The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors on Nov. 17 approved the Bank's new policy on access to information which positions the Bank as a transparency leader among international institutions. The policy was informed by extensive external and internal consultations held in 33 countries and through the Bank's external website. It reflects the views of member countries, civil society organizations, academia, parliamentarians, media, the private sector, international organizations, donor agencies, and Bank staff. "This paradigm shift underscores the Bank's commitment to transparency and accountability and recognizes their fundamental importance to development," said World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick. The new policy represents a fundamental shift in the Bank's approach to disclosure of information - moving from an approach that spells out what documents it can disclose to one under which the Bank will disclose any information in its possession that is not on a list of exceptions.