IFI governance


Gold tied to IMF evaluation

15 December 1999

US congress has agreed a proposal to revalue IMF gold to fund the HIPC Debt Initiative on the condition that the money earned is not used to refinance ESAF (now renamed the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility – PRGF). However, the PRGF will be refinanced using bilateral donations to the HIPCESAF Trust Fund.

Congress also secured a commitment from the US administration for the establishment of an independent evaluation unit at the IMF, similar to the Operations Evaluation Department (OED) of the World Bank, that would report directly to the Executive Board of the IMF and that would undertake periodic reviews of IMF operations, including the operations of the new Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility.

IMF staff are currently evaluating the effectiveness of the ad hoc external evaluation mechanism. This report, which should contain options for a permanent mechanism, was circulated to Board members in December and will be discussed in January 2000. After this some outside comments will be solicited. A final decision will be taken in time for the Spring meetings.

The UK Executive Director stated that he would push for an independent evaluation unit based on the OED model. The Japanese Executive Director favours a similar model which would report directly to the International Monetary and Finance Committee (formerly the Interim Committee).

The Evaluation Committee is chaired by Thomas Bernes, Canadian Executive Director, contact: tbernes@imf.org.