Response to IMF Evaluation Office Announces Programme, article in BBretton Woods Update 26.
To the Editor,
Bretton Woods Update
21 February 2002
Thank you for sending me a copy of the Bretton Woods Update which contains a report on the work program of the Independent Evaluation Office. We welcome the coverage but I would like to correct what appears to be a misunderstanding.
Your report has referred to an alleged “irregularity” pointed out in a letter from some NGOs who have complained that while a discussion paper with a large menu of topics was open for comment, a document proposing the actual work program had already been circulated to the Board. This is not correct. The discussion paper was initially placed on our website and comments were sought by November 5. This deadline was subsequently extended to end November at the request of some representatives of civil society.
However , as we had committed to go to the Board in the first week of December, we prepared various draft versions of the final paper which were discussed internally, and also with selected external expert. It is true that these subsequent drafts were not made available to external stakeholders in general, but I hope you will agree that circulation of every interim product is neither feasible nor necessary. The fact is that we did not take a final decision until all comments within the extended deadline had been received.
The final version of our work program which was discussed by the Board in early December incorporated some changes reflecting comments received up to the 30th. I am happy to say that the civil society representatives who had requested an extension of the deadline did submit their comments well before the extended deadline, and these comments were taken into consideration in making our final decisions.
I would like to assure you and your readers that the IEO is firmly committed to the principle of transparency in its operations and we welcome inputs.
The issues paper for the repeat users study has been posted on our website www.imf.org/ieo and comments are invited by March 6.Issues papers for the other two studies will be posted on the website shortly. I hope your readers will respond to our request for comments.
Montek S. Ahluwalia
Independent Evaluation Office
International Monetary Fund