IFI governance


Highlights of Tom Bernes (IEO) meeting in May 2006 on IEO proposed work plan

15 May 2006 | Minutes

In attendance

Jeff Oatham (Oneworld Trust), Olivia McDonald (Christian Aid), Steve Mandel (nef), Jeff Powell (BWP), Peter Chowla (BWP), John Christensen (Tax Justice Network), David Peretz (IEO)

External evaluation of the IEO (embargoed until its imminent release please)

  • Coming out shortly (i.e. next week) – has been delayed for internal workings
  • Main conclusions were that the IEO was needed, reasonably independent and its evaluations are generally solid and well done
  • Main recommendations from the external evaluators came in two groups one directed at the IEO and one at the board and management
    • The IEO should address more fundamental topics of the IMF’s role; diversify their staffing by using outside consultants; do better outreach
    • Management doesn’t see the IEO as ‘integral to the work of the Fund’; both management and the board need to do better follow-up; the IMFC needs a ‘more constructive and open stance’ towards IEO

IEO Work Plan Discussion (broken down by four sections of the work plan)

  1. Evaluations of IMF Impact in Countries
    • Broad support for “IMF role from the perspective of member countries”
    • Stressed the important of having a broad view including all stakeholders (esp. parliamentarians) and not just focusing on policymakers. The evaluations should look at participation by all stakeholders in all aspects of fund work from PRSs through to implementation and capacity building
  2. Thematic Policy Issues
    • There was interest in nearly all of these topics by those present
    • Discussion around the inter-linkages between many of the issues, particularly how fiscal constraints impacted countries and how these constraints are related to trade policy conditionality/advice, capital account policy, debt relief, and tax policy
    • While focusing on privatisation may not be as forward looking (because of the Fund’s recent decline in the use of structural conditionality) it was highlighted that conditions still come through the backdoor (i.e. fiscal constraints, PRS formation)
  3. IMF’s Toolkit of Instruments
    • Interest in the research section as well as a review of PRGFs
  4. IMF Governance
    • Recognition for the IEO for even including internal governance issues on the possible agenda. Tom Bernes indicated he was really interested in seeing one of these move forward. This would lay down a marker for what issues IEO can cover.
    • Strong support for looking at communication and transparency, particularly looking at whether the internal reviews of IMF transparency policy are worthwhile/effective.


  • Top priorities for evaluations: (Sec 1) IMF’s role from the perspective of member countries, (Sec 2) thematic policy areas – privatization, trade liberalisation, fiscal sustainability, and governance, (Sec 3) PRS and research (Sec 4) Transparency
  • Overarching themes: (1) inclusiveness/participation/stakeholder approach (2) Fund role vis-à-vis creditors and debtors – has it been equitable (3) management follow-up on past recommendations