IFTI Watch

  • 18 December 2014

    EU Ombudsman Urges EIB to Release Zambian Mine Report

    The European Ombudsman has recommended that the European Investment Bank release a redacted version of a report concerning a mine in Zambia. The Bank had rejected a request from Christian Aid to publish a report on its investigation into tax evasion allegations against Mopani Copper Mines. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.) Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly, whose decisions […]

  • 11 December 2014

    UNEP Seeks Public Comments On Pilot Phase Access Policy

    The United Nations Environmental Programme is inviting comments on its access to information policy now in a “pilot phase.” On June 6, 2014, UNEP announced the policy and said it would be reviewed by the UNEP secretariat for possible refinement after a year. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report on announcement here, and stories about critiques of […]

  • 20 November 2014

    Secrecy Option Proposed for Bank Forest Carbon Fund

    The World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Fund is aiming to allow confidential treatment for the terms under which countries would receive payments for conserving forests. The policy is still under development, but three nongovernmental organizations recently objected to giving countries the option of secrecy in the still developing system in which the Fund will pay […]

  • 19 November 2014

    NGO Again Uses FOI to Get Secret UPOV Documents

    A public interest group following the activities of International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) has once again released documents that the organization declines to disclose. The group uses national freedom of information laws to get the documents. The restricted documents, which describe business before the closed meeting of the UPOV […]

  • 17 November 2014

    G20 Leaders Make Several Transparency Commitments

    The G20 has endorsed “public sector transparency and integrity” and “high-level principles on beneficial ownership transparency.” The G20 also agreed to “transparency of tax-payer specific rulings found to constitute harmful tax practices.” Meeting in Brisbane, Australia, the G20 leaders made these commitments, along with hundreds of others, in a 2015-16 G20 Anti Corruption Plan, a Communique, […]

  • 30 October 2014

    UN Rapporteur Kiai Blasts Multilateral Organizations

    United Nations human rights Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai on Oct. 28 issued a report calling on multilateral organizations to be more transparent and inclusive. “The Special Rapporteur observes with concern how at the multilateral level the space and autonomy given to associations and people to exercise their fundamental rights is in far too many instances […]

  • 30 October 2014

    EU Ombudsman Makes Recommendations to EIB

    European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly has advised the European Investment Bank to make changes in its draft amendment to its disclosure policy. The ombudsman’s guidance came in an Oct. 21 letter accompanied by a detailed three page annex. One proposal is to clarify that the EIB does not intend to use an exception for “administrative tasks” […]

  • 9 October 2014

    EU Discloses Document on Trade Talks With US

    The Council of the European Union Oct. 9 published its previously secret negotiating mandate for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the United States. “Although the directives empowering the European Commission to talk to Washington on the EU’s behalf were classified, they have in fact been freely available online since June 2013,” explained an article […]

  • 8 October 2014

    Disclosure Policy Not on Agenda for Climate Fund

    Creation of a permanent information disclosure policy is not on the agenda for an upcoming meeting of the Global Climate Fund board. “This was not surprising, giving the long list of issues already on their to-do list, but it is disappointing nevertheless,” said Liane Schalatek, who follows the Fund as Associate Director of the Heinrich Böll […]

  • 22 September 2014

    EIB Disclosure Policy Needs Reform, 17 Groups State

    Seventeen civil society organizations have called on the European Investment Bank to make major improvements to its disclosure policy. The policy, a slightly revised draft of which is now under review, “does not adequately reflect key international standards and principles relating to transparency,” according to a 24-page statement issued Sept. 22. The policy is likely […]

  • 28 August 2014

    EIB Rejects Internal Advice, Declines to Release Report

    The European Investment Bank has rejected a request from Christian Aid to publish a report on its investigation into tax evasion allegations against Mopani Copper Mines. The Bank’s Complaints Mechanism recommended that the report should be published in redacted form, but the Bank rejected that advice. The EIB investigated whether Mopani Copper Mines (a Glencore […]

  • 8 August 2014

    World Bank Publishes Information on Contracts

    By Toby McIntosh For the first time, the World Bank has published information on large contracts it makes for goods and services, mainly consulting services. The datasets put on the Bank’s website Aug. 8 arrived 10 months later than planned and temporarily contain less data than promised. The disclosures reveal Bank contracts valued at over […]

  • 31 July 2014

    EU Ombudsman Presses for Trade Talk Transparency

    European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly July 31 said the Council of the European Union should publish the EU negotiating directives for the ongoing Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations with the United States. In her letter to the Council, she raises doubts, based on a leaked document, that the directives should be kept secret. Commenting […]

  • 31 July 2014

    World Bank Ready to Disclose Its Contracts; 10 Months Late

    Ten months behind schedule, the World Bank is about to begin the promised disclosure of information about its own contracts, Freedominfo.org has learned from a Bank official. The information – contractor name, a brief description of services and the contract amount — was to be published on the World Bank Group’s Open Finances website beginning […]

  • 18 July 2014

    EU-US trade deal: People Have the Right to Know

    By Natacha Cingotti This report was first published in Euractive. Cingotti is a transparency campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe. Environmental campaigners have questioned the legality of the EU-US trade talks’ secrecy after a European Court of Justice ruling offered “a glimmer of hope” to see the negotiating mandate made public. The recent ruling […]

  • 7 July 2014

    EIB Urged to Revise Transparency Policy

    The European Investment Bank needs to make substantial improvements to its 2010 transparency policy, according to a recent letter by nongovernmental organizations. The NGOs, led by the group Counter Balance based in Brussels,  wrote to the EIB on July 1 in advance of an EIB-sponsored stakeholder meeting July 10. “Drawing on our experience with the […]

  • 27 June 2014

    New UNEP Disclosure Policy Called Surprisingly Weak

    The new United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) access to information policy is “surprisingly weak,” according to the Centre for Law and Democracy. Issuance of the pilot policy June 6 was “unimpressive not only for its tardiness – the World Bank adopted its first access to information policy in 1994 – but also for the surprisingly […]

  • 26 June 2014

    Appeals Body Says World Bank Violated Access Policy

    By Toby McIntosh The World Bank violated its access to information policy in several ways when it denied a request for information from FreedomInfo.org, according to a decision by the three outside experts who decide appeals. The Access to Information Appeals Board said the Bank must disclose the requested documents – the information requests sent […]

  • 23 June 2014

    WRI Criticizes UNEP Pilot Access to Information Policy

    The pilot access to information policy recently issued by  the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) “falls far short of providing true transparency,” according to the World Resources Institute. UNEP issued its pilot  policy last week. (See FreedomInfo.org report.) The policy, which was not released in draft form for comment, is to be the subject a […]

  • 13 June 2014

    UNEP to Establish Pilot Information Disclosure Policy

    The United Nations Environmental Programme is about to create a one-year “pilot” informational disclosure policy. An official announcement is expected soon. An advance copy of the eight-page policy, dated June 6, was obtained by FreedomInfo.org.  A preamble says that the goal for setting up a permanent policy is June 2015. During that time, internal and […]


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