World Bank Accountability Mechanism Secretary Begins Work

Focus is on Developing Operating Procedures, Dispute Resolution Process

WASHINGTON, July 21, 2021-World Bank Accountability Mechanism (AM) Secretary Orsolya Székely began work this week with an immediate focus on developing the AM’s operating procedures and the details of its dispute resolution process.

The AM was established by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors in 2020 during its review of the Inspection Panel toolkit to reinforce the Bank’s accountability framework. It houses both the Panel and a soon-to-be-operational Dispute Resolution Service (DRS).

The Panel was created by the Board in 1993 as the World Bank’s original independent accountability mechanism and responds to community complaints that the Bank has not complied with its environmental and social policies and procedures in projects that it funds. The Dispute Resolution Service will begin operations in the near future and facilitate a voluntary, independent and time-bound dispute resolution option for complainants and borrowers in the context of complaints to the Panel.

“As I assume my duties, there is much work to do,” said Székely, whose appointment as AM Secretary was announced in early May. “We will focus immediately on creating operating procedures for the Accountability Mechanism that are fully responsive to potential complaints and establishing the operational details of the dispute-resolution process.”

Székely, a Hungarian national, has more than 20 years’ experience working with a broad range of multilateral organizations and the private sector. In her most recent position, holding the rank of Ambassador, Székely served as the Senior Advisor and Coordinator in the Executive Office of the Secretary General, with responsibility for enhancing good governance at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

Among the AM Secretary’s duties are establishing and managing the Accountability Mechanism’s work program, budget and staffing, and overseeing the functioning of the DRS.

The AM Secretary and Inspection Panel Members report to the Board.

“I very much look forward to working with members of the Inspection Panel and the AM staff to provide accountability for project-affected communities in support of the World Bank’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity,” Székely said. “This strengthened accountability mechanism is a positive development for all of our stakeholders and I also look forward to building a strong relationship with them, including those in civil society.”

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