Access to Information Policy

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The 2019 Access to Information Policy and Directive were approved by the EBRD Board of Directors on 25 April 2019 and by the EBRD President on 26 April 2019 respectively. They came into effect on 1 January 2020.

The Access to Information Policy sets out the EBRD’s commitment to transparency and disclosure based on the principles of Transparency, Accountability, Good Governance and Client Responsibility to Affected Stakeholders, describes the principles of implementation arrangements as well as contains a limited list of exceptions to disclosure and corresponding overrides.  The EBRD shall, in accordance with the Access to Information Policy, disclose documents or information including but not limited to those expressly listed in the Directive on Access to Information. In addition, the Directive sets out certain implementation arrangements relating to the Access to Information Policy.

The 2019 Access to Information Policy and Directive were developed as a result of a formal review of the 2014 Public Information Policy.  This review involved extensive internal and external consultation over 18 months, culminating in a 45-day public consultation period on the draft Policy and in-person consultation events in eight countries.

An overview of the new Policy was provided at its official launch at the EBRD 2019 Annual Meeting in Sarajevo.

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The Policy will be reviewed again in 2024. The Directive can be reviewed as and when needed, but at least annually at the time of preparation of the annual implementation report on the Policy.

Requests for information can be made directly to accessinfo@ebrd.com, or by using the Bank’s Enquiry form.

COVID-19 Response

The COVID-19 pandemic caused significant economic disruption in the EBRD’s countries of operations. In response to the ongoing effects of the crisis, and the resultant needs of our countries of operations, the Bank formulated a comprehensive response.

To preserve the timely delivery and efficacy of projects formulated in response to this crisis, the Bank’s President approved a deviation from the ordinary timelines for disclosure of project-specific information.

During 2020, this deviation applied to projects approved under the EBRD COVID-19 Solidarity Packages, under the Direct Financing Facility Framework and under the Financial Intermediaries Framework (excluding category ‘A’ projects).  With effect from 1 January 2021, the deviation was amended, permitting deferred PSD disclosure only for projects approved under the Resilience Framework (excluding category ‘A’ projects).  PSDs for these projects are to be disclosed as early as practicable, and in any event not later than the date of signing.  Such deviation shall apply until amended or withdrawn by the President.

Requests for Information

One of the guiding principles of the AIP is to recognise the right to request information, and to appeal a decision made by the Bank to refuse to grant access to information. 

Requests for information can be made directly to accessinfo@ebrd.com, by using the Bank’s Enquiry form, or in writing to:

Attention: Access to Information Function
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
One Exchange Square
London EC2A 2JN
United Kingdom

The EBRD also allows for appeals where a requester believes that a request for information has not been satisfied in contravention of the AIP or the Directive. 

An appellant may file an appeal which (i) confirms that the initial request for information was submitted in accordance with the procedures set out in the AIP and Directive; and (ii) provides a reasonable argument as to how the EBRD has breached the AIP or Directive by denying access to the requested information.

Appeals must be made in writing within 30 working days after receipt of the decision which is the subject of the appeal, and can be submitted by email to accessinfo@ebrd.com, or in writing to:

Attention: Information Appeals Panel
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
One Exchange Square
London EC2A 2JN
United Kingdom

Process

The appeal will be acknowledged within 5 working days of receipt.  If an appeal is not sufficiently precise, the Bank will request further clarifications from the appellant. 

The Bank will inform the appellant of the decision of the Information Appeals Panel in writing not later than 20 working days after receiving the appeal, or clarification. 

The sole remedy available to those who prevail in the appeals process is to receive the information requested.

Review by the Independent Project Accountability Mechanism

In cases where a person or organisation believes they are affected or likely to be affected, by a Project, and alleges that the Bank has failed to disclose Project specific information in accordance with the AIP or the Directive, that person or organisation may submit a request to the Independent Project Accountability Mechanism.

Information on how to access the Independent Project Accountability Mechanism.

 

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