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Asian Development Bank Announces Review of Public Communications Policy

The Asian Development Bank is reviewing its Public Communications Policy (PCP).

The PCP, which governs ADB’s disclosure of information and transparency practices, was approved by ADB’s Board of Directors in October 2011 and became effective on April 2, 2012.

“ADB is particularly interested in hearing feedback from civil society to improve information sharing,” according to an announcement.

It continued:

We would like to seek your comments on the effectiveness of the PCP, and specifically on the attached documents: (i) the draft consultation paper that presents proposed revisions to the policy and (ii) draft Staff Instructions that will be issued with the revised policy to guide staff on the requirements of its implementation. These documents can also be found on ADB’s Public Communications Policy Review web page:

Comments should be sent to by December 30, 2016. Public comments can also be submitted through the web form at the link above.

Public Communications Policy

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) “is lagging behind other international financial institutions when it comes to information disclosure,” according to an analysis by the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) and the Bank Information Center (BIC).

The jointly prepared comments on the AIIB’s Public Information Interim Policy were sent in preparation for the first annual review of the Policy, due in January 2017.

Some of the key problems with the Interim Policy are:

  • The scope of proactive publication commitments lags far behind better practice IFIs.

  • The regime of exceptions is vastly overbroad, including many open-ended exceptions, lacking harm tests in many cases and failing to provide for any public interest override.

  • The failure of the AIIB to adopt guidelines on implementation means that the Interim Policy lacks almost any procedural rules governing the processing of requests.

  • Unlike many IFIs, there is no provision for an appeal to an independent oversight body.

  • As a matter of practice, the AIIB has on at least some occasions failed to process requests for information.

CLD called on AIIB to undertake a wide-ranging consultation on the Interim Policy as part of its first annual review and then to introduce major changes so as to bring the rules more into line with the practice of other IFIs..

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