Monday, February 1, 2010
We posted previously that the World Bank was working to increase transparency through its new disclosure policy. The Bank has finalized the details of its new policy which is to take effect on July 1, 2010. According toa World Bank press release, the new disclosure policy will set the standard for international financial institutions who are expected to revise their policies to match the Bank.
The type of documents that the Bank is focused on making more available largely concern key decisions during the process of project development and implementation including concept review meetings, project supervision missions, and mid-term project reviews. However, the new policy will not change the disclosure of documents containing confidential client information; therefore, legal agreements defining project governance may or may not be more available under the new policy. As noted in the previous post, confidential information will become available as it becomes less sensitive over time. Confidential information will become available after a period of 5, 10, or 20 years depending on the nature of the information.
Finally, the new policy spells out the appeals process by which requesters can challenge Bank decisions to withhold information as unreasonable. Appeals will go through a two-stage process; first under an internal mechanism at the Bank; then, if necessary, by a panel consisting of three international experts who will make final binding decisions on disclosures.