One of the guiding principles of the Policy on Access to Information (the “AI Policy”) recognizes the right to an appeals process when a request to access information in the World Bank's possession is denied.

A requester whose request to access information has been denied can file an appeal if the requester can:

  1. show that the World Bank has violated the AI Policy by improperly or unreasonably restricting access to information that it would normally disclose under the AI Policy; and/or
  2. make a public interest case to override the corporate administrative matters, deliberative information, or financial information (other than banking and billing information) exceptions of the AI Policy if the information being requested falls under one of these exceptions.

The AI Policy establishes two bodies to hear appeals, the Access to Information Committee (the “AI Committee”) and the Access to Information Appeals Board (the “AI Appeals Board”).

The AI Committee serves as:

  1. the first stage of appeal for appeals alleging a violation of the AI Policy; and
  2. the first and final stage of appeal for those appeals making a public interest case and for appeals against decisions denying access to information based on the Bank’s exercise of its prerogative to restrict. The AI Committee's decisions in these cases are final.

The AI Appeals Board serves as the second stage of appeal for appeals alleging a violation of the AI Policy, following the AI Committee's decision to uphold the Bank's decision to deny access to information (except for appeals regarding a denial by the Bank based on the exercise of the Bank’s prerogative to restrict for which the AIC’s decision is final). The AI Appeals Board decisions on the appeals subject to the AI Appeals Board’s authority are final. 

The Annual Reports of the Access to Information Policy record the number of appeals filed before the AI Committee and the AI Appeals Board each fiscal year.

Decisions made by the Board of Executive Directors are not subject to appeal.

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