The Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) has served the IMF well, but the panel has identified certain weaknesses and sees trends that are cause for concern about its future. The biggest challenge facing the IEO is to avert the tendencies, pressures and practices that may push it in the direction of becoming bureaucratized, routinized and marginalized.
1. Some five years after the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) was established, it is appropriate, as was envisaged then, to consider how the IEO is functioning, what it has achieved, and how it can be improved. The perspective of a disinterested, external panel can be valuable in this regard, and the present report will surely contribute to a lively Board discussion of this important topic. Staff appreciate the Panel’s attention to maintaining a high quality IEO staff and improving the quality and effectiveness of IEO reports.
1. The IEO welcomes the report and its recommendations. It particularly welcomes the confirmation that the IEO is a necessary aspect of the good governance of the IMF, retaining strong support in many quarters; and the conclusion that the office has met most of the expectations raised at the time of its creation. One aim in setting up the office was to ensure as much independence as possible matched by full transparency, both inside and outside the IMF; it is therefore important that the report concludes that the office has established itself as an independent body.
1. As I have emphasized in my report on Implementing the Fund’s Medium-Term Strategy, we are committed to improving and strengthening the Fund. The IEO has a valuable role to play in this regard, together with all the Fund’s other checks and balances, including by strengthening the learning culture and improving the governance of the Fund. The external evaluators report contains a number of useful suggestions on improving the IEO’s contributions. However, I would like to respond to a few issues regarding coordination of work programs, evaluation of individual countries, follow-up on the IEO’s recommendations, and the IEO’s Terms of Reference.