On November 17, 2009 the Board of the World Bank approved a new policy that will help strengthen the norm of transparency in governance in the global system. It is the Access to Information Policy.
The new policy goes into effect on July 1, 2010. The following elements of the policy are notable:
1. There is a philosophical shift from disclosure to access; that is, from July 1 the presumption will be in a favor of access to any information held by the World Bank outside a narrow list of exceptions.
2. Access to World Bank information will be facilitated by the institution itself via a range of media.
3. Procedures and service standards will be set up for tracking and responding to requests.
4. There will be an appeals procedure that requesters of information can use, and a body of international experts will play a role in the appeals process.
5. Finally, civil society organizations are to be encouraged to play a role in raising awareness of the new policy, encouraging the use of the new procedures, and monitoring implementation.