ADB to expand and speed up access to information
Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct.26 / Trend, N.Ismayilova /
In its drive to increase transparency and accountability, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will expand and speed up the release of information to the public as part of key changes to its Public Communications Policy, the bank said on Wednesday.
"The policy changes incorporate feedback from over 500 stakeholders in ADB member countries, including governments, the private sector, development partners, civil society, those affected by ADB's projects, academics and the media," the bank's press release says.
The updated policy will take effect on April 2, 2012.
"While the feedback we received indicated that ADB's standards of transparency remain good, we recognize that times have changed, and this revised policy is our response to those changes," ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda said.
Among the most significant revisions is the earlier release of information on final proposals for country partnership strategies and sovereign project loans. This information will be made available at the same time as the proposals are circulated to ADB's Board of Directors for a decision, subject to country consent. Previously, the information was not disclosed until after the board had given final approval.
Another important new development is the creation of an independent appeals panel with three international experts to provide a new mechanism of redress for parties who have had requests for information denied. In-country communication work will also be expanded, to give the public more information about projects and other ADB activities that could affect their lives.
ADB, based in Manila, was established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members - 48 from the region. In 2010, ADB approvals, including, cofinancing, totaled $17.51 billion. In addition, ADB's ongoing Trade Finance Program supported $2.8 billion in trade.