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International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

In 2008, the IEO undertook an evaluation on the IMF governance and concluded that effectiveness had been the strongest aspect of IMF governance, while accountability and voice had been the weakest. Since then, IMF governance has been strengthened aided by quota and voice reforms to address misalignments in shares and chairs as well as numerous improvements in governance procedures and practices. The update finds that IMF governance has proven its effectiveness in supporting the Fund to fulfill its mandates, but concerns remain on voice and accountability. Challenges remain related to representation and voice, interaction between governance bodies, the selection process for management, and the role of the G20 in IMF governance. Addressing these challenges will take time and may be subject to difficult tradeoffs between governance objectives such as preserving effectiveness while ensuring appropriate representation.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

This paper discusses that the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) has also launched three new evaluations—which will analyze the IMF’s role on fragile states, its financial surveillance activities, and its advice on unconventional monetary policies—and two evaluation updates—which will look into the IMF’s exchange rate policy advice and structural conditionality. The evaluation found that, for the most part, the IMF’s euro area surveillance identified the right issues during the pre-crisis period but did not foresee the magnitude of the risks that would later become paramount. The IMF’s surveillance of the financial regulatory architecture was generally of high quality, but staff, along with most other experts, missed the buildup of banking system risks in some countries. The report found several issues with the way decision making was managed by the IMF. In May 2010, the IMF Executive Board approved a decision to provide exceptional access financing to Greece without seeking preemptive debt restructuring, even though its sovereign debt was not deemed sustainable with a high probability.

Mr. David A. Grigorian and Mr. Maxym Kryshko
The paper uses a unique survey of remittance-receiving individuals from Tajikistan to study the impact of policy awareness on consumer behavior. The results show that knowledge of deposit insurance encourages the use of formal channels for transmitting remittances and reduces dollarization. Given the size and importance of remittances in Tajikistan, improving financial literacy and better publicizing details of the social safety net may encourage a more frequent use of formal channels for transferring remittances and reduce reliance on foreign exchange for transaction purposes. This is likely to improve bank profitability, enhance financial stability, and improve access to finance.
International Monetary Fund
At the recent Review of the Fund’s Transparency Policy on June 24, 2013, the Executive Board agreed to further consider options to reduce the time lag for public access to Executive Board meeting minutes under the Open Archives Policy. Although a majority of Executive Directors saw scope for reducing the time lag for public access to Board meeting minutes from five years to three years, a significant minority of Directors favored maintaining the existing lag in order to strike a balance between informing the public about the Board’s views and maintaining the candor of Board discussions. The Board requested that staff undertake further analysis of the issue. Accordingly, this paper provides a more detailed assessment of the current practice and a discussion of the potential costs and benefits of possible options for further reform.
International Monetary Fund
This paper responds to the request in the April 2009 IMFC communiqué for the Executive Board to report on governance reform. The current crisis has shown that the Fund’s decision-making structures can deliver the kind of innovative and rapid responses the membership needs and expects. Even so, there is an undercurrent of doubt about the future, reflecting the perception that much of the recent responsiveness has been driven by outside forces (e.g., the G-20) and that, once the crisis fades, old dissatisfactions with vote, voice and process will resurface to undermine the political backing that has been key to the Fund’s renewal. Hence, the IMFC’s interest in reforms to underpin the institution’s legitimacy and effectiveness is important and timely. This report focuses on five areas: fair quota share; high-level engagement; effective decision-making and representation at the Executive Board; open selection of management (and, more broadly, staff diversity); and updating of the Fund’s mandate.
International Monetary Fund
This paper summarizes the main governance challenges and reform options facing the IMF, drawing together the analysis and reform proposals in the reports of the Eminent Persons Group (headed by Trevor Manuel), the IEO, and a range of other recent work on Fund governance. Lest the wide scope of these inputs result in a laundry list, judgment has been exercised in selecting key issues and proposals, and in laying out some of the pros and cons. With reform of quotas/voting power on a separate track, the focus here is on the institutional framework through which members express voting power, weaknesses in which are seen by many to have eroded the Fund’s legitimacy and effectiveness, thereby displacing the debate and initiative to outside entities. While an overall reform package would have to include quota shares, the key proposals discussed here aim to: increase political engagement and oversight; enhance Executive Board effectiveness and representation; modify voting rules; better delineate responsibilities; open up management selection; and tackle problems with mandate and institutional culture that limit the issues and approaches taken. Civil society has expressed a range of concerns related to IMF governance, including with regard to accountability at all levels (IMFC, Executive Board, management, and staff), mechanisms for responding to complaints and feedback from the broader public, and transparency. Given the diversity of their interests, and to provide unfiltered access to CSO views, the supplement: Fourth Pillar Recommendations from Civil Society; Preliminary Summary of Principles, Issues and Recommendations; has been prepared by CSO groups.
Ms. Sònia Muñoz
This paper analyzes Zimbabwe's export performance in recent years and identifies the factors that could improve export performance, from both a quantitative and qualitative perspective. Improving export performance is critical to a turnaround in Zimbabwe's economic situation. The growth rate of total exports declined dramatically in the early 2000s, following a large real appreciation of the currency and the introduction of the fast-track land reform program. An important finding of the paper is that policies that reduce (eliminate) the parallel market premium and lower ethnic tensions would be key to promoting export growth.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Following a series of international donor meetings aimed at helping Afghanistan stabilize and rebuild its economy, the IMF sent a mission to Kabul for four days in late January. The team was led by Paul Chabrier, Director of the IMF’s Middle Eastern Department. He speaks here about the country’s immediate needs and the IMF’s role.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx