaked minutes of a January 2007 board meeting to Fox News, a senior World Bank official has told freedominfo.org. "We want this to be independent, so management is working with the board to identify outside counsel to conduct it," according to a […]

  • 1 March 2007

    World Bank Developing Country-by-Country Database on Access Laws

    The World Bank is well on its way to developing a country-by-country database "on various transparency and accountability institutions in developing countries," freedominfo.org has learned. The project came to light in a document about implementation of the Bank’s anticorruption strategy, which lays a stress on improving governance and transparency. The new database, which may be […]

  • 9 February 2007

    Wolfowitz Launches Probe Into Leak of Board Meeting Minutes

    World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz has launched an internal investigation into who provided Fox News with the "raw" minutes of a World Bank board meeting in January, a document that transparency advocates say should routinely be made public. The internal probe comes in the wake of an article critical of Wolfowitz and the bank, done […]


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