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The Bank’s official website, is the principle means for the Bank to communicate with its clients and stakeholders. As such, the website is critical for the disclosure of information. Documents related to the Bank’s activities by country, topic and sector can be located here.
Requests for information and documents must be made in writing and should be as specific as possible. Requests must be submitted using the online request form at Information Request Form. Requests may also be directed to the field office or Public Information Centre (PIC) in the country concerned (see contact details at Field Offices and Public Information Centres). Persons seeking information on the Bank’s operations and activities can also visit the Public Information Centre (PIC) located at the Bank Group’s Temporary Relocation Site in Tunis. Other inquiries could also be addressed to the DAI team.
The Bank makes every effort to respond to requests as quickly as possible, usually no later than 20 working days after the request is received.
You have the right to request any information held by the Bank. However, while the policy presumes in favour of disclosure, documents which fall under a category of information protected by a policy exception will not be disclosed as it may harm the Bank Group’s specific interests and the relationship between the Bank Group and its members and partners. In its response, AfDB will either provide the requested information (downloadable file on the Bank’s external website whenever possible), or the policy-based reason supporting denial of requested information.
The Policy explicitly sets out eight categories of information that cannot be disclosed (detailed in paragraph 3.3 of the DAI Policy):
- Deliberative Information and Draft Reports, such as correspondence with the government or internal memoranda
- Communications of Bank Group’s President, Executive Directors and Governors
- Legal, Disciplinary or Investigative Matters, such as information subject to attorney-client privilege or identity of a whistleblower
- Information provided in confidence, such as internal procedures of a comparator organization shared with the Bank with the understanding it will remain confidential
- Internal Administrative Information, such as staff pension plan
- Financial Information, such as Bank’s estimates of future borrowings
- Safety and Security
- Personal Information, such as staff medical records
If you believe that the Bank has improperly or unreasonably denied access to information, you can file an appeal.
The DAI Policy recognizes the right to an appeals process when a request for information has been denied by Bank staff. A requester whose request for information has been denied can file an appeal if he/she requester can: (i) show that the Bank has omitted to publish information mandated for disclosure in the policy or that his/her request for information has been unreasonably denied by Bank staff on the first place; or (ii) make a public interest case to override the Policy exceptions.
Requestors may appeal in writing AfDB’s denial decisions to the internal Information Disclosure Committee within 50 days. If the Committee confirms denial of requested information, requestors may file in writing another appeal with the Appeals Panel, comprising a majority of external members, within 50 days. If the Panel reverses the Bank Group’s denial decisions, the requestor’s remedy will be limited to receiving the information requested. Specific procedures on recourses against denied requests, including eligibility of appeals, can be found in the DAI Policy paragraph 4.5.
The DAI Policy expands the amount and types of information to be disclosed to include project aide-memoires (with country consent), project summary notes and subsequent updates for private sector projects, annual audited financial reports prepared by borrowing countries for public sector projects, etc. It also provides for simultaneous disclosure of certain types of documents at the time of their distribution to the AfDB Board of Directors for consideration, to increase participation of external stakeholders in the Bank’s decision-making process (e.g. country strategy partnerships and loan proposals for public sector projects subject to country no objection; Bank operational policies and sector strategies).
AfDB Management will monitor and report on disclosure compliance to the Bank’s Board of Directors annually. Monitoring systems will be established to monitor and track disclosure of information on the AfDB website, as well as requests received, including response timelines.
Questions regarding the Policy for Public Disclosure of Information can be addressed to the DAI team.