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17th June 2013
The Global Climate Fund (GCF), a new international financial institution (IFI) which aims to use lending to promote compliance with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is proposing to adopt an information disclosure policy.
The Global Transparency Initiative (GTI) has prepared a Note on Better International Practices on Access to Information for the GCF Board, which will discuss this issue at its next meeting in Songdo, Republic of Korea, 25-28 June 2013.
“The GTI welcomes the fact that the background document calls on the GCF Board to adopt a strong openness policy,” said CLD Executive Director, Toby Mendel. “We have prepared this Note as an initial input into the process, with a view to steering the Board towards better openness standards from the very beginning.”
A policy paper prepared for the GCF Board, Information Disclosure, including Webcasting, proposes the adoption of an interim policy, to provide clear rules on information disclosure in the short term, followed by the adoption of a full policy, based on better practice at other IFIs, after a process of consultation with civil society. The GTI supports this approach. At the same time, the Note highlights some problems with the standards quoted in the policy paper, most importantly in relation to the regime of exceptions. This is an area where IFI information policies still lag far behind better practice national right to information laws.
Globally, there has been significant progress in terms of strengthening IFI information policies over the last five to ten years. We urge the GCF to continue this process, taking advantage of the gains while also avoiding the shortcomings of existing IFI policies. We specifically call on the GCF to ensure that the policy has a narrow regime of exceptions which is limited in scope to what is needed to protect legitimate interests against harm.
The Note is available at: http://www.law-democracy.org/live/global-climate-fund-proposes-openness-policy.
3rd November 2009
GTI analyzed the World Bank's draft Disclosure Policy (16 October 2009 version). GTI reviewed the proposed Policy in light of the GTI Charter and Model World Bank Policy. GTI applauds the Bank for taking significant steps in reorienting its approach to access to information. At the same time, serious limitations in the draft Policy would undermine key proposed principles, such as "maximizing access."
Significant advances include:
- assertion of true presumption of disclosure
- expanded routine disclosure
- increased (yet still limited) access to decision-making
- a request system
- a two-stage appeals process, with a first-of-its-kind independent appeals body.
Serious limitations include:
- a vastly overbroad deliberative process exception
- limited or no access to draft information
- third party vetos
- closed Board meetings and withholding of Executive Director statements
- long declassification timelines
- lack of specificity
Please click here to download the comments. (Adobe Acrobat format).
Related resourcesGTI Comments on World Bank draft Disclosure Policy (Nov 2009)
Published 3rd November 2009 by GTI