IFTI Watch

  • 16 December 2015

    World Bank Appeals Panel Backs Bank Secrecy Decision

    By Toby McIntosh The three-member outside review panel has upheld the World Bank’s refusal to disclose documents about a controversial procurement in Serbia. (See decision.) Gordana Andric of The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network requested documents about a review that Bank conducted into Serbia’s procurement process of a controversial Bank-funded project to pump water out of […]

  • 3 December 2015

    More Transparency in Arbitrations, World Bank Official Says

    The World Bank’s arbitration facility, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), is seeing an uptick in the number of transparent arbitrations, according to Martina Polasek, ICSID Team Leader/Legal Counsel. “There have been quite a few developments in favor of transparency in treaty making during the past year, and we have generally seen […]

  • 3 December 2015

    Critics Say TPP Provision Could Undercut FOI Laws

    The transparency provision of the Trans-Pacific Partnership still being negotiating by the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim nations is flawed according a critique of the draft agreement. The TPP’s investment chapter addresses investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms and sets out a transparency standard for arbitration proceedings to resolve such disputes. One provision would […]

  • 24 November 2015

    NGOs Seek More Transparency At UN Anticorruption Body

    Nongovernmental organizations have mounted a renewed campaign to achieve a more transparent and inclusive process in the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) Review Mechanism. The UNCA Civil Society Coalition is asking countries to subscribe to specific commitments on transparency and participation in an UNCAC Review Transparency Pledge. At a UNCAC meeting in St. Petersburg […]

  • 24 November 2015

    UNEP Revised Disclosure Policy Needs Work, CLD Says

    The revised disclosure policy recently published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) “shows that improvements have been introduced, but that far more is needed to bring it into line with international standards or better practice by inter-governmental organisations,” according to an analysis by the Canadian-based Centre for Law and Democracy. “We welcome the fact […]

  • 23 November 2015

    Panel Recommends WHO Adopt Information Policy

    A panel that examined the response to Ebola has recommended, among other things, that the World Health Organization should establish a freedom of information policy. The FOI proposal is among a number of governance reforms made in a report issued Nov. 23 by the Independent Panel on the Global Response to Ebola, convened by the […]

  • 19 November 2015

    UNEP Issues New Draft Access to Information Policy

    The United Nations Environmental Programme has issued a new draft access to information policy. UNEP invited comments on the new revised draft, which one expert from an environmental group called “much improved.” UNEP announced an informal dialogue on the subject to be held on Nov. 25 in Kenya, where UNEP is headquartered. The agency also published a […]

  • 20 October 2015

    FIFA Eyes Several Changes For More Transparency

    The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Executive Committee Oct. 20 approved a proposal that could lead to more transparency about its internal ethics investigations, FIFA announced. The Ethics Committee, at its discretion, will now be permitted to publish more information about its ongoing proceedings, according to the announcement. The Executive Committee also “welcomed” the preliminary […]

  • 14 October 2015

    IMF Discloses Model Used to Evaluate Oil, Mining Deals

    By Jim Cust and David Mihalyi   Cust is Director of Research and Data at the Natural Resource Governance Institute and Mihalyi is an NRGI Economic Analyst. The following post (minus graphics) first appeared Oct. 9 in the NRGI blog. Today, the International Monetary Fund released its model for evaluating and designing oil and mining […]

  • 2 October 2015

    Mexico Failing to Disclose IFI Loan Material, Report Says

    The Mexican government “is failing to live up to its obligations” to disclose information about loans from the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, according to a new report by a Mexican nongovernmental organization. To reach this conclusion, Mariana González Armijo of Fundar Centro de Análisis e Investigación evaluated responses to test requests. She […]

  • 30 September 2015

    Green Climate Fund Proposal On Access Found Wanting

    The Green Climate Fund (GCF) draft Information Disclosure Policy contains a “vastly overbroad regime of exceptions,” according to an analysis by the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) endorsed by a number of other nongovernmental organizations. Toby Mendel, Executive Director of CLD, said the exemptions cover “a broad range of internal documents” and grant third […]

  • 24 September 2015

    CSOs Tell G20 Nations to Implement Transparency

    Civil society organizations included various transparency recommendations for the G20 countries to implement. The proposals came in a communiqué issued at the C20 Summit 2015 held in Istanbul, Turkey, on Sept. 15 and 16. The C20 proposed more contract transparency, plus more transparency about corporate ownership and taxation. Transparency is necessary to fight corruption, the […]

  • 22 September 2015

    UNEP to Revise Criticized Pilot Disclosure Policy

    The United Nations Environmental Programme has announced that it will write a second draft of its disclosure policy and invite public comments. The current “pilot policy” now in place for almost a year has been criticized by transparency campaigners, including at a one-day dialogue in June in Nairobi, Kenya. (See previous FreedomInfo.org article.) UNEP has […]

  • 6 August 2015

    Access to IAEA Agreements With Iran Gets Controversial

    Legislators in the United States critical of the new international agreement with Iran about nuclear development are demanding access to two side agreements between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Administration. The IAEA says the agreements can’t be disclosed. Republican senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Congressman Mike Pompeo of Kansas have demanded that the […]

  • 21 July 2015

    Transparency of aid agencies: Are those high grades deserved?

    By Jeffrey Gutman The author is a Senior Fellow in the Global Economy and Development. He is the former vice president of Operations Policy and Country Services at the World Bank and has held various other operational positions during his 30-plus-year career at the Bank. His research focuses on issues of infrastructure, urban development and […]

  • 15 July 2015

    Report Sees Disclosure Gap on Aid Implementation

    A major weakness of transparency policies at the World Bank and other aid agencies is the lack of information about the implementation of projects, according to a Brookings Institute report. “What is evident is that there remains a critical gap, especially when it comes to the timely and accessible disclosure of information during project Implementation,” […]

  • 2 July 2015

    World Bank Notes Fifth Anniversary of Access Policy

    The World Bank’s access to information policy (AI) has turned five years old, an anniversary recognized by the Bank with a blog posting, a press release and a short quiz. The blog post cites two examples on how Bank information is used and requests other examples. The posting also includes an infographic. The posting says: The policy […]

  • 1 July 2015

    Groups Urge Climate Fund to Create Access Policy in Open

    More than 100 civil society groups have signed a letter asking the Green Climate Fund to hold “robust public consultations” about its transparency policy. The Fund is planning to replace the current Interim Information Disclosure Practice with a new Information Disclosure Policy. The group letter expressed “serious concerns that there may only be limited opportunities […]

  • 25 June 2015

    State Department Advisors Urge More IAEA Transparency

    An advisory committee to the United States State Department has recommended that the US advocate for more transparency at the International Atomic Energy Agency. The Advisory Committee on Historical Documentation wrote a letter on June 14 to the US representative on the IAEA Board of Governors, Ambassador Laura Kennedy. The committee called it “unfortunate and […]

  • 11 June 2015

    NATO Makes Disclosures; Too Modest, Says Academic Critic

    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization on June 3 for the first time made public documents about its financial regulations, corporate governance and accounting principles. The move was dubbed positive but insufficient by an expert on NATO transparent, Tsvetelina Yordanova, a former journalist who just received her doctorate from Sofia University in Bulgaria and recently presented […]


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