IFTI Watch

  • 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 […]

  • 13 June 2014

    Netherlands Takes Initiative to Monitor NATO Spending

      The Netherlands Court of Audit (NCA)— the official auditing body of the Dutch government— on June 10 created a new website to draw attention to the lack of financial transparency by the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO). “It is not clear what NATO entities achieve or whether they give value for money,” according to […]

  • 6 June 2014

    ICSID Secretary General Plans to Propose Transparency Changes

    By Toby McIntosh Meg Kinnear, the Secretary General of the World Bank’s international arbitration body, intends to make proposals to address the level of transparency for arbitrations, she told FreedomInfo.org on June 4. Also in the works is a new website that will include more information and improved search capabilities, she said, hoping for an […]

  • 6 June 2014

    EIB Plans Consultation on Transparency Policy

    The European Investment Bank has announced plans to hold a public consultation as part of the review of its Transparency Policy. The process is expected to be finalized at the end of 2014, according to a timetable contained in the press release. The EIB Transparency Policy was adopted in 2010 with a provision mandating a […]

  • 2 June 2014

    World Bank Posts First Group of Access Request Digests

    The World Bank has posted for the first time short summaries of some of the information requests it has received. The 32 listed requests were received in April and were recently put on the Bank’s website. Under the Bank’s new policy a summary of a request is only disclosed if the requester agrees. No names are provided […]

  • 30 May 2014

    Groups Ask EC to Open Transatlantic Trade Talks

    About 250 groups on May 19 sent a letter to EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht calling for more transparency in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations. “We are calling on you to open the negotiation process to the public, by releasing the negotiating mandate, documents submitted by the EU, and negotiating texts,” […]

  • 19 May 2014

    World Bank Arbitration Body Sets Limits on Transparency

    By Toby McIntosh If it’s a race to the top, it’s a very slow marathon. Until recently, the Work Bank body that handles international arbitrations may have been, as its secretary general said, the most transparent of all the arbitration regimes. But that claim is open to question now that the United Nations’ arbitration organization […]

  • 16 May 2014

    EBRD Slightly Modifies Public Information Policy

    The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development May 7 approved modest changes to its Public Information Policy. The new policy as only slightly different than the previous policy, which was criticized as too restrictive by nongovernmental organizations, and is still “antiquated,” one critic told FreedomInfo.org. David Banisar, senor legal counsel for the London-based Article 19, […]

  • 24 April 2014

    World Bank to Summarize Request Letters; Permit Veto

    The World Bank in May will begin publishing summaries of requests made in April under its access to information policy, unless a requester objects, according to Bank officials. Requesters in April saw a new message: To further transparency, the World Bank (“Bank”) intends to disclose information regarding access to information requests submitted to the Bank as […]

  • 4 April 2014

    FreedomInfo.org Appeals World Bank Denial

    FreedomInfo.org has appealed a World Bank decision not to release a month’s worth of the requests under the Access to Information policy, stressing that redaction could solve the Bank’s concern over disclosing personal information. The Bank declined to redact information that might be covered by exemptions to the AI policy, saying redaction is not mandatory under […]

  • 4 April 2014

    Book Review: Transparency in International Law

    “Transparency in International Law,” edited by Andrea Bianchi and Anne Peters. Published 2013, Cambridge University Press The 20 chapters of this book, edited by two Swiss academics, provide a sweeping survey of transparency at dozens of international organizations, in theory and practice. The editors purposefully did not prescribe a definition of “transparency,” while admitting that […]

ABOUT 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).
Contact: freeinfo@gwu.edu or
1-(703) 276-7748