Chapter

Appendix V. External Relations

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
September 2001
Share
  • ShareShare
Show Summary Details

In FY2001, the IMF took further steps to increase the information provided to the public on its own activities and policies. It released a record number of documents to the public via its website, opened a new IMF Center for visitors at IMF headquarters, maintained extensive contacts with the media and representatives of civil society, and issued scores of books and periodicals, as well as several videos. As part of the push to provide critical information to financial markets and to better explain the IMF’s activities, the Executive Board in August 2000 reviewed the transparency initiatives undertaken by the IMF since mid-1999 (see Chapte 3) and agreed to a Statement of Guiding Principles for the IMF’s publication policy.

New IMF Policy on Publication of Documents

The Executive Board’s statement recognizes that improved provision of information to the markets and the broader public by the public and private sectors is a central element of the reform of the international financial system. In this vein, greater transparency of the IMF’s assessments of economic developments in member countries and the authorities’ policy commitments aims at:

  • encouraging more widespread analysis of the countries’ policies by the public;

  • enhancing the accountability of policymakers and the credibility of policies; and

  • promoting consensus-building on domestic policy.

The release of the IMF’s views on macroeconomic developments in member countries could also:

  • provide more regular mechanisms for the exchange of views on macroeconomic developments between the representatives of private financial institutions and country authorities as well as between the staff and market participants;

  • contribute to the substance and effectiveness of such discussions, and could inform financial markets by providing information to improve risk assessment, thereby facilitating orderly and efficient markets; and

  • help ensure the highest quality of the IMF’s analysis and of its reports by exposing its advice to public scrutiny and debate.

In recent years, the IMF has come a long way in increasing the transparency of its own activities as well as of the policies of its members. In particular, it has published a growing number of Country Documents (e.g., Public Information Notices and Article IV staff reports) and Country Policy Intentions Documents (e.g., Letters of Intent, Memoranda of Economic and Financial Policies, and Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers) (see Table V.1)1 The IMF has also continued efforts to explain its work better, to continue dialogue with the public on its activities, and to be more transparent with regard to its internal policies and operations. Specifically, the IMF carried out external evaluations of the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (now Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility) and of IMF surveillance and IMF research; carried out consultations with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and members of civil society as part of the comprehensive review of the HIPC Initiative; released key internal reports on IMF policies and operations, including papers and Executive Board discussions on the Asian crisis and the link between debt relief and poverty reduction; and posted preliminary standards and codes for public comment. Furthermore, the IMF now releases more financial information about itself by providing timely information on members’ financial position with the IMF, key IMF financial statistics, as well as the IMF’s liquidity position and quarterly financial transactions. Lastly, the IMF has expanded substantially public access to its archives.

Table V.1Publication Policies for Selected IMF and Member Documents
DocumentDecision
Surveillance
Concluding Statements of Article IV MissionsVoluntary 1
Article IV Staff Reports and Combined Article IV/UFR Staff Reports2Voluntary
Recent Economic Developments, Selected Issues Papers, Statistical AppendicesVoluntary
Financial System Stability Assessments (FSSAs)Voluntary
Reports on Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSCs)Voluntary
Public Information Notices (PINs) following Article IV ConsultationsVoluntary
PINs following Board discussions on regional surveillanceVoluntary
Use of Fund Resources
Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) and Interim PRSPsPresumed. The staff, however, would not recommend Board endorsement of a PRSP unless it was published.
Joint Staff Assessments (JSAs) of PRSPsPresumed
Letters of Intent/Memoranda of Economic and Financial Policies (LOIs/MEFPs)Presumed
Technical Memoranda of Understanding (TMUs) with policy contentPresumed
Use of Fund Resources Staff ReportsVoluntary
Chairman’s StatementsPresumed
HIPC Summing UpPresumed—Combined into Chairman’s Statement.
HIPC Initiative PapersPresumed
Post Program Monitoring (PPM) staff reports and PINsVoluntary
Decision on waivers of non-observance or applicability of performance criteriaPresumed—Referenced in Chairman’s Statement. 3
Policy and Other Documents
Board Papers on policy issuesBased on whether the discussion has reached completion or the point where informing the public is deemed useful
PINs following Board discussions on policy issuesBased on whether the discussion has reached completion or the point where informing the public is deemed useful.
Staff Visit ConcludingVoluntary
Statements Staff-Monitored Programs (SMPs):
Mission Team Assessments on SMPsVoluntary
Mission Concluding StatementsVoluntary
Staff-Monitored Program LOIs/MHFPsVoluntary
Stand Alone Staff ReportsVoluntary

With the agreement of the member country concerned.

