IFTI Watch

  • 27 May 2015

    UNEP Access Policy Criticized During Hearing in Kenya

    Numerous suggestions to improve the interim access to information policy at the United Nations Environment Programme UNEP) were proposed during a public hearing held May 26 in Nairobi, Kenya. Most of the commentators urged that the interim policy, now in effect on a trial basis, be made less restrictive. Among other things, UNEP was urged […]

  • 24 April 2015

    Leaked Document Describes IAEA Transparency Proposal

    The veil has been lifted slightly on a secret 19-year-old transparency policy at International Atomic Energy Agency. Freedominfo.org/Nuclear Vault has obtained, from a non-Agency source, the proposal made in 1996 by the Secretariat to the Board of Governors for a more liberal disclosure policy. The Board did adopt a derestriction policy, but the policy has […]

  • 23 April 2015

    IAEA Lacks Transparency, Observers, Researchers Say

    By Toby McIntosh and William Burr McIntosh is Editor of FreedomInfo.org, published by the National Security Archive. Burr is Senior Analyst at the National Security Archive, where he directs the Archive’s nuclear history documentation project. See the Archive’s Nuclear Vault resources page. Several facts serve as metaphors to describe the lack of transparency at the […]

  • 9 April 2015

    Oxfam Report Faults World Bank Transparency

    The new report by the British-based group Oxfam and others has identified transparency gaps in the operations of the World Bank’s private sector lending arm. In particular the report examines lending done through “financial intermediaries” and reports that disclosure has been lacking. The report concluded: Another worrying discovery is that of the 49 investments the IFC made […]

  • 26 March 2015

    Leaked TPP Draft Includes Rules on Transparency

    Rules for transparency of international arbitrations are included in a recently leaked draft of a key section of the controversial, still-being-negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership. The section on transparency (begins on Page 27) would set standards for the conduct of the arbitrations to resolve complaints by investors against signatory governments. The transparency rules are good, but not […]

  • 12 March 2015

    EIB Transparency Policy Called Watered Down

    A new transparency policy by the European Investment Bank is “watered down,” according to public interest groups who followed its development. The EIB announced its “more user-friendly”new policy on March 10. Those following the process were pleased that some “dangerous provisions” had been dropped, but overall called it worse than the previous policy. A statement by nongovernmental […]

  • 26 February 2015

    World Bank Rejects Request for Serbian Project Report

    The World Bank Feb. 18 officially rejected a request by a Serbian journalist for reports on the procurement process concerning a concerning the procurement process for a controversial Bank-funded project in Serbia to pump water out of the flooded coal mine. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.) “While there is no single World Bank report on the […]

  • 12 February 2015

    World Bank Denies Access to Procurement Review Reports

    By Toby McIntosh The World Bank, despite being a major supporter of “open contracting,” restricts access to its own reports on “post-procurement reviews.” Most recently, the Bank refused to disclose a report concerning the procurement process for a controversial project in Serbia. Investigative journalists in Serbia have raised questions about the qualifications of the contractor […]

  • 15 January 2015

    EIB Makes Limited Changes in Second Draft of Policy

    The European Investment Bank has made a few improvements to a proposed revision of its Transparency Policy, but not addressed many of the concerns of public interest groups. The EIB Board of Directors is expected to discuss the revised policy in its meeting on 3 February 2015. The EIB recently issued a revised draft, a […]

  • 8 January 2015

    EU Ombudsman Seeks More Trade Talk Transparency

    The European Commission on Jan. 7 issued more documents concerning the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations with the United States, a move welcomed by the European Ombudsman, who said even more should be disclosed. Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly issued an extensive report that includes numerous recommendations for the Commission, challenging the EC not to […]

  • 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 […]


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