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IDB initiates public consultation for a new access to Information policy

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will begin March 18, 2010, a consultation with key Bank constituents in the process of writing a new, more transparent policy on access to information. This public consultation is part of an comprehensive effort by the IDB to increase transparency and accountability in all facets of its activities.

A profile document for the new policy is guided by four principles: maximizing access to information; ensuring simple and broad access; exceptions to access that are as narrow and clear as possible; and provision of an explanation on why certain information is not disclosed and a mechanism for review of decisions to deny information.

The profile also provides for the establishment of a new system for classifying documents and information, in an effort to reduce uncertainty on the part of bank staff as to the rules for disclosure.

“This policy review reaffirms our commitment to transparency in all aspects of our operations,” said George de Lama, the IDB’s External Relations Advisor. “It also demonstrates to our clients, mainly the Bank’s borrowing member countries, that we are reflecting the best practices they themselves have adopted in recent years.”

The public consultation will have two phases. The first is a 30-day process, beginning March 18, 2010, and ending on April 16, 2010, that includes the following actions:

  • Starting March 18, 2010, the public will be able to submit comments on the profile of the new policy via the IDB Internet website.
  • On Friday March 19, 2010, the Bank and an estimated 60 civil society organizations will meet in Cancún, Mexico, to discuss the new policy and  share concerns.

Conclusions and recommendations from the Bank’s meeting with civil society organizations, as well as comments from the public, will be incorporated in a revised, full draft of the policy.

The full draft will also be made available to the public as part of second phase of the consultation process, to last 90 days. Following incorporation of the second round of comments, a final draft will be submitted to the Board of Executive Directors for consideration.

Once approved, the policy will replace the current Disclosure of Information Policy, last updated in 2006.

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