Including staff reports for interim discussions with the authorities issued to the Executive Board for information.

In the rare case of a request for a waiver by the authorities on a lapse-of-time basis, the public would be informed of the nature and purpose of the waiver, and Board decision taken, in a press release.

With the agreement of the member country concerned.

Including staff reports for interim discussions with the authorities issued to the Executive Board for information.

In the rare case of a request for a waiver by the authorities on a lapse-of-time basis, the public would be informed of the nature and purpose of the waiver, and Board decision taken, in a press release.

To further enhance the transparency of its operations and of the policies of its members, the IMF has adopted a policy of publication on a voluntary basis—that is, if the relevant member country so wishes—of staff reports and other Country Documents as well as Country Policy Intentions Documents. The IMF will encourage, in principle, the publication of these documents while considering the need to accommodate the specific circumstances of each country, including those relating to different institutional and political contexts. The IMF thus recognizes that for some members, publication may be a longer-term objective. Within this framework, publication of a member’s Country Policy Intentions Documents would be presumed (see also Chapte 3).2

The IMF’s publication policy for staff reports and other Country Documents will be guided by some key principles.

1. Continuing efforts are needed to maintain staff reports as candid and comprehensive reports, and to avoid the slippery slope of negotiated staff reports:

  • staff will take care to ensure that the views of counterparts in member countries are properly characterized as official views of authorities, views of institutions, personal views and assessments, or otherwise, as appropriate;

  • use of IMF resources staff reports would continue to include assessments of risks, consistent with both the need for the IMF to pay particular attention to the ability of the member to repay and, more generally, the recommendation for use of IMF resources;

  • staff are not to provide drafts of staff reports to country authorities or Executive Directors before the reports are issued to the Executive Board, and Executive Directors will not seek such opportunities for review;

  • updates to staff reports will be handled through staff supplements or statements circulated to the Executive Board, rather than through direct modifications to the content of staff reports after they have been circulated to the Executive Board;

  • corrections to staff reports are to be limited to factual matters consistent with the information available at the time the staff report was issued and to descriptions of the authorities’ own views. The analysis of economic developments and trends, the policy assessment, and the staff appraisal in the staff report are the responsibilities of the staff and not subject to correction once issued;

  • to ensure evenhanded treatment of all members, a uniform deletions policy will apply to all staff reports as well as other Country Documents and Country Policy Intentions Documents: deletions will be minimal and limited to highly market-sensitive information. The Executive Board would be advised of the deletions agreed by the management and of the basis for such decisions;

  • a Public Information Notice or Chairman’s Statement reflecting the views of the Executive Board shall also be published with the staff report; and

  • country authorities shall have the right to have their response to the staff report and the Executive Board assessment included as part of the published package.

2. All staff reports, as well as other Country Documents and Country Policy Intentions Documents, will be published with an explanation of the nature of the documents being published, clearly distinguishing between documents of the authorities, those presenting Executive Board views, and staff assessments. More generally, staff will work to improve the presentation and clarity of the IMF’s views to an outside audience by using clearer and more straightforward language in documents.

3. The timing of publication of documents is another major aspect of a reliable and consistent publication policy. Chairman’s Statements will continue to be quick release news instruments. For all other documents, the IMF’s policy would be to encourage prompt release, recognizing the circumstances of individual members.

4. Progress achieved in the implementation of these transparency policies will be monitored continuously and reviewed periodically. In particular, close attention will be paid to ensuring that an appropriate balance between transparency and confidentiality in the dialogue between the IMF and its members is preserved. The first review by the Executive Board will take place after 18 months.

Other Developments in External Communications

In addition to promoting transparency through its policy on publication of documents, the IMF sought to enhance its communications with the public in a variety of other ways, including:

  • Regular press briefings by the Director of the External Relations Department, roughly every two weeks, with transcripts posted on the IMF’s website.

  • Numerous contacts with the media and NGOs, especially before and during the 2001 Annual Meetings in Prague, which was attended by a record number of journalists. Also, the IMF participated in a record number of meetings with representatives from civil society.

