CSOs Urge IDB Governors to Be More Transparent

24 February 2010

In advance of a key March meeting of the Board of Governors for the Inter-American Development Bank, more than 100 civil society organizations have called for more transparency and other reforms.

The calls for transparency begin with a demand that the IDB disclose its proposal for recapitalization, saying the lack of disclosure and consultation “implies a violation of the minimum standards of consultation and process transparency.”

The Feb. 17 letter states: “To date the Bank has not made public any draft proposals about the GCI-9 Proposal nor an updated version of the Results Framework, much less other documents about the requested 9th Capital Increase since the first extraordinary meeting of Governors in Santiago, Chile (July, 2009). The consultation process launched by the Bank has come to a halt in the middle of the process, at risk of not concluding properly.”

The groups want to hear more about the results of IDB efforts. Besides asking for more transparency, the letter asks for such things as sustainability and climate change, anti-corruption programs, and the quality of supervision and evaluation of projects in their execution phase.

But many of the requests are for more disclosure.  The groups ask the IDB to: “Establish a mechanism that discloses and informs the public on an annual basis of all advances in the implementation of evaluation recommendations previously approved by the IDB’s Board of Directors.”

The letter continues by recommending that all extractive industry clients of the Bank be required to publish their payments to host governments.

Further, the letter asks the IDB to: “Establish precise operational mechanisms for access to detailed information for all financial, technical, and environmental data for projects financed by the IDB.”

The letter says, “The Bank should commit itself to approving a transparency policy which complies with the same standards of the recently approved World Bank policy.”

IDB officials for several years have said the Bank is on the verge of redoing its disclosure policy, and the CSO letter urges them to pursue that.  The Bank’s policy dates to 2003.

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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