2009 – 2010 Mechanism Policy Revision
In 2009, the IDB began a large-scale review and revision of its accountability mechanism. The review led to the replacement of its old mechanism, the Independent Investigation Mechanism, with the new Independent Consultation and Investigation Mechanism. During the consultation process, the IDB received written comments from 63 organizations and individuals, including Accountability Counsel.
In June of 2009, Accountability Counsel provided comments to the IDB suggesting ways to improve its proposed Independent Consultation and Investigation Mechanism draft policy. Many of Accountability Counsel’s comments were incorporated into IDB’s revised February 2010 final MICI policy, resulting in a reformed MICI that has increased independence, access, effectiveness, and transparency.
The 2010 MICI policy contained a number of significant reforms, following Accountability Counsel’s recommendations, which improved the mechanism in several key areas:
- The new policy creates a separate office in which to house the MICI, instead of within the office of the secretary.
- The MICI office will report only to the board of executive directors, and not to the president.
- The policy includes a new position to oversee the consultation phase, a board-appointed project ombudsperson.
- The new policy includes emergency and policy-based loans within the scope of the mechanism.
- It strengthens the role of requesters by allowing them to provide input at various stages of the process.
- The new policy reduces filing hurdles allowing more flexibility in the eligibility assessment.
- Requests may be submitted electronically or even orally.
- Requests may be submitted in any language.
- The new policy creates a public registry, on which documents and cases’ status will be posted.
- It also incorporates clearer timelines.
Unfortunately, some of Accountability Counsel’s suggested reforms were not adopted – most importantly, the recommendation that the mechanism move away from mandatory sequencing, which requires requesters to wait for the consultation phase to run its course before compliance review may be initiated. Because sequencing can often minimize the role of compliance review and make it a less effective tool for communities and the institution, Accountability Counsel recommended that the MICI policy allow the compliance review phase to be undertaken simultaneously to the consultation phase, where appropriate.