Series - Operations policy and procedures

Bank Administration and Policy - Development Banks - 1969 / 1971 General - Volume 4 Development Banks - Meetings - Asian Development Banks - Correspondence - Volume 1 Development Banks - Staff Training - Correspondence - Volume 2 Development - General - Correspondence - Volume 2 Operational - Development Banks - General - Correspondence - Volume 6 Development - Machado Proposal - Volume 1 Missions - Resident Missions - Correspondence - Volume 2 Indebtedness - Operations Policy File Bank Administration and Policy - Indebtedness Documents and Reports - 1975 / 1977 - Volume 1 Bank Administration and Policy - Indebtedness - 1969 / 1971 General - Volume 1 Operational - Contractors - Brazil - Correspondence Bank Administration and Policy - Indebtedness - 1969 / 1971 General - Volume 3 Bank Administration and Policy - Arbitration - 1969 / 1971 General Operational - Investments - Promotion and Protection of Private and Foreign Investment - Correspo... Operational - Arbitration - Settlement of Investment Disputes [SID] - Correspondence - Volume 3 Policy - Structural Adjustment Lending - 1987 / 1989 Correspondence - Volume 1 Operational - Arbitration - Settlement of Investment Disputes [SID] - Correspondence - Volume 1 Operational - Arbitration - Settlement of Investment Disputes [SID] - Correspondence - Volume 2 Operational - Investments - Promotion and Protection of Private and Foreign Investment - Correspo... Operational - Investments - Promotion and Protection of Private and Foreign Investment - Correspo... Operational - Investments - Promotion and Protection of Private and Foreign Investment - Correspo... Bank Administration and Policy - Promotion and Protection of Private and Foreign Investment - 196... Operational - Arbitration - Settlement of Investment Disputes [SID] - Correspondence - Volume 6 Operational - Arbitration - General - Correspondence - Volume 1 Operational - Arbitration - Settlement of Investment Disputes [SID] - Correspondence - Volume 7 Operational - Arbitration - Settlement of Investment Disputes [SID] - Correspondence - Volume 4 Operational - Arbitration - Settlement of Investment Disputes [SID] - Correspondence - Volume 5 Operational - Investments - Promotion and Protection of Private and Foreign Investment - Correspo... Operational - Investments - Promotion and Protection of Private and Foreign Investment - Correspo... Operational - Development - General - Correspondence - Volume 9 Operational - Development Banks - Summary of Operations Appraisal and Preparation of Projects - Operations Policy File - Volume 02 Operational - Development Banks - General - Correspondence - Volume 9 Operational - Development Banks - Meetings - African Development Bank - Correspondence Operational - Development Banks - Meetings - Proceedings of 1958 Meeting Operational - Development - Land Reform - Correspondence - Volume 3 Development - General - Correspondence - Volume 1 Operational - Policy and Procedure - Rejected Projects - Volume 2 Operational Policy Files - Consultants - Policy - Correspondence - Volume 1 Operational - Development Corporations - Correspondence Operational - Consultants - Colquhoun Report Operational - Development - Horowitz Proposal - Correspondence - Volume 2 Operational - Missions - General - Correspondence - Volume 1 Operational - Missions - General Survey - Correspondence - Volume 2 Operational - Development - General - Correspondence - Volume 5 Operational - Development - Horowitz Proposal - Correspondence - Volume 3 Bank Administration and Policy - Pearson Commission - 1969 / 1971 General - Volume 4 Appraisal and Preparation of Projects - Operations Policy File - Volume 1 Missions - Tentative lists - Correspondence - Volume 3 Operational - Development Banks - Sub Projects - Correspondence - Volume 1
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Operations policy and procedures


  • 1946 - 1986 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

150.44 linear feet of textual records

Context area

Name of creator

Archival history

Records were maintained in the Central Files recordkeeping system where they were arranged into the Bank-wide classification schemes. To create space for the increasing volume of records in the Central Files, the Records Management Section sent the pre-1966 files to a records center close to the Bank premises in 1969. With the formal opening of the Archives repository in 1980, the Records Management Section began to transfer identified archival records to the Archives. Central Files had since been renamed the Bank Administration and Policy (BAP) Records Station followed by the Non-Regional Information Center (NRIC) which permanently closed in 1987. NRIC files were sent to the records center prior to their transfer to the custody of the Archives in the early 1990s.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Series consists of records related to the formulation of policies, guidelines, standards, and advisory support for lending, economic sector work, and other operations of the International Bank for Reconstruction of Development (IBRD), International Finance Corporation (IFC), and International Development Association (IDA) that were maintained in the centralized files. Records date from 1946 to 1986. There are no records from 1987 in this series, likely because files were handed over to the functional departments following the closure of the NRIC in July 1987. The offices and non-regional departments whose records were centralized over time and are represented most prominently in this series include, but are not limited to: Office of the President and Vice President; Treasurer's Department; Office of the Controller; Research, later Economic Department (years of operation between 1946 - 1952); Technical Operations and divisions (1952 - 1965) and its successors Projects Department (1965 - 1972), Central Projects Staff (1972 - 1982), and Operations Policy Vice Presidency (1982 - 1986); Technical Assistance and Liaison Department (1951 - 1967) and successor, Development Services (1967 - 1973).

