Monday, November 23, 2009
According to a recent World Bank Press Release, the Bank is shifting its policies regarding access to information. The Bank’s current rules for document disclosure permitdisclosure only of specific documents. The new model provides for disclosure of all World Bank documents not specifically restricted. Further, the policy allows for declassification and disclosure of documents containing sensitive information over set periods of time depending on the nature and sensitivity of the information.
The new policy implements clear procedures regarding external requests for information and even provides an appeals mechanism to deal with controversial denials. Review in the appeals mechanism will be performed in part by an independent body of international experts.
The Bank will issue the final policy statement with comments from the Board in December. The changes become effective on July 1, 2010 and the Board will review a progress report on the new policies by the end of 2011.