IMF to open up its books
Sunday 01 November 1998
The move is one of the reforms promised by the institution as part of the deal announced by the Group of Seven industrialised nations on Friday that secured it more US funds.
"There is growing awareness that public institutions, including the IMF, need to enhance their accountability through greater transparency about their operations, objectives and decision-making processes," G7 officials said.
"We believe that, as a general principle, the IMF should adopt a presumption in favour of the release of information, except where release might compromise confidentiality."
The IMF will publish its usable resources and liquidity ratio - usable resources divided by its liabilities - on a regular basis, to counter criticism from the US Congress that it is too secretive.
Until now, it has been difficult to calculate how much cash the Fund has available, a factor that complicated the White House's efforts to persuade Congress to agree to put up more money.
Some Congressional critics protested that the IMF already had enough money. A budget agreement cleared the way for the US to put in $18bn (pounds 10.7bn) in new cash for the New Arrangement to Borrow and increase the IMF's regular funds, but right-wing Republican Congressional leaders demanded reform in exchange.
Further reforms are under discussion that could open up the IMF's Executive Board, its sitting management body in Washington, to further scrutiny. It will discuss mandatory disclosure of the Board's discussions of national economies, and of policy discussions on such matters as capital liberalisation. But any firm decision is six months away, an official said on Friday.
The IMF is an unusually secretive organisation, with a culture that is resistant to releasing information. In part, this is because it has some very sensitive financial information on its books. Stanley Fischer, the IMF's first deputy director, said on Friday that member states were the problem.
"The Fund is complicated," he said. "We have 182 member countries. They don't all see things the same way."
In partial recognition that its efforts to communicate have been unsuccessful, the organisation has also solicited bids for a review of its communications by an external firm.
The communique also urges the IMF to "develop a formal mechanism for systematic evaluation, involving external input, of the effectiveness of its operations, programmes, policies and procedures."
- 1 Avengers: Age of Ultron: Nearly 700 German cinemas refuse to show movie
- 2 Donald Trump decides that Baltimore riots are Barack Obama's fault
- 3 X Factor in crisis as numbers of people auditioning plummets
- 4 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
- 5 Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
Bali Nine executions live: Indonesian firing squad shoots dead eight drug offenders despite outcry around world, but a ninth is spared
Keith Harris dead: Orville the Duck ventriloquist dies aged 67 following battle with cancer
The four utterly contradictory polls that tell the story of this election and why it is pointless trying to predict the outcome
Donald Trump decides that Baltimore riots are Barack Obama's fault
General Election 2015: Prospect of Labour-SNP coalition makes one in four voters less likely to support Ed Miliband, says survey
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a financial services c...
£Basic (OTE) + Uncapped Commission: Guru Careers: A Stockbroker (qualified / p...
£20000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you recently QCA Level 4 qu...
£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...