The Inspection Panel was established in 1993 by the Executive Directors of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). The Panel is independent from the Bank Management, and provides a formal channel through which local groups in borrowing countries may raise concerns on whether the Bank is in compliance with its own policies and procedures. The ultimate outcome of an Inspection Panel process is to ensure that the Bank complies with its operational policies and procedures during the design, preparation and implementation of the projects and thus improve the quality and transparency of the Bank’s operations.
Before submitting a request for investigation, requesters have to raise their concerns with the Bank and conclude that the outcome of the discussion does not satisfy them. After receiving a request, the Panel decides whether it is within its mandate, and if so sends it to Bank Management, who prepares a response to the allegations and submits it to the Panel.
If the request for inspection meets the established eligibility criteria, the Panel recommends to the Board whether the claims should be investigated. If the Board approves a recommendation to investigate, the Panel proceeds with the investigation and sends its findings to the Board and to Bank Management.
Bank Management has to submit its recommendations to the Board on what actions the Bank should take in response to the Panel's findings, and based on them and on the Panel's findings, the Board takes the final decision on what should be done.
The Environmental and International Law Unit advises Bank staff on the range of aspects of the Inspection Panel process, including advice to Bank Senior Management and interacting with the Panel throughout the different steps of the process.