The G7 has agreed to the G22 Working Group on Transparency and Accountability’s recommendation to establish a formal mechanism to evaluate IMF policies and programmes, but it is not clear what form this will take. Gordon Brown, UK Chancellor, supports “a new full-time evaluation unit inside the IMF but reporting directly to the Fund’s shareholders, and in public, on its performance.”
The G7 has also called upon “all IFIs to adopt a presumption in favour of release of information except where this might compromise confidentiality.” The G22 report calls for:
- publication of IMF policy papers, programme documents such as Policy Framework Papers, and Public Information Notices following the Executive Board’s discussion of policy papers and programme reviews;
- support from National authorities for publication of Letters of Intent, background papers to Article IV Reports and Public Information Notices following the Board’s discussion of Article IV Reports;
- publication of MDBs’ country assistance strategies, progress reports, environmental impact assessments, internal and external evaluations, and policy papers; and
- all audit reports and drafts of country assistance strategies be made available to the Executive Board for comment.
An internal evaluation of the IMF‘s response to the crisis is currently underway: the decision to publish it will be taken by the Executive Board. An external team of consultants led by John Crow, former Governor of the Bank of Canada, is investigating the IMF‘s surveillance work as part of the ad hoc external review process. The report should be completed in May-June 1999.
The G22 have also produced reports on International Financial Crises and Strengthening Financial Systems. They are now seeking comments. After NGO pressure, the deadline has been extended to 31 December.
G22 Reports available from www.imf.org or www.worldbank.org
Comments should be sent by fax to: +41 61 280 9100.
The Bank Information Center has published a report examining the information disclosure practices of the multilateral development banks. Contact: Bank Information Center, 733 15th Street, NW, Suite 1126, Washington DC 20005, USA, Tel: +1 202 466 8191, Fax: +1 202 466 8189, firstname.lastname@example.org