IFTI Watch

  • 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 freedominfo.org.

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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

    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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 19 June 2009

    Closely Guarded EIB Framework Agreements Appear Largely Technical

    The European Investment Bank is proposing to disclose Framework Agreements only with the permission of the country partner, but the agreements appear to be largely technical and legal documents, judging from a very old one supplied by the Bank and a more recent one obtained by Freedominfo.org. The Bank’s reluctance to disclose the Framework Agreements […]

  • 19 June 2009

    World Bank Internal Evaluation Group Posts Disclosure Policy

    On June 18, the World Bank’s Internal Evaluation Group (IEG) posted its 2004 disclosure policy on its home page for the first time. The absence of the policy came to light because of indications that IEG plans to rewrite its policy after the Bank completes a rewrite of its disclosure policy, an effort now under […]

  • 12 June 2009

    EIB Proposes Limit on Disclosure of Framework Agreements, Invites Public Comment on Transparency Policies

    The European Investment Bank (EIB) is proposing to let countries decide whether to disclose the “Framework Agreement” documents that guide EIB lending to individual countries. Tajikistan is one such country getting EIB help. On February 11, 2009, the EIB announced that the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmon, and EIP President Philippe Maystadt […]

  • 1 June 2009

    No Consultation Planned for IEG Disclosure Policy Review

    With the Bank as a whole reconsidering its disclosure policy, the IEG is planning an update of its own. The Bank has released an “Approach Paper” outlining its ideas for changes, but IEG plans has not issued a proposal and plans to wait until the Bank’s policy is approved before taking parallel action, an IEG […]

  • 28 May 2009

    Bank Proposal Called Too Broad

    The Bank has proposed to follow the principle that most documents should be disclosed, subject to stated exceptions, but the GTI called the suggested exemptions “overly-broad.” “Most of the exceptions proposed in Section C of the Approach Paper do not refer to specific interests that might be harmed. Instead, they describe either a category of […]

  • 26 May 2009

    Secret Summaries of World Bank Meetings Illuminate Proceedings

      The “minutes” of the World Bank’s executive board meetings, released publicly, are brief notations of the official action, usually one paragraph.  They reveal almost nothing about what transpired during the closed deliberations. The “summaries,” by contrast, describe the key points of discussion.  They condense, without names, the comments made by the executive directors. The […]

  • 30 April 2009

    World Bank Disclosure Proposal Assessed at Consultation

    The World Banks proposals to alter its disclosure policy were praised for moving in the right direction but criticized for not going far enough at a three-hour consultation held April 25 in Washington, DC. Peter Harrold, Director of Operations Services at the World Bank, indicated some areas of potential flexibility. He welcomed suggestions that the […]


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