IMF transparency improved

15 June 1999

The IMF has outlined a new information policy which includes the release of:

  • all Board papers after 5 years;
  • Public Information Notices following Board discussions of policy papers;
  • Chairman’s summaries of Board discussions to approve or review a member’s arrangement with the Fund;
  • Article IV reports (on a pilot basis, to be reviewed in 18 months); and
  • Letters of Intent/Memoranda of Economic and Financial Policies and Policy Framework Papers (to be reviewed in a year).

The Board is also discussing whether to allow the release of staff reports following Article IV consultations, and requests for financial support (it is split 50/50); whether to release summings up/Public Information Notices of requests for IMF resources (this will be revisited in 6 months in the light of experience with transparency in other areas).

NGOs are also pushing for Interim Committee and Board voting procedures to be formalised and for details of how each country voted to be made public. Several Executive Directors support the idea. It would require the Executive Directors’ votes to be split down national lines: under the current procedure votes are cast on behalf of constituencies of countries. A decision to formalise the Interim Committee would enable this, but for the IMF‘s Board it would need an amendment of the Articles of Agreement.

NGOs also want Board meeting agendas and Executive Directors’ statements to the Board to be made public.