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IDB Strenghthens Mechanism for Independent Investigation

The Board of Executive Directors of the Inter-American Development Bank has approved measures to strengthen the Bank's Independent Investigation Mechanism.

The Mechanism was first established in 1995. It provides a vehicle for groups of persons in borrowing member countries of the Bank to request an independent investigation of specific projects about which the Bank has received complaints that it has failed to carry out its own policies of safeguards and controls or has failed to properly oversee their enforcement, resulting in material harm.

Under the Bank’s new revised policy, the roster of experts available to participate in investigations under the Mechanism policy will be increased from 10 to 15, making a wider range of experts available to carry out the review process. Investigative panels would continue to be composed of no fewer than three individuals, each of a different nationality.

The revised policy also provides for the appointment of a Coordinator in the Secretariat Department to assume primary responsibility for administration of the Mechanism. The Coordinator will process requests for investigations, reply to inquiries about the Mechanism procedures, and provide administrative support to investigative panels. The Coordinator will also prepare an annual report concerning requests received and investigations undertaken. That report will be available to interested parties outside the Bank on request.

All formal requests for a review involving the Independent Investigation Mechanism will be forwarded to the Coordinator. After a determination is made that a request for an investigation is in compliance with requirements for application of the Mechanism, the Coordinator will ask the President of the Bank to appoint an individual from the roster to review the request and make a recommendation to the Board of Executive Directors whether an investigation should be authorized.

The time for public release of the report of an investigative panel and the management reply to the panel report has been extended from 15 days to no later than ninety days after those documents are received by the Board of Executive Directors.

In addition, in the event that an investigation is authorized by the Board of Executive Directors, the revised version of the policy requires the Bank to provide a final response to the group of individuals who requested the investigation, informing them of the steps taken by the Bank’s management to comply with the implementation measures determined by the Board to be necessary in response to the panel report and the management reply.

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