Records comprising the series include internal memoranda, incoming and outgoing letters, cables, copies of Board records and committee documents, legal document drafts, concept and strategy papers, external reports, summaries, minutes or excerpts of senior staff and other department or external meetings, and published articles and press clippings. Back-to-office reports and Terms of Reference are often in the form of internal memoranda.

Development and debt policy

A significant volume of records relate to general development and foreign aid policy, strategy, and activities for developing countries. Records cover the period 1947 to 1977 and contain internal memoranda and Bank-produced reports or comments on reports on development including the Tinbergen Report (1953 - 1958), Horowitz Proposal (1964 - 1968), Machado proposal (1963 - 1968), and an article by Hollis B. Chenery entitled "Effectiveness of Foreign Assistance". Also contains original letters sent to and from Presidents Woods and McNamara, and memoranda between the president, vice president, president's Economic Advisor Irving Friedman, with directors or advisors of Economic Department, Development Services, Area Departments, general counsel of the Legal Department, and IFC. There is correspondence regarding President Woods' proposal for a grand assize on development assistance and responses from government officials, and correspondence related to the Bank's support to the Commission on International Development (or Pearson Commission) formed in 1968 at President McNamara's request. There is also correspondence to and from McNamara and senior Bank staff following the Pearson Commission's findings as well as proceedings of the Bank's Committee of the Whole on Pearson Commission Recommendations. Other development topics covered are: development finance trends and outlook; Bank's role as aid coordinator; coordination of bilateral project financing; multilateral financing; Bank study of aid results; use of leverage in development aid; land reform; and the Brandt Commission (1976 - 1983) also known as the Independent Commission on International Development Issues. Development correspondence is often filed together with external reports, copies of Economic Committee papers, published articles and press clippings, and excerpts of senior staff meetings.

Series also includes correspondence, reports, and other documents relating to the Bank's policy on indebtedness (1947 - 1977), debt information compiled for the Annual Report, communication with regional development banks on joint debt, and the Foreign Bondholders Council (1946 - 1971).

IDA operational policy and procedures

The series contains a set of IDA general operational policy and procedure files (1960 - 1971) and files regarding credit regulation, creditworthiness, and Statements of Credits (1966 - 1968). General IDA policy files include reports from the Staff Loan Committee, Board of Directors meetings, IDA Financial Policy committee, and a draft of the Report of the Working Group on IDA policies by Benjamin B. King (1968). Other records concerning IDA policy and guidelines are found throughout this series filed according to the subject matter.

Lending and non-lending policy and procedures

A large volume of records comprising this series relate to IBRD, IFC, and IDA lending policy (1948 - 1986) including specific topics such as: loan regulations and agreements; loan administrative reports; procedures for handling loan applications; lending forecasts including Five-Year Program; structural adjustment lending; Special Project Preparation Facility; Third Window loans; cancellation of loans and credits; and consultative and negative pledge clauses in loan agreements. There are also files on colonial lending (1948 - 1952), effective date, determination of loan grace periods, and amortization payment and maturity.

The series also contains records related to the Bank's technical assistance function from 1946 to 1977 and includes material on the UN Technical Assistance Board, correspondence with technical research institutes and training centers, and quarterly reports.

Project policy and procedures

A sizable portion of records also relate to the development of standards and policy surrounding Bank projects (1946 - 1977) such as appraisal of proposed projects, preparation and costs of projects, supervision of Bank and IDA project loans, project monitoring and identification of problem projects, performance audit reports, and origin of supply particularly for civil works projects.

Also included are records related to the creation, development, and review of Bank Group-wide and divisional procurement and consultant policies (1947 - 1986). Procurement policy issues and advice cover topics such as: assistance to borrowers in procuring materials needed for a project; contract bidding; selection of consultants; sector project contracts; review visits and discussions with governments; and comments on Bank procurement guidelines.

Specific files regarding consultants and contractors selected for Bank projects include correspondence on bidding, bonds, contractual arrangements, and international industry federations. There are also contractor files for certain member countries as well as the 1956 Colquhoun consultancy report.

