Archive for 2009

  • 24 December 2009

    Simultaneous Disclosure Another Major Improvement

    One of the topics that remained under discussion was a change perhaps equally important to the adoption of a presumption of disclosure. The Board, despite some dissension, took a major step toward letting the public know what more about staff recommendations and its own deliberations. In 2001, the Bank started posting advance agendas for its […]

  • 2 December 2009

    World Bank Cautious on Media Development

    The goal of strengthening the media as one way to fight corruption was adopted by the World Bank in 2006, but the promise has gone virtually unfulfilled, according to research by

  • 19 November 2009

    Access Info Unveils Question to Brussels Report on Requesting EU Information

    Brussels, Belgium — In April 2009, an internal guide from the EU Directorate General (DG) for Trade revealed that public officials were being given tips on how not to record information and how to avoid providing documents to the public. Access Info has launched a report on its follow-up investigations into the internal guides of 16 […]

  • 18 November 2009

    World Bank Board Broadens Access in New Disclosure Policy

    The World Bank’s executive directors November 17 approved a new policy on access to information that will mean significantly more transparency about Bank decision making and operations. The Bank’s press release said, “The new policy represents a fundamental shift in the Bank’s approach to disclosure of information—moving from an approach that spells out what documents it can […]

  • 16 November 2009

    In Shanghai, President Obama Recognizes Access to Information as Universal Right

    by Yvette M. Chin Shanghai, China — On his first trip to Asia, President Obama made unequivocal statements about access to information as a universal human right at a rare town-hall style meeting of university students November 16. Over 2 years ago, the Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Open Government Information (OGI Regulations) […]

  • 4 November 2009

    EIB Opens Second Round of Consultations on Transparency

    The European Investment Bank has announced a second round of consultations on its Complaints Mechanism, Transparency, and Public Disclosure policies. The Bank is seeking comments by November 13 on new drafts and invited interested parties to discuss them at a meeting in Brussels on November 9. The Luxembourg-based organization aims to finish the consultation process […]

  • 4 November 2009

    GTI Praises, Criticizes World Bank Disclosure Proposal

    The World Bank’s proposed disclosure policy falls well short of its potential, but it still will bring greater transparency to the Bank, according to the Global Transparency Initiative, an international nongovernmental organization. The GTI November 3 sent the Bank extensive new comments, including many recommendations to improve the policy, which the Bank’s Executive Board is scheduled […]

  • 21 October 2009

    IATI Seeks Comments on Code of Conduct and Consultation Document

    The Secretariat of the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) is now seeking comments on the IATI Code of Conduct, which will specify how donors should publish aid information. Comments are due by October 30th. Launched at the Accra High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in September 2008, IATI now has 18 donor signatories and a […]

  • 20 October 2009

    New Report on Aid Transparency: Not Available! Not Accessible!

    Madrid, Spain — Transparency NGO Access Info Europe released a report on October 20 entitled “Not Available! Not Accessible!” to coincide with the opening of the International Aid Transparency Initiative’s conference of donors and recipient governments in the Hague. The report shows how donor governments are failing to make available the information needed to prevent corruption in […]

  • 16 October 2009

    Justice Minister Rejects Much-Needed Reforms to Canada’s 26-Year-Old Transparency Law

    Recommendations Called for Broad Expansion of Information Commissioner’s Mandate Ottawa, Canada — In June 2009, the House of Commons Committee on access to information, privacy, and ethics made recommendations to modernize and expand the scope of Canada’s 26-year-old Access to Information Act. However, Minister of Justice Rob Nicholson rejected these recommendations as cumbersome and unnecessary, sparking complaints […]

  • 15 October 2009

    Ukrainian Group Protests Lack of Transparency by EBRD in Connection with Major Power Project

    The National Ecological Centre of Ukraine (NECU) recently criticized the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for violating EBRD procedures on public consultations and not providing full information about a major power transmission project in Ukraine. “On a recent fact-finding mission to the region, NECU representatives uncovered a highly haphazard approach from the project promoter Ukrenergo—Ukraine’s national […]

  • 12 October 2009

    World Bank Paradigm Shift for Disclosure Policy Subject to Variety of Limitations, Caveats, Exceptions

    The World Bank staff October 2 proposed a new disclosure policy that would take some big steps, but also some sidesteps. The draft on which public comment has been invited probably will be discussed by the Executive Board November 17. It contains a wide range of improvements, including: a real likelihood that more documents would […]

  • 12 October 2009

    US Treasury Secretary Urges More Transparency at IMF, Advocates Release of All Article IV Reports

    US Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, speaking October 4 in Istanbul at the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) meeting, called for more transparency at the International Monetary Fund. Geithner said, “Moreover, greater transparency is critical to underpin the credibility and effectiveness of IMF surveillance. Since the crisis has taught us that no nation is […]

  • 7 October 2009

    Saber Mas: New Report on Access to Information in Latin America

    Open government advocates offer first-hand accounts of FOI promotion in Latin America Latin America’s leading open government advocates recently released a report, bringing together data from 17 countries and offering new findings on the status of freedom of information in the region. The Regional Alliance for Freedom of Expression and Information (Alianza Regional para la […]

  • 30 September 2009

    OSCE Ambassador Statements Mar International Right to Know Day Event

    by Yvette M. Chin Podgorica, Montenegro — The head of the the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) mission to Montenegro, Ambassador Paraschiva Badescu, committed a diplomatic faux pas in the middle of an International Right to Know Day event, asserting that requests for information “need to be justified.” Civil society organizations rejected these unfounded […]

  • 25 September 2009

    The World Prepares for International Right To Know Day, 28 September 2009

    The 7th International Right to Know Day on 28th of September 2009 will mark a year of historic advances for the right of access to information and will be celebrated by the Freedom of Information Advocate’s Network which has around 200 organizations in 75 countries who are calling for universal respect for the public’s right […]

  • 21 September 2009

    IMF Has No Plans to Post Draft Revision to Disclosure Policy

    The International Monetary Fund board will discuss possible changes to the IMF disclosure policy later this fall, but still has no plans to disclose any proposed changes. Staff review of the IMF Transparency Policy is underway following a consultation this spring, and the staff may or may not make reform proposals, according to Silvia Zucchini, […]

  • 11 September 2009

    IFC Announces Plans to Review Disclosure Policy

    The World Banks private sector lending arm, the International Finance Corporation, announced a review of its disclosure policy on September 8, a 15-month process to be done in conjunction with a review of its environmental and social policies. The IFCs July 23, 2009, report analyzes its experience with the environmental, social, and disclosure policies adopted […]

  • 11 September 2009

    Rep. Frank Urges World Bank to Make Transparency Reforms

    US Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said September 10 that the World Bank should improve its disclosure policy and remove the anti-labor bias from its Doing Business report or else risk reduced US funding. Franks message was delivered at a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee at which academics and other witnesses advocated for greater […]

  • 9 September 2009

    World Bank May Disclose Documents Going to the Board

    The World Bank may be moving toward major breakthroughs in transparency for its Executive Board, according to informed sources. One change being contemplated would provide for the public release of key staff recommendations at the same time they are sent to the decision-making board. The demand for such simultaneous disclosure has been a longstanding one […]


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: or
1-(703) 276-7748