IFTI Watch

  • 18 July 2017

    World Bank Simplifies Process for Access Decisions

    By Toby McIntosh The World Bank Board has altered its procedures for handling requests for certain, typically older, Executive Board documents, possibly hastening their disclosure, or nondisclosure. The decision, made late last year, subtly alters the handling of requests for documents that are “eligible” for disclosure, meaning that there is no exemption that would bar […]

  • 7 June 2017

    World Bank Report Grades Malaysia Liberally on ATI

    By Toby McIntosh Despite not having an access to information law, Malaysia received a generous grade in a recent World Bank “Open Data Readiness” report. Malaysia received a “yellow” rating for its “legal and policy framework” even though a “red” score appears to be called for by the scoring guidelines for countries without an ATI […]

  • 11 May 2017

    US Banking Group Calls International Banking Organizations Secretive

    The American Bankers Association is recommending more transparency in the creation of international banking standards and says US officials should provide advance information on upcoming negotiations. The trade group sent a white paper to the Treasury Department saying that the process of developing standards by international bodies such as the Basel Committee on Bank Supervision […]

  • 3 May 2017

    UNESCO Adopts Policy Concerning Information

    UNESCO has quietly adopted an access to information policy. The policy has been up and running since March 1, according to an official from UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). A link to the policy is contained at the bottom of the UNESCO web page, although not on the UNESCO “transparency portal.” […]

  • 5 April 2017

    World Bank Denies Access to Document on Access Policy

    By Toby McIntosh Requests for documents about the World Bank’s Board of Directors take many months to process and are often unsuccessful, even for very old documents, according to a FreedomInfo.org examination of Bank records. The delays appeared to have prompted a proposal for “streamlining” the handling of such requests, but the fate of that […]

  • 2 February 2017

    World Bank Report Discusses Accountabiity, Transparency

    The World Bank has issued a comprehensive report on development and governance that includes an assessment of the role of transparency and the media: The World Development Report 2017: Governance and the Law.  The report examines the relationship of transparency and accountability, identifying many intervening factors, such as power imbalances. A section on transparency begins: Transparency Making […]

  • 19 January 2017

    ITU Says Study Groups Covered by Disclosure Policy

    The International Telecommunication Union’s new disclosure policy will cover Study Groups, according to the ITU’s responses to FreedomInfo.org queries. The Study Groups, key committees that draft policies, were not specifically mentioned in the new policy. The ITU wrote: “Annex 1 covers ITU Study Groups under Section D “Information on ITU’s operational activities” / “Developing standards, manuals and guidelines.” […]

  • 5 January 2017

    ITU Access Policy Protects `Sensitive’ Information

    The International Telecommunication Union has announced an access to information policy that does not appear to cover “Study Groups,” important committees that draft policies, and that exempts disclosure of “sensitive” information. These and other elements of the access policy announced Jan. 2 seem consistent with ad hoc practices put in place in recent years that […]


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