World Bank: yes, report on SC loan exists

Rappler.com
Given the 'deliberative nature of information,' the bank said the Aide Memoire is usually not disclosed to the public

MANILA, Philippines – The World Bank on January 17, Tuesday, confirmed that it indeed sent an Aide Memoire to the Supreme Court in relation to the US$21.9 million loan the bank extended for judicial reform.

The World Bank said an Aide Memoire is a project monitoring and management tool that the bank uses as part of regular project monitoring and routine implementation review of projects it funds.

The Aide Memoire, according the the bank’s statement “captures the World Bank’s implementation review findings and recommendations.” Through it, the Bank “informs the appropriate country authorities and works with them to address implementation issues.”

Given the “deliberative nature of information,” the World Bank statement said the Aide Memoire is usually not disclosed to the public.

Not a Hoax

Rappler earlier reported that the World Bank asked the Supreme Court to return by the end of January P8.6 million that the High Tribunal  spent on “ineligible” transactions or activities and projects not covered by a loan agreement between both parties.  

Rappler published the full text of the Aide Memoire after rumors spread over popular social networking site Twitter that the report is a hoax.

The World Bank statement said the Aide Memoire was submitted to the Supreme Court on December 28, 2011, about a month after the bank conducted an implementation support mission for the Judicial Reform Support Project (JRSP). The mission was conducted between October 24 and November 12, 2011.

In the statement, the bank also said the mission discussed the preliminary findings and recommendations with the Supreme Court, the agency that implemented the project, after which the Aide Memoire was submitted.

Copies of the aide memoire were given as well to oversight agencies, including the Department of Budget and Management and the Department of Finance.

The Aide Memoire, according to the statement, summarized the findings and recommendations of the mission, pointing out “implementation issues that included some ineligible expenditures.”

A World Bank loan of US$21.9 million to support the Philippine Government’s Action Program for Judicial Reform was approved by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors on October 2, 2003.

The project (Judicial Reform Support Project) was intended to assist the Philippine Government in developing a more effective and accessible Judiciary.  

The project has 4 components, comprising:

(a) improving case adjudication and access to justice;
(b) enhancing institutional integrity;
(c) strengthening institutional capacity; and
(d) supporting the reforms of the judicial system and the Project Management Office.

The World Bank statement explained that the project is scheduled to close on June 30, 2012 and “the focus for the remaining period is to bring the project to a closure.” – Rappler.com