  • The launch of a web-based e-mail notification service, which has attracted 16,000 subscribers, and the positioning of the IMF website, which averages 4 million visitors a month, as the primary means for releasing IMF documents to the public.

  • The operation of a robust publications program, which issued scores of titles, including the World Economic Outlook and International Capital Markets reports, IMF Staff Papers, the Annual Report on Exchange Arrangements and Exchange Restrictions, Occasional Papers, books, manuals, and pamphlets, and also two periodicals: Finance and Development, a quarterly magazine on issues in the international economy, and IMF Survey, a biweekly newsletter on the activities of the IMF (see Table V.2).

  • Web publication of quarterly reports on emerging market financing.

  • Increased communication with the public through speeches, letters to the editor, op-ed articles, and Issues Briefs—summaries of pressing issues facing the IMF and the global economy that are published both on the website and in hard copy—as well as Fact Sheets.

  • The production of videos, including “Millennium,” an award-winning film on the world monetary system, and a series of public service announcements explaining the role of the IMF. (The videos are available for viewing at http://www.imf.org/external/mmedia/index.asp).

  • An active community relations program that, among other things, disbursed $570,000 through the IMF’s civic program to support local and international charities and sponsored 3,200 hours of community service by IMF staff. In addition, the annual United Way drive raised a record $470,000 in 2000.

Table V.2Publications and Videos Issued, Financial Year Ended April 30, 2001

*Available in English and selected other languages in full text on the IMF’s website (www.imf.org).

Reports and Other Documents
Annual Report of the Executive Board for the Financial Tear Ended April 30, 2000.*

(English, French, German, and Spanish). Free.
Annual Report on Exchange Arrangements and Exchange Restrictions, 2000.

$95; $47.50 to full time university faculty members and students.
Summary Proceedings of the Fifty-Fourth Meeting of the Board of Governors (2000).* Free.
The IMF Committee on Balance of Payments Statistics, Annual Report, 2000.* Free.
Selected Decisions and Selected Documents of the International Monetary Fund. Free.
By-Laws, Rules and Regulations, Fifty-Seventh Edition. (English, French, and Spanish). Free.
IMF Financial Statement, Quarters ended April 30, 2000; October 31, 2000; January 31, 2001 Free.
Periodic Publications
Balance of Payments Statistics Yearbook

Vol. 51, 2000. A two-part yearbook. $78 a year.
Direction of Trade Statistics

Quarterly, with yearbook. $128 a year; $89 to full-time university faculty members and students. $45 for yearbook only.
Finance and Development*

Quarterly (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, and Spanish). Free by subscription. Airspeed delivery, $20. Individual copies $10.
Government Finance Statistics Yearbook

Vol. 25, 2000. $65
International Financial Statistics

Monthly, with yearbook (English, French, and Spanish). $286 a year; $199 to full-time university faculty members and students. $72 for yearbook only. International Financial Statistics is also available on CD-ROM; price information is available on request.
International Economic Policy Review, Vol. 2, 2000. $20
IMF Staff Papers*

Three times a year. $56 a year; $28 to full-time university faculty members and students.
IMF Research Bulletin*

