AfDB Group’s Policy on Disclosure and Access to Information
The Bank believes that the sharing of information on its operations nurtures openness and transparency that are crucial to its mandate which, as set out in the Agreement establishing the African Development Bank, is contributing to sustainable economic development and social progress of its regional member countries individually and jointly. The formulation of a revised Information Disclosure Policy has therefore been given high priority by Management, with the goal of meeting transparency requirements, the needs of the Bank Group’s shareholders and other stakeholders, and the standards set by partner institutions in developing similar policies of their own.
The revised Policy constitutes a major shift in the information that the Bank Group may disclose - from a policy that listed which information would be made available, to one that allows disclosure of any information in the Bank Group’s possession as long as it is not on a list of exceptions. It is anchored on the principles of: (i) Maximum disclosure; (ii) Enhanced Access; (iii) Limited list of exceptions; (iv) A Consultative Approach; (v) Pro-active disclosure; (vi) Right to appeal; (vii) Safe-guarding the deliberative process; and (viii) Provision for review.
The new Policy has a number of new elements including introduction of an appeals mechanism; increased project level information; provision for simultaneous disclosure; and enhanced access to a broad range of stakeholders through strengthened implementation modalities.
This Policy was developed on the basis of broad based consultations internally within the Bank Group and externally with all the stakeholders, including the Regional Member Countries (RMCs), the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), the private sector, development partners and the civil society. The consultation process was conducted in a number of ways: (i) internal consultations within the Bank Group through a Cross-Complex Technical Working Group under the guidance of Senior Management; (ii) workshops with civil society groups in Lisbon and Tunis in June and October 2011, respectively; (iii) regional workshops with all the stakeholders including the civil society in Khartoum in July 2011 and Dakar in August 2011; (iv) seminar in the context of the Pan African Conference on Access to Information (PACAI) in Cape-town in September 2011; and (v) the 60-day online comment period during which the draft policy was posted on the Bank Group’s website to obtain feedback from stakeholders.