IDB Governors Raise Bar for New Transparency Policy

1 April 2010

The Board of Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank on March 21 made several commitments to improve transparency at the IDB.

The Board’s statements go slightly beyond those contained in a recently proposed outline of potential changes to the disclosure policy. Just before the Board meeting in Cancun, Mexico, the IDB released a “Policy Profile” that is to be the basis for a just-started consultation period.

The governors cited “increasing transparency and accountability through best practice disclosure and governance policies, including the results framework” as one agenda item agreed upon at an annual meeting.

The goals are part of a declaration on an agreement among the 48 member countries on a capital increase that will boost the Bank’s ordinary capital by $70 billion, raising it to more than $170 billion. The capital increase, the largest in the IDB’s history, will allow it to double its lending capacity to $12 billion a year, according to a press release.

The governors in the declaration instructed the IDB management “to implement a new disclosure policy that meets the highest standards applied by other Multilateral Financial institutions.”

An “Overview Framework” paper appended to the Declaration specifies a new disclosure policy should include the following elements:

  • The replacement of a “positive list” of disclosed policies with a limited “negative list”
  • Presumption of disclosure
  • Release of Board/Committee minutes
  • Independent appeals mechanism
  • Voluntary disclosure of ED’s statements
  • Disclosure of project-level results

The call for an independent appeals mechanism would go beyond the language of the Policy Profile.

Nor does the Profile address the voluntary disclosure of statements by executive directors.

The IDB requested public comments on the Profile for 30 days beginning April 18. After that, the Bank expects that it will issue a draft policy within several weeks that will be the subject of a more comprehensive 90-day public consultations process, the details of which are in preparation.

By Toby McIntosh

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Filed under: 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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