The Board of Directors is nonresident in line with our lean culture, exercising all powers delegated to it by the Board of Governors. The Board of Directors meets regularly and frequently, as often as business requires—in physical meetings and through videoconferences—and maintains regular communication with Management between meetings. Under the direction of the Board of Directors and as its Chair, the President conducts the Bank’s business and is held accountable for efficient day-to-day operations.
Prevented by COVID-19 from holding in-person meetings, the Board of Directors held more frequent virtual meetings, ensuring that it could continue to guide AIIB in deliberations over risks, strategies and visions. AIIB was thus able to rapidly bring projects forward—particularly those under the COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Facility—for Board approval. The Board of Directors held 19 meetings in 2020, all electronic, compared with 2019, when it held nine meetings, of which four were physical and five electronic.
As part of its agile response to COVID-19, the Board of Directors had many virtual engagements with members.
We held virtual regular elections for the Board of Directors in June 2020, one month before the expiration date of the term of the incumbent Directors. Nine regional and three nonregional Directors were elected to serve a regular two-year term, from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2022.
In April 2018, the Board of Directors approved the Accountability Framework
. The document clarifies the division of responsibility between the Board of Directors and Management, including for AIIB’s strategy and approval of investment operations. The framework provides additional tools for the Board of Directors to hold the President and Management accountable.
Following a transparent process, the President may approve projects that fulfill predefined requirements and shall submit to the Board of Directors the summaries of projects based on predetermined criteria. First, beginning in 2020, the projects must have passed concept review by the Investment Committee, composed of the Chief Risk Officer, Vice President for Policy and Strategy, Chief Financial Officer and the Vice Presidents for Investment Operations, who serve as Co-Chairs. Second, the projects must have been determined for approval within the President’s authority. Third, any Director can call any of these projects before the Board of Directors if deemed necessary. In 2020, the President approved three projects: (1) Bangladesh: Dhaka and West Zone Transmission Grid Expansion Project
, (2) Bangladesh: Rural Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Human Capital Development Project
and (3) India: Ayana Anantapumaru NTPC Solar Project
The Complaints-resolution, Evaluation and Integrity Unit (CEIU) was established in 2016 as an independent body within AIIB and is part of its Oversight Mechanism
, created by the Board of Directors under Article 26(iv) of AIIB's Articles of Agreement
. The provision empowers the Board of Directors to regularly supervise the management and operation of the Bank and establish an oversight mechanism for that purpose, in line with principles of transparency, openness, independence and accountability. CEIU is led by the Managing Director, who reports
directly to the Board of Directors.
The primary responsibilities of CEIU are to (1) selectively assess the quality and results (for completed projects) of the Bank’s ongoing and completed investment portfolio, (2) serve as the focal point for external requests or complaints regarding compliance with AIIB’s Environmental and Social Policy under the Project-affected People’s Mechanism (PPM) Policy and (3) investigate project-related fraud and corruption cases under the Policy on Prohibited Practices.
To ensure that we perform our mandate based on sound strategies and practices, three committees under the Board of Directors
give us guidance: (1) The Audit and Risk Committee reviews the financial statements, reporting practices, the Bank’s financial and risk policies, the effectiveness of internal controls and the internal audit plan as well as reports from the external auditors. (2) The Budget and Human Resources Committee assesses the proposed annual budget and implementation of our compensation and benefits policies and considers any other aspects of the budget and human resources as the Board of Directors may request. (3) The Policy and Strategy Committee reviews the financial and operational policies (such as environmental, social and procurement policies) and advises on strategy development.
In 2020, new members were appointed to each of the Board committees as part of their succession plans. Ai Phing Cheng and Elisabeth Stheeman
were appointed external members of the Audit and Risk Committee. We reviewed the terms of reference of the Board committees to ensure consistency with the Bank’s policies and alignment with the latest committee practices.