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The advisory function is authorized when the President and/or the Board are of the opinion that projects, programs, policies and procedures of the Bank Group can benefit from the accumulated experience of the IRM and support efforts of staff and Management to strengthen the social and environmental impact of the projects funded by the Bank Group. The advisory function is carried out to provide independent opinions on systemic issues, and technical advice on projects and programs of the Bank Group.
The advisory function is triggered either upon receipt by BCRM of a request for advice or technical opinion from the President and/or the Board, or upon approval by the President and/or the Board of a proposal submitted by the Director of BCRM for such advisory service.
The advisory function consists of advisory services provided by BCRM as well as IRM Experts’ spot-check advisory reviews of project compliance.
The specific objectives of the advisory work of BCRM will depend on the nature of the request, but will typically include:
- Ensuring systemic improvements in environmental and social policies, procedures, strategies and/or guidelines of the Bank Group by addressing deficiencies in systems, policies, procedures, strategies or guidelines;
- Improving on the social and environmental impact of projects funded by the Bank-Group by advising the Bank Management on emerging, strategic, or systemic issues or processes based on lessons learnt and trends identified by BCRM during the handling of the requests through problem-solving exercises, compliance reviews or outreach activities;
- Helping the Bank Group to understand how the environmental and/or social obligations contained in Bank Group policies and procedures may be met more effectively by Regional Member Countries to safeguard development impacts; and
- Providing information and recommendations on emerging trends arising from the experience of the BCRM.
Advisory Services by BCRM
Advisory services of BCRM will be triggered upon receipt by the Director of BCRM of a request for advice or technical opinion from the President and/or the Board or upon approval by the President and/or the Board of a proposal submitted by the Director of BCRM for such advisory service.
The scope of the advisory service will be:
- Requests for advice must be consistent with the mandate of the BCRM and not be project-specific; and
- Upon the submission of a request for advisory services, BCRM will prepare Terms of Reference that clearly outline the scope of the advice sought. These Terms of Reference will be attached to the Advisory Note to be sent to the President and/or the Board, as the case may be.
Spot-Check Advisory Reviews of Project Compliance Procedure
The main objective of the spot check advisory reviews of project compliance is to gather information, draw lessons from the experience of the IRM for the purpose of advising Management on the issues associated with high risk projects.
The spot check is undertaken using the following procedure:
- At the beginning of each calendar year, BCRM in consultation with the Bank Management, selects not more than two (2) high-risk (with potential environmental and social impacts) projects for which the IRM Experts conduct spot-check reviews on Bank Group’s compliance with its policies and procedures; and
- Once the projects have been selected, BCRM recommends for approval by the Board the name of the selected projects, the Terms of Reference, the time-frame not exceeding twelve (12) months and the estimated budget for the advisory reviews.