Presentation on theme: "Toward Greater Transparency Rethinking the World Banks Disclosure Policy The World Bank March 2009."— Presentation transcript:
Toward Greater Transparency Rethinking the World Banks Disclosure Policy The World Bank March 2009
2 The World Bank March 2009 Where are we today? We state a presumption in favor of disclosure The policy lists the specific categories of information we make available to the publica positive list The positive list approach is not consistent with the presumption to disclose
3 The World Bank March 2009 Where are we today? (continued) Ambiguous rules for disclosing information not on the positive list Limited information available on project implementation Unclear rules for disclosing country-owned information Cumbersome and costly procedures on disclosing historical information No appeals process
4 The World Bank March 2009 A new approach based on four guiding principles 1. Maximum access to information 2. A clear list of exceptions that is easier to interpret 3. Clear procedures for processing requests 4. An appeals mechanism
5 The World Bank March 2009 Principle 1 Maximizing access to information Discard the positive list and grant access to all information in the Banks posession other than what is on a list of exceptions Recognize that certain information need not be restricted foreverprovide timelines for declassifying certain categories of information
6 The World Bank March 2009 Principle 2 A clear list of exceptions Deny access only to information for which there is a compelling reason for confidentiality Exceptions as narrow as possible Confidential country owned information Board papers classified confidential Internal s except those filed for public access Personal staff information Certain financial information (borrowing plan, IBRD CPIA) Deliberative information (drafts, comments) Investigative and sanctions information, attorney-client privilege
7 The World Bank March 2009 More on Exceptions…. The Bank may disclose information that falls under the exceptions if it determines that: disclosure is in the interest of the Bank and the development community nondisclosure is likely to cause serious harm such disclosure accords with the Banks whistleblower policy The Bank reserves the right not to disclose information it would normally disclose if it determines that: disclosure is likely to cause serious harm, and this potential harm outweighs the benefits of disclosure
8 The World Bank March 2009 Principle 3 Clear implementation procedures Routinely post as much information as possible on the web Establish Disclosure Policy Committee to oversee policy implementation Provide clear service standards for responding to requests, including timelines When a request is denied, notify in writing with explanation Reasonable fees charged for hard copies and collating/reproducing information
9 The World Bank March 2009 Principle 4 The right to appeal Recognize requesters right to an appeals process if they believe their request has been unduly denied Create an administrative appeals mechanism Headed by MD (may include outside parties) Full discretion and authority to confirm or reverse previous decisions to deny access, consistent with the policy (except for disclosure decisions by the Board) Provide written decisions within a defined timeline, explaining reasons for withholding any information
10 The World Bank March 2009 What Would Be Newly Disclosed? Some deliberative information at key milestones of the project cycle, including: Implementation Status and Results Reports (ISRs) Aides-memoire Minutes of Concept Review, Decision meetings Country Portfolio Performance Reviews (CPPRs) Quarterly Management Reports (QMRs) Historical information after 5, 10, 20 yrs (CPIA, Board Papers, Internal Audits) Annual Project Audit Reports and Financial Statements
11 The World Bank March 2009 How do we compare with countries and other multilateral development banks? Many countries have adopted freedom of information legislation (e.g., China, India, Mexico) Policies of other MDBs are similar to the Banks existing policy
12 The World Bank March 2009 Questions for discussion 1. Do you support the proposal to depart from the existing positive list approach to a more open policy under which the public can obtain all information in the Banks possession other than what is on a list of exceptions? 2. Do the proposed exceptions adequately reflect the areas in which there is a compelling reason for confidentiality? 3. Do the proposed exceptions strike the right balance between the need for transparency and the need to protect confidential information relating to member countries and third parties?
13 The World Bank March 2009 Questions for discussion (continued) 4. With respect to timelines for declassifying information: i. Do you support a uniform 20-year timeline to declassify most historical documents as is the norm at many international organizations? ii. Alternatively, should certain documents be declassified earlier than 20 years, for example, after 5 or 10 years? iii. If so, what are the types of documents that could be declassified at those intervals?
14 The World Bank March 2009 Questions for discussion (continued) 5. Do you support the proposal to add project audits and annual audited project financial statements prepared by borrowers to the list of documents that borrowers are required to disclose? 6. Are there other documents prepared by member countries, related to World Bank-supported operations, that countries should be required to disclose? 7. Are there disclosure issues you feel this proposal does not address?
15 The World Bank March 2009 Processing timetable Consultation process launched in February 2009, starting with member country authorities Consultations with global stakeholders launched in March 2009 web-based consultations live consultations in selected member countries international fora Paper with recommendations to be considered by the Executive Directors in July-September 2009