Chapter

APPENDIX III: Technical Assistance and Training, Relations with International Organizations, and External Relations

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
January 1989
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Technical assistance and training is extended to members in specific economic and financial topics, either at Fund headquarters or through staff missions to the member country concerned. To meet members’ requests, staff from almost every department and bureau of the Fund may be provided. Assistance may relate to a whole range of subjects, including general economic policy, balance of payments adjustment programs, legal matters, debt management, the problems that arise from inflation, exchange and trade systems, public finance issues, financial sector issues, accounting, statistics, and data processing.

The IMF Institute trains officials of member countries, both at headquarters and overseas, through courses and seminars that are held in either Arabic, English, French, or Spanish. It also organizes briefings for visiting officials and assists training programs of member countries and other international organizations by providing lectures in the Fund’s field of expertise.

During 1988/89, training at headquarters consisted of 15 courses and 3 high-level seminars, attended by 559 participants. The courses comprised two 16-week courses on financial analysis and policy, three 12-week courses on financial programming and policy, three 10-week courses on public finance, two 8-week courses on techniques of economic analysis, two 8-week courses on balance of payments methodology, two 8-week courses on money and banking statistics, and one 8-week course on government finance statistics. The courses on public finance were conducted in collaboration with the Fiscal Affairs Department, and those on balance of payments methodology, on government finance statistics, and on money and banking statistics in collaboration with the Bureau of Statistics. The three high-level seminars—on current legal issues affecting central banks, on public expenditure management, and on central banking—were conducted in collaboration with the Legal, Fiscal Affairs, and Central Banking Departments, respectively. In addition, the Institute organized 27 briefings at headquarters for a total of 232 visiting officials.

The provision of technical assistance represents an important part of the Fiscal Affairs Departments activities, and in 1988/89, as in previous years, this covered a wide range of issues, including tax policy and administration; budget presentation, preparation, and control; government accounting; fiscal reporting; and public enterprise finances. While the bulk of this assistance was to developing countries, the department also provided technical advice to an increasing number of developed and industrial countries.

Moreover, with the rapid expansion of SAF and ESAF activities, fiscal technical assistance played a key role in the design of Fund-supported structural adjustment programs. After detailed technical analysis, recommendations were made to increase government revenue, mainly through a broadening of the tax base; to rationalize expenditure policy; and to strengthen control procedures.

In 1988/89, technical assistance was provided mainly through staff missions and the use of members of the fiscal panel. Such assistance was provided to 57 countries (up from 50 in 1987/88), which comprised 24 long-term panel and 69 short-term staff/panel assignments in the field involving 61 panel members and 34 staff members. Staff at headquarters continued to provide support and guidance to experts on long-term assignments in the field. As in the preceding year, technical assistance consisted increasingly of short-term assignments and on-the-spot advice to country authorities.

The objective of the technical assistance provided by the Central Banking Department is to assist member countries in strengthening their technical and organizational capabilities in managing monetary policy and in regulating and developing the financial system. In recent years, financial sector reforms and modernization of monetary policy instruments have become key features of many Fund-supported adjustment programs, in particular SAF and ESAF programs. In the framework of these programs, the assistance has been used to explore options in the design of financial sector measures and to strengthen central banks so as to facilitate program implementation. At present, a