- 1947 - 1977 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
7.05 linear feet of textual records
Name of creator
Since 1946, Secretary's Department is responsible for providing support services to the governing bodies of the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the subsequent organizations of the World Bank Group. The department is also the authorized custodian of the records and proceedings of the Board of Governors, Board of Directors, and the committees of these bodies. As specified in the 1947 Administrative Manual, the Secretary's Department and four other "specialized" departments were permitted to maintain their own files outside of the Bank's General Files. Agenda, minutes, reports, and similar documents related to the Board were also excluded from the Bank's centralized files, "except those distributed by the Secretary for filing." The nature of records distributed for filing in Central Files is unclear, particularly in terms of which supporting reports or other documents were forwarded by the Secretary with the correspondence. The procedure in the earliest Secretaries' Guide (1965) states that yellow copies of outgoing correspondence and the original incoming letters should be distributed to the official General Files once action has been taken. The only exception indicated are "letters from Executive Directors". This practice appears to have changed by 1972 in the revised Secretaries' Guide which asserts that all incoming original correspondence and yellow copies of outgoing correspondence are to be sent to the "appropriate filing station" as soon as action has been taken. The appropriate filing station was either the Secretary's filing station, the Central Files station, or the IFC File Station after it was created in 1971. If in doubt where to send the material, Secretary's staff was instructed to confer with the Records Management Section chief. By 1974, the Bank record schedules indicate that files related to Board of Executive Directors procedures and other general correspondence were held in the renamed Bank Administration and Policy (BAP) Records Stations and that the master sets are maintained by the Secretary's Department.
All records sent by the Secretary's Department to the Central Files over time were arranged into the Bank-wide classification scheme by the Records Management Section responsible for maintaining the centralized files. To create more space for the increasing volume of Central Files, the inactive files were sent by the Records Management Section to the Bank's off-site records center in systematic transfers beginning in 1969. With the formal opening of the Archives repository in 1980, the section began to transfer identified archival records to the custody of the Archives.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Series consists of records related to the functions of the Board of Executive Directors of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Development Association (IDA), and International Finance Corporation (IFC) that were maintained in the Bank's centralized filing system since 1946, originally General Files, then Central Files. The centralized records originated primarily from Secretary's Department as well as the Office of the President. As described in the archival history section, Secretary's Department is the custodian of Board of Directors records and proceedings but distributed certain correspondence and related documents to the Central Files while maintaining its own official files.
Records in this series include general correspondence files (1947 - 1977) concerning IBRD composition of standing committees, statements of directors, board schedules, procedural issues, information on monthly reports, and routine administrative matters. Correspondence is occasionally filed with related Board reports. While the IDA general correspondence file (1960 - 1966) is sparse, the more substantive general correspondence files for IFC (1956 - 1967) contain draft and issued Board reports regarding country membership and rules of procedure, memoranda concerning routine announcements and amendments to rules of procedure, directors' membership, formation of the IFC Board, statements and meeting summary of the IFC Directors, and investment processes. The IFC general correspondence file also contains the Rules of Procedure and By-laws booklets (1956). Individual correspondence files (1947 - 1971) consist of internal memoranda, outgoing cables and letters, and original letters primarily to and from the Bank president, secretary, and government officials regarding appointments and resignations of directors and alternates, their travel, and other administrative issues. Some individual files occasionally include the director's biographical statement.
There are also cables, memoranda, and Board reports relating to elections (1950 - 1971) and salaries and expenses (1948 - 1971), the latter which includes the report of the Board of Governors Ad Hoc Committee to consider provisions of the Articles of Agreement and By-laws relating to duties and renumeration of executive directors (1949 - 1950).
The series also includes meeting correspondence (1950 - 1971), agenda for IBRD and IDA executive director meetings (1966 - 1974), minutes of some IBRD, IDA, and IFC executive director meetings (1966 - 1974) including IFC directors' 1956 first meetings, IBRD special meetings minutes (1964), summaries, and IBRD, IDA, and IFC resolutions (1967 - 1971).
The series also includes a small volume of records relating to: the establishment and proceedings of the Bank Committee on Directors' Administrative Matters (CODAM, 1967 - 1971); agreement and administration of the Bank-Fund Executive Directors' Library (1968 - 1971); establishment of the Joint Audit Committee of the Executive Directors (1969 - 1971); and revisions of the Operational Policy Manual including the section on aid coordination and well as the approach paper on aid coordination (1970 - 1971).
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
The order originally instituted by General Files (1946 - 1968) has been maintained and files are arranged alphabetically by subject.
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Records are subject to the World Bank Access to Information Policy. Records relating to the International Finance Corporation are subject to the IFC Access to Information Policy.
Conditions governing reproduction
Records are subject to the Copyright Policy of the World Bank Group. Records relating to the International Finance Corporation are subject to the Copyright Policy of IFC.
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Existence and location of originals
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Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Internal World Bank Group Archives rules
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion
20 April 2021