IFI governance


Highlights of Tom Scholar meeting with UK NGOs

11 September 2006

26 September 2006 | Minutes

Participants: Pete Hardstaff (WDM), Anna Thomas (CAid), Matt Griffiths (CAFOD), Romilly Greenhill (ActionAid), Susanna Mitchell (nef), Trisha Rogers (JDC), Sarah Hague (SCF), Michael Hammer (OWT), Fletcher Tembo (World Vision), Jeff Powell (BWP)
Tom Scholar (UK executive director), Clare Harris (economist, World Bank and ADB teams), Chris Hindley (policy adviser, World Bank team), Nicola Jenns (debt team leader), Carl Kalapesi (economic adviser, World Bank team), John Moye (World Bank team leader) and Nirav Shah (policy officer, World Bank team

nb. IMFC deputies meeting planned for the following day had been cancelled.

Re CSO access to annual meetings in Singapore

  • UK found out “end August” that there were “problems with individuals planning to attend”. Hadn’t seen the blacklist (hadn’t asked to see it). No information on MoU between WB/IMF and Singaporean authorities – supported view that this should be made public.

Re IMF strategic review

  • Very interested to see GTI charter (on IFI transparency).- agree on presumption of disclosure, but confidentiality is enshrined in articles of agreement.
  • Agree that current governance reform proposals are inadequate, however this is a “brief window where countries will put aside their entrenched positions”. Interested in double majority proposal.
  • UK has taken leadership in Europe through Jon Cunliffe as chair of the Sub-Committee on the IMF (SCIMF) Nine months ago there was a real possibility that European countries would block any reform proposal. CSO-SCIMF workshop on strategic review an interesting idea.

Re conditionality

  • Agree that there has been “insufficient progress”, though not much of a track record to look at. UK has asked that Bank update conditionality review paper in time for IDA 14 mid-term review discussions.
  • Don’t see systematic change in mindset and commitment of senior management, especially in light of threat of heavy governance conditionality where Bank has no mandate.
  • Fund conditionality policy review scheduled for next year and IEO evaluations will also provide an opportunity to raise.

Re anti-corruption framework

  • Welcome research done by CAFOD – enormous amount of common ground.
  • Most recent iteration of Bank framework was ‘not narrowly focused on protecting Bank resources’, ‘careful of mission creep’, ‘careful of increasing conditionality’, and ‘did not replicate national systems of accountability’.
  • Agree that the framework has not had proper CSO or board consultation. Does not include clear operational guidelines for staff on what is Bank’s role in the demand for better governance.
  • Some suggestion from Bank management that they want to increase funding and staff of the Department of Institutional Integrity (INT) – board responding that we need to evaluate its performance over its first seven years. This will happen in parallel with the further development of the anti-corruption framework.
  • Voluntary Disclosure Programme (VDP) intention is to strengthen sanctions, while you may disagree with the methods.

Re debt

  • Bank is working on paper on debt sustainability, which we are hoping to see between annual meetings and end of year. Look forward to nef paper on the same.

Re education

  • Donors should stump up funds for education for all fast-track initiative. UK ministerial lead since Abuja conference. Workshop in Singapore where 22 countries from Abuja will report on their medium-term frameworks – donors invited.
  • Fund is ‘very aware’ of Abuja call to relax fiscal envelope in low-income countries, but has to approach it through a general debate, not just from a sectoral perspective.
  • Will follow-up to find out where Fund research on scaling-up is at.