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BRIEF December 7, 2021

Parties in Uganda Infrastructure Case Agree to Pursue Dispute Resolution

World Bank Accountability Mechanism (AM) Secretary Orsolya Székely on December 2, 2021, informed the World Bank Board of Executive Directors, the Inspection Panel and World Bank Management that the parties involved in the Second Kampala Institutional and Infrastructure Development Project case in Uganda have agreed to voluntarily engage in a dispute resolution process to try to find a mutually acceptable solution to the issues raised in a Request for Inspection of the project.

The World Bank Board of Executive Directors on October 20, 2021, had approved an Inspection Panel recommendation to investigate the project. Under the updated Inspection Panel resolution and the resolution creating the AM, following that Board approval the AM Secretary, acting as head of the Dispute Resolution Service (DRS), offered the option of dispute resolution to the complainants and borrower and was required to report on their decision within 30 business days.

Now that the parties have agreed to engage in dispute resolution, the Panel will hold its compliance process in abeyance until the process is concluded. If, at the end of the dispute resolution process, the parties reach agreement, the Panel will issue a memorandum closing the case and take no further action. However, if the parties do not eventually reach an agreement, the Panel will commence its investigation. The maximum length of the DR process is one year from when the AM Secretary reports on the parties’ willingness to pursue dispute resolution. If both parties agree, the process may be extended for up to an additional six months. Like the Panel, the DRS, which facilitates the dispute resolution process, honors requests for confidentiality from the complainants.

This case marks the first time since the Board approved the resolutions in September 2020 that the complainants and borrower involved in a Request for Inspection to the Panel were given the option of dispute resolution.  More