Mission policy and procedures

Mission files comprising the series (1947 - 1971) relate to the establishment, administration, and functions of economic and sector missions, project supervision missions, technical assistance missions and special missions undertaken primarily by the Area Departments and Projects Department. Correspondence containing mostly internal memoranda, details practices and procedures for the collection of data and reports, scheduling and staffing for missions, cooperation with United Nations other international organizations and financial support of missions, and country updates. Memoranda is occasionally attached to lists of missions, tables with comparative data, Economic Committee reports on missions, and excerpts of senior staff meetings. Also includes a 1947 report on European missions and description of proposed missions. There are a portion of files (1972 - 1974) containing cables and outgoing letters drafted by the Projects Department and its sectors, mostly pertaining to administrative arrangements for missions and meetings and occasionally mission follow up discussions.Also included are correspondence and reports from the Bank's resident offices and missions (1947 - 1968).

Operational committees, working groups, task forces, and meetings

Series also contains the centralized records related to the practices, procedures, composition, and functions of the Bank's committees, working groups, and task forces concerned with operations. Includes memoranda, agenda, minutes, or reports of the Loan Committee (1946 - 1971), Economic Committee (1953 - 1968), Statutory Loan Committee (1947 - 1968), Financial Policy Committee (1949 - 1967), Technical Assistance Committee (1961 - 1964), Committee on Development Projects and Prospects (1975 - 1977), Operational Policy Subcommittee (1982), Advisory Panel on Bank Operations (1966 - 1968) and Working Parties on Financial Aspects of Development Assistance (DAC, 1969 - 1971). The functions of the Technical Assistance Committee that was established in 1961 under the chairmanship of the director of Development Services to review proposals forBank/IDA technical assistance were taken over in 1964 by the Loan Committee. Loan Committee records document committee deliberations, function, structure of meetings, designation of officers, drafting of Operational Memoranda, and subjects for discussion presented by Bank staff. Among the committee records are also files related to senior staff meetings (1963 - 1968).

External aid coordination

The series also contains records concerning the development and implementation of policy and strategies for co-financing covering the period 1975 to 1986 including joint and parallel financing. Records also cover development aid coordination with bilateral and multilateral organizations, aid untying, and guidelines and procedures related to consortia and consultative aid groups sponsored by the Bank (1971 - 1980). Also contains correspondence and documents related to the Consultative Group on Food Production and Investment in Developing Countries (CGFPI, 1974 to 1977).

Arbitration policy and procedures

Arbitration records in the series (1960 - 1971) concern policy and practices for the settlement of differences between member country clients, consultants, contractors, and manufacturers involved in Bank projects. Included is correspondence sent and received primarily by IBRD general counsel and staff and occasionally from operations or sector departments. There is also material concerning the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes (SID), and the establishment of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) including summary of meeting proceedings (1964 - 1968).

Finance policy and procedures

Financial audit records in the centralized files were primarily created by Treasurer's Department, Office of the Controller, Technical Operations Department, its sector divisions, and successors and relate to external auditing of Bank and IDA borrowers accounts by independent and corporate auditors. Letters and cables to and from government officials, companies, and private banks provide information on balances of loans and loan details, and internal memoranda outlines countries with project loans and contains arrangements and reviews of accounting practices of industrial borrowers.

Records related to the Bank's policy on investment were created between 1950 - 1973 and covers the advancement and protection of private and foreign investments, guarantees, insurance, and the Symington Plan (1953 - 1957). There is also correspondence with international investment institutions and memoranda from Shirley E. Boskey, policy planning officer and senior policy planning advisor in the Development Services Department, concerning the Working Party on International Investment Guarantees.

Portfolio sales and participation records in the series (1947 - 1968) include memoranda to and from Legal and Treasurer's Departments and the Office of the President including President Black. There are also letters, cables, and other material related to the sales of bonds received under loan agreements and participation by outsiders in loans. Includes approvals for borrowing filed by country, certificates of investment, exchange transfers, and statements of borrowers' obligations. Also includes correspondence relating to the Ford Foundation participation (1956 - 1962), German purchasers, and transactions handled by the Bank's New York and Paris Offices.

Development banks and development finance companies

Several files in the series relate to development banks and development finance companies (1951 - 1978) including Bank Group meetings with regional development banks and development finance companies. Other records relate to IFC's appointment of directors to the boards of development banks and of finance companies in which IFC is a shareholder. There are also a few files regarding the Conference of Development Finance Companies (1965 - 1971).

Operations administration

Series contains records concerning Bank operations administration from as early as 1946 and departments' status of projects, reports to andfrom department heads, country assignments, schedules of operations, operational vice president meetings (1978 - 1986), operations evaluation system (1975 - 1977), and operations evaluation reports including the annual report (1978 - 1983). There are also records related to the preparation of Board reports and working papers such as Future Role of the Bank (1977), Possible Improvements in Techniques of Lending - A Study by the Staff of the World Bank (1970), and a review of Bank experience with proposals for the future (1969). Two general reports files (1975 - 1977) relate to the distribution, format, quality of various reports proposals and standards for the president's report, appraisal report, economic and sector reports, annual report, and drafting of confidentiality agreement of contractors regarding Bank records.

The series also includes correspondence and other records related to policies, practices, and preparation for Bank Group operational reports and statements including: Monthly Operational Summary of Bank and IDA projects (1955 - 1971); Semi-Monthly Operational Report to the Executive Directors on Bank and IDA Operations (1967 - 1971); IFC Monthly Report (1966 - 1968); Statement of Loans (1952 - 1976); Status of Loans (1954 - 1970); Statement of Credits (1969 - 1975); World Tables (1969 - 1976); Country Data and Economic Indicators, Country Economic Brief and Country Program Papers (1969 - 1985).

There is also material concerning the planning and preparation of the Bank's operational directives including the Operational Memorandum and Manual (1952- 1986), Central Projects Notes and Operational Policy Note (1981 - 1986) and Projects Department Director's Memoranda (1969 - 1971).

Fellowship and training files in this series (1969 - 1971) primarily originated in the Projects Department and its sectors, particularly the Education Sector, and contain mostly internal memoranda and cables related to: administrative arrangements of member country trainees for operational projects also known as manpower trainees; nominations of trainees; proposed training for Projects Department professional staff; trainee and fellowship recipient reports; and comments on a draft manual on an "overseas" training program.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Original order instituted by the centralized General Files (1946 - 1968, later Central Files) has been maintained. Files are mostly arranged alphabetically by subject. A portion of files maintained in the renamed Bank Administration and Policy Records Station (BAP) from 1972 to 1974 include a grouping of records classified as "Alphabetical files". The files were reviewed during archival arrangement and the sub-grouping "Meetings and Missions" are now arranged as part of this series, which also follows the original arrangement of similar mission and meeting files as established in the Central Files. The "Personnel" and "Internal administrative matters" sub-groupings of files that were also classified as the Alphabetical files "series" are now arranged as part of the Administration and organization (WB IBRD/IDA ADMCF-03) series. The "General A-Z" files are arranged in the Liaison with external organizations, individuals, and United States government (WB IBRD/IDA ADMCF-08) series.

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.

Language of material

  • English
  • French
  • Spanish
  • German

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Related units of description

  • See Central Files - Administration and organization (WB IBRD IDA ADMCF-03) for more records related to internal meetings, administrative committees, and Economic Department files. The latter files document the administration of the Bank's early economic and research program and its activities that were originally classified and arranged by the Central Files recordkeeping unit in this "organization" series.

  • See Central Files - Board of Governors support and reference (WB IBRD IDA ADMCF-01) and Board of Directors support and reference (WB IBRD IDA ADMCF-02) for records of executive-level committees.

  • See Central Files - Operational sectors (WB IBRD IDA ADMCF-07) for records related to lending policy and guidelines for the Bank's various sectors and industries as well as consultants, co-financing, and procurement records in this set of operational sector files.

  • See Central Files - Borrowing and bond issues (WB IBRD IDA ADMCF-09) for records concerning the Bank's borrowing operations including specific bond issues, marketing, and approvals for borrowing and Central Files - Finance files (WB IBRD IDA ADMCF-10) for more records related to World Bank Group financial management.

  • See Records of the Office of Operations Policy ([WB IBRD/IDA OP] ( for records relating to the operations policy function of the Bank that were either not filed in Central Files during its existence or for records after 1987 when centralized filing ceased.

  • See the fonds listed under the "Regional Units" section of the List of Fonds. These fonds include the country-specific operational records that were managed in Central Files prior to their relocation to the Regional Records Stations in 1972. Files relate to the development of country-specific policies, projects, external aid coordination, and other operational activities.

  • Records of the Commission on International Development (Pearson Commission) (WB IBRD/IDA WB_IBRD/IDA_116).

  • See IFC Access to Information page for additional records of IFC committees and staff meeting records.

  • See the Projects and Operations Database for profiles of all the World Bank's approved and dropped projects. In addition to final reports and contextual information specific to each project, lists of archival record folders can be found for many projects.

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22 April 2021




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