Quarterly. Free.
IMF Survey*

Twice monthly, once in December (English, French, and Spanish). Private firms and individuals are charged an annual rate of $79. Annual bound editions available for $89: Vol. 29-2000 (English), Vol. 28-1999 (English), Vol. 28-1999 (French), and Vol. 28-1999 (Spanish).
Occasional Papers
No. 192. Macroprudential Indicators of Financial System Soundness, by a staff team led by Owen Evans, Alfredo M. Leone, Mahinder Gill, and Paul Hilbers. 2000.
No. 193. Exchange Rate Regimes in an Increasingly Integrated World Economy, by Michael Mussa, Paul Masson, Alexander Swoboda, Esteban Jadresic, Paolo Mauro, and Andy Berg. 2000.
No. 194. Fiscal and Macroeconomic Impact of Privatization, by Jeffrey Davis, Rolando Ossowski, Thomas Richardson, and Steven Barnett. 2000.
No. 195. The Eastern Caribbean Currency Union: Institutions, Performance, and Policy Issues, by Frits van Beek, Jose Roberto Rosales, Mayra Zermeno, Ruby Randall, and Jorge Shepherd. 2000.
No. 196. Trade and Trade Policies in Eastern and Southern Africa, by a staff team led by Arvind Subramanian, with Enrique Gelbard, Richard Harmsen, Katrin Elborgh-Wovtek. and Piroska Nagy. 2000.
No. 197. Deposit Insurance: Actual and Good Practices, by Gillian G.H. Garcia. 2000.
No. 198. Setting Up Treasuries in the Baltics, Russia, and Other Countries of the Former Soviet Union: An Assessment of IMF Technical Assistance, by Barry H. Potter and Jack Diamond. 2000.
No. 199. Ghana: Economic Development in a Democratic Environment, by Sergio Pereira Leite, Anthony Pellechio, Luisa Zanforlin, Girma Begashaw, Stefania Fabrizio, and Joachim Harnack. 2000.
No. 200. Pension Reform in the Baltics: Issues and Prospects, by Jerald Schiff. Niko Hobdari, Axel Schimmelpfennig, and Roman Zytek. 2000.
No. 201. Developments and Challenges in the Caribbean Region, by Samuel Iteam, Simon Cueva, Erik Lundback, Janet Stoctsky, and Stephen Tokarick. 2000.
No. 202. Adopting Inflation Targeting: Practical Issues for Emerging Market Countries, by Andrea Schaechter, Mark R. Stone, and Mark Zelmer. 2000.
No. 203. Modern Banking and OTC Derivatives Markets: The Transformation of Global Finance and Its Implications for Systemic Risk, by Garry Schinasi, R. Sean Craig, Burkhard Drees, and Charles Kramer. 2001.
No. 204 Monetary Union in West Africa (ECOWAS): Is It Desirable and How Could It Be Achieved? by Paul Masson and Catherine Pattillo. 2001.
No. 205. Stabilization and Savings Funds for Nonrenewable Resources, by Jeffrey M. Davis, Rolando J. Ossowski, James Daniel, and Steven A. Barnett. 2001.
Recent Occasional Papers are available for $20 each, with a price of $17.50 each to full-time university faculty members and students.
World Economic and Financial Surveys
World Economic Outlook*

A Survey by the Staff of the International Monetary Fund. Twice a year (May and October) (Arabic, English, French, and Spanish).

$42; $35 to full-time university faculty members and students.
World Economic Outlook: Supporting Studies

$25; $20 to full-time university faculty members and students.
International Capital Markets: Developments, Prospects, and Key Policy Issues*

By a staff team led by Donald J. Mathieson and Garry J. Schinasi. $42; $35 to full-time university faculty members and students.
Books and Seminar Volumes
A Better World for All: Progress Toward the International Development Goals*

Prepared by the staff of the IMF, World Bank, OECD, and IDB. (French, English, and Spanish). Free.
A Decade of Transition: Achievements and Challenges

Edited by Oleh Havrylyshyn and Saleh M. Nsouli. $26
East Timor: Establishing the Foundations of Sound Macroeconomic Management

Edited by Luis M. Valdivieso, Toshihide Endo, Luis V. Mendonça, Shamsuddin Tareq, and Alejandro Lopez-Mejia. $18
External Debt and Capital Flight in Sub-Saharan Africa

S. Ibi Ajayi and Mohsin S. Khan. $26
Historical Dictionary of the International Monetary Fund Norman K. Humphreys. $60
India at the Crossroads: Sustaining Growth and Reducing Poverty

Edited by Tim Callen, Patricia Reynolds, and Christopher Towe. $27
Inflation Targeting in Practice: Strategic and Operational Issues and Application to Emerging Market Economies

Edited by Mario I. Blejer, Alain Ize, Alfredo M. Leone, and Sergio Werlang. $24.50
Inflation Targeting in Transition Economies: The Case of the Czech Republic. Edited by Warren Coats. Free.
Kosovo: Macroeconomic Issues and Fiscal Sustainability

Edited by Robert J. Corker, Dawn E. Rehm, and Kristina Kostial. $18
Legal Aspects of Regulatory Treatment of Banks in Distress

Edited by Tobias M.C. Asser. $26
Reforming the International Monetary and Financial System

Edited by Peter B. Kenen and Alexander K. Swoboda. $32
Research Activities of the International Monetary Fund. Free.
Sovereign Assets and Liabilities Management

Edited by David Folkerts-Landau and Marcel Cassard. $26
Manuals and Guides
Balance of Payment Statistics International Standards and Guidelines. First Edition $75
Monetary and Financial Statistics Manual. (English, French). $35.
Financial Derivatives: A Supplement to the Fifth Edition (1993) of the Balance of Payments Manual. $21
IMF Glossary English-French-Arabic, 2000. $35
Economic Issues*
No. 20. Job Creation: Why Some Countries Do Better

By Pietro Garibaldi and Paulo Mauro. 2000. (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish). Free.
No. 21. Improving Governance and Fighting Corruption in the Baltic and CIS Countries: The Role of the IMF

By Thomas Wolf and Emine Gurgen. 2000. (Arabic, Chinese, Czech, English, French, Russian, Spanish). Free.
No. 22. The Challenge of Predicting Economic Crises

By Andrew Berg and Catherine Pattillo. 2000. (Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish). Free.
No. 23. Promoting Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa: Learning What Works

By Anupam Basu, Evangelos A. Calamitsis, and Dhaneshwar Ghura. 2000.

(Chinese, English, French, Spanish). Free.
No. 24. Full Dollarization: The Pros and Cons

By Andrew Berg and Eduardo Borensztein. 2000. (English, Russian, Spanish). Free.
No. 25. Controlling Pollution Using Taxes and Tradable Permits

By John Norregaard and Valérie Reppelin-Hill. 2000. Free.
No. 26. Rural Poverty in Developing Countries: Implications for Public Policy

By Mahmood Hasan Khan. 2001. Free.
No. 27. Tax Policy for Developing Countries

By Vito Tanzi and Howell H. Zee. 2001. Free.
Pamphlets
Financial Organizaton and Operations of the IMF

By the Treasurer’s Department. (Russian). Free.
Leaflet
Policy Statement on IMF Technical Assistance

Free.
Equity and Efficiency in the Reform of Price Subsidies: A Guide for Policymakers

By Sanjeev Gupta, Marihn Verhoeven, Robert Gillingham, Christian Schiller, Ali Mansoor, and Juan Pablo Cordoba. $15
Working Papers and Policy Discussion Papers*
IMF Working Papers and Policy Discussion Papers are designed to make IMF staff research available to a wider audience. They represent work in progress and reflect the views of the individual authors rather than those of the IMF.
Working Papers 00/85-00/216 and 01/1-01/48 were issued in FY2001.

$10 each; $290 for annual subscription.
Policy Discussion Papers 00/4-00/8 were issued in FY2001. $10 each; annual subscription is included as part of the subscription to Working Papers.
Country Reports*
IMF Country Reports provide comprehensive material on economic developments and trends in member countries, including key statistics.
Country Reports 00/63-00/164 and 01/1-01/66 were issued in FY2001.

$15 each.
Videos
Fabric of Reform (English/NTSC)$14.95
Fabric of Reform (English/PAL)$14.95
Fabric of Reform (French/NTSC)$14.95
Fabric of Reform (French/PAL)$14.95
Millennium: The IMF in the New Century (English/NTSC)$19.95
Millennium: The IMF in the New Century (English/PAL)$19.95
Millennium: The IMF in the New Century (Spanish/NTSC)$19.95
Millennium: The IMF in the New Century (Spanish/PAL)$19.95
Pathway to Growth (English/NTSC)$14.95
Pathway to Growth (English/PAL)$14.95
Pathway to Growth (Swahili/PAL)$14.95
Solving Real Problems (English/NTSC)$9.95
Solving Real Problems (English/PAL)$9.95
Solving Real Problems (French/PAL)$9.95

Opening of IMF Center

A new IMF Center, with a street-level entrance, opened to the public in November 2000. It features exhibits, a bookstore, a mini-theatre, and an auditorium that hosts the IMF’s Economic Forums series, briefings by IMF staff, and other events for the public. The Center’s permanent museum-style display traces the history of the international monetary system and the story of the IMF. The official opening took place on November 30, 2000; IMF Managing Director Horst Kohler and Washington, D.C., Mayor Anthony Williams headed a guest list of 900.

Copies of IMF publications and videos may be obtained from Publication Services, International Monetary Fund, 700 19th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20431, U.S.A.

Telephone: (202) 623-7430

E-mail: publications@imf.org

Telefax: (202) 623-7201

Internet: http://www.imf.org

Additional information about the IMF and its publications and videos—including the current Publications Catalog, a searchable IMF Publications Database, and ordering information and forms—is available on the World Wide Web (www.imf.org).

    Other Resources Citing This Publication