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29 Sep, 2018

ADB’s new Access to Information Policy “expands some areas of disclosure”

MANILA, PHILIPPINES (28 September 2018) News Release — The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors today approved a new Access to Information Policy that aims to maintain ADB’s high standards of transparency.

The policy, which will come into effect on 1 January, 2019, will replace the current Public Communications Policy (PCP). The new policy retains the key information disclosure and sharing principles and exceptions of the PCP, and includes a new overarching principle of “clear, timely, and appropriate disclosure” that is underpinned by a presumption in favor of disclosure and a commitment to sharing information and ideas.

ADB has expanded some areas of disclosure. For example, the types of information that will be made available after 20 years will now include historical country financial information and certain external audit reports on ADB-administered trust funds.

“Transparency and openness are key to maximizing the development impact of our work,” said ADB Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development Mr. Bambang Susantono. “We want to make sure that ADB continues to be a top performer in terms of transparency. Principles-based access to information policies are now considered to be international best practice.”

ADB was ranked first in the 2018 Aid Transparency Index, an independent measurement of aid transparency, created by Publish What You Fund, a UK-based nongovernment organization. The index assessed 45 of the world’s leading development organizations.

Asia’s dynamic economic growth over recent decades has brought different challenges, ranging from environmental stress to rapid urbanization. ADB’s activities and the issues ADB addresses are changing. Accordingly, disclosure and information-sharing practices have to evolve to ensure that stakeholders, including civil society, get information in a timely and appropriate way.

Details on what documents ADB will routinely disclose and how they will be disclosed will be found in the policy’s implementation arrangements on the ADB website. These implementation arrangements will also detail the process of requesting information from ADB.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in cofinancing.