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C C S. and A P

Abstract

A key feature of the reform of the international financial architecture since the mid-1990s has been the development of international standards and codes.2 The data standards initiative, on which the IMF took the lead, broke new ground. The dissemination standards put in place as the centerpiece of this initiative continue to be among the most widely known of the international standards and codes.

A W E., C J, G-G, J, and K A Y.

Abstract

Recognition of the importance of data transparency—including for promoting the efficient operation of financial markets and policy accountability on the part of governments and central banks—is a remarkably recent phenomenon in the history of economic thought. The timely availability of data on international reserves and the foreign exchange operations of central banks is a case in point. As recently as 10 years ago, with relatively few exceptions, only very aggregated information typically was available, and then often only with a substantial lag. Indeed, in a number of countries, these data were treated as state secrets. Moreover, significant regional differences existed—and still do, to an important degree—in terms of views about the value of enhancing transparency.

W E. A, T B, C D, A H, and L V

Abstract

Although the name of the General Data Dissemination System (GDDS) infers that its central focus is dissemination, in its initial stages the GDDS emphasized the development of national systems in an explicit medium-term framework. Attention to data dissemination came only at a later stage. Indeed, participating countries are not required to make any formal commitments regarding data dissemination. The main premise underlying the GDDS is to give high priority to improvements in data quality, which may need to precede improvement in dissemination practice.

C J and G-G J

Abstract

The financial crises of the 1990s revealed a need for the dissemination of more comprehensive data on foreign currency liquidity positions to help prevent similar crises. In 1998, the IMF began working on initiatives in this area in collaboration with working groups of the Group of Ten (G-10) and the Group of 22 (G-22). The resulting international reserves and foreign currency liquidity data template (reserves template) became a prescribed element of the IMF’s Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS). Data reporting under this initiative began in June 1999, and after a short transition period, SDDS subscribers were required to observe the standard as of April 2000.

Mr. William E. Alexander, Mr. John Cady, and Mr. Jesus R Gonzalez-Garcia

Abstract

In its first 10 years, the IMF’s Data Dissemination Initiative has had a demonstrable positive impact on data dissemination. Currently, the General Data Dissemination System (GDDS) and the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) taken together include 83 percent of the IMF’s member countries. This initiative has become an integral part of the international financial architecture and has helped to promote economic transparency and efficiency. Along with other financial standards and codes it has served to strengthen transparency and good governance globally.

International Monetary Fund

Sound macroeconomic policies, good governance, and high levels of investment, supported by diamond and other mineral production, have moved Botswana into the ranks of middle-income countries. Maintaining fiscal surpluses over the medium term is essential to accumulate savings for the period when diamond revenues decline. Striking an appropriate balance between monetary and exchange rate policy objectives is critical. The banking sector is sound and near-term risks are well contained, but there is scope for financial sector reform. Continued structural reform and improvements in statistics are essential.

International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.

Abstract

The 2018 Annual Report of the IMF Committee on Balance of Payments Statistics provides an overview of trends in global balance of payments statistics.

Mario Pessoa, Andrew Okello, Artur Swistak, Muyangwa Muyangwa, Virginia Alonso-Albarran, and Vincent de Paul Koukpaizan
The value-added tax (VAT) has the potential to generate significant government revenue. Despite its intrinsic self-enforcement capacity, many tax administrations find it challenging to refund excess input credits, which is critical to a well-functioning VAT system. Improperly functioning VAT refund practices can have profound implications for fiscal policy and management, including inaccurate deficit measurement, spending overruns, poor budget credibility, impaired treasury operations, and arrears accumulation.This note addresses the following issues: (1) What are VAT refunds and why should they be managed properly? (2) What practices should be put in place (in tax policy, tax administration, budget and treasury management, debt, and fiscal statistics) to help manage key aspects of VAT refunds? For a refund mechanism to be credible, the tax administration must ensure that it is equipped with the strategies, processes, and abilities needed to identify VAT refund fraud. It must also be prepared to act quickly to combat such fraud/schemes.
Mr. William E. Alexander, Mr. John Cady, and Mr. Jesus R Gonzalez-Garcia

Abstract

The Data Dissemination Initiative was launched in the mid-1990s as part of a broader internationally-agreed-upon initiative to strengthen transparency and promote good governance practices by establishing standards and codes. Ten years later, the initiative is viewed as an integral part of the international financial architecture, and is considered to have improved the functioning of international financial markets and contributed to global financial stability. This volume reviews certain aspects of the development of and experience with the initiative over the past decade, and concludes by reflecting on potential challenges ahead and possible enhancements.