On 17 December 2009, the Office of the Compliance Review Panel (OCRP) launched the revamped Compliance Review Panel (CRP) website. The launch was announced simultaneously in ADB Today, ADB intranet, MyADB, and IAMnet. Prior to the launch, OCRP conducted a usability test, and based on feedback from the respondents, the website was improved. OCRP will continue to improve the site over time. The improved website highlights important features of ADB’s Accountability Mechanism-Compliance Review Phase such as the steps involved in filing a request for compliance review, the ADB-financed projects under compliance review, the CRP members, the CRP Secretariat (i.e., OCRP), and the Accountability Mechanism outreach and consultation programs. You can visit the new site at http://compliance.adb.org or click on the icon below. Links to the site can also be found in the ADB website, ADB intranet, and MyADB.
During the latter part of 2009, the CRP continued its review of compliance in relation to the Fuzhou Environmental Improvement Project in the People's Republic of China (PRC). The CRP has been reviewing project files, interviewing concerned ADB staff and liaising with the Requesting Parties.
On 4 November 2009, the PRC government denied consent for the CRP to visit the project site for its ongoing compliance review of the Fuzhou Project. The CRP then attempted to obtain further evidence via translator-assisted teleconferences with the Requesting Parties.
On 20 October 2009, the CRP and OCRP met with the project staff of the ADB's Central Asia Regional Department and discussed the expected final monitoring review of the Chashma Right Bank Irrigation Project (Stage III) in Pakistan. During the meeting, the CRP was advised of the risk of fielding a site visit to the project area due to the worsening security situation in the country. As in the previous two years, CRP then will not be able to visit Pakistan and is conducting its monitoring of the project through a desk review. The CRP’s fifth monitoring report is due for release in the first quarter of 2010.
The CRP postponed to March 2010 its fourth monitoring review of the Southern Transport Development Project in Sri Lanka, which was originally planned in the 4th quarter of 2009.
Two request letters were received by the Secretary, CRP in December 2009 – one relating to the National Highways Sector Project in Sri Lanka on 5 December 2009 and one relating the Integrated Citarum Water Resources Management Investment Program in Indonesia on 9 December 2009. Both requests for compliance review, however, were found to be premature. The issues involving the Sri Lanka project are still being resolved at the operations department level i.e., South Asia Regional Department while the issues raised under the Indonesia project must first initiate the Consultation Phase of the Accountability Mechanism.
During the last quarter of 2009, the CRP and OCRP completed its 2009 Outreach and Consultation Program on ADB’s Accountability Mechanism in four countries -- Australia, Indonesia, Japan, and the Philippines. Together with the Office of the Special Project Facilitator (OSPF), OCRP conducted outreach sessions in Manila, Philippines and in Jakarta, Indonesia on 19 and 26 November 2009, respectively. The sessions in these two countries were attended by a total of 33 representatives from nongovernment organizations and 12 private sector executives. Consultation meetings with officials from the government and bilateral organizations as well as compliance and governance experts, researchers, and academics were also held in Tokyo, Japan on 13-14 October 2009 and in Sydney, Australia on
30 November-4 December 2009. These consultations were conducted by the CRP Chair Rusdian Lubis and CRP Secretary Bruce Purdue. To see the full coverage of OCRP’s outreach and consultation program, e.g., reports, photos, questions-and-answers, please visit the CRP website – Outreach and Consultation at http://compliance.adb.org.
The newly appointed Chair and members of the Board Compliance Review Committee (BCRC) held their first meeting on 16 November 2009. BCRC is an ADB Board committee tasked with approving the CRP’s terms of reference and monitoring reports on compliance review. The new Chair, Executive Director Eduard Westreicher, who was appointed on 1 July 2009, presided over the meeting, which was also attended by other Board representatives and the BCRC Secretary Bruce Purdue. The CRP Chair Rusdian Lubis briefed the BCRC on the compliance review of Fuzhou Environmental Improvement Project in PRC. During the meeting, BCRC discussed its work program for 2009-2010, the drafting of the BCRC Annual Report covering the period 1 November 2008 to 31 October 2009, the ongoing compliance review of the Fuzhou Project, and the impending review of ADB’s Accountability Mechanism. You can read more about the BCRC at http://compliance.adb.org.
Towards the end of 2009, the Independent Accountability Mechanisms (IAMs) welcomed a new member –the European Ombusdman. The European Ombudsman has been invited to participate in IAMnet.
In November 2009, OCRP appointed IAMnet’s website administrator, Mr. Ritchie Diga, an information technology expert from the Philippines who has had 10 years of experience in the field. Since then, OCRP has added more improvements to IAMnet among them the Spotlight section on the homepage which, in the first quarter of 2010, will feature those IAMs who had their accountability mechanisms reviewed in 2009 – the Inter-American Development Bank’s Independent Investigation Mechanism in April 2009, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development's Independent Recourse Mechanism in May 2009, the European Investment Bank’s Complaints Mechanism Policy also in May 2009 (still ongoing), and the African Development Bank’s Independent Review Mechanism in October 2009. To see more of the site, log on to http://iamnet.adb.org.
In November 2009, OCRP had its Compliance Review brochure translated to two more languages -- Bahasa Indonesia and Pilipino. This brings the versions of the brochure to nine languages (the other seven languages are Armenian, Georgian, Chinese, English, Russian, Thai, and Urdu). At the same time, the Accountability Mechanism brochure was also updated and reprinted into Bahasa Indonesia and Pilipino. OCRP will continue to translate its brochures to other languages. Also, OCRP is working on a new brochure on compliance review for private sector-financed projects, which is due for publication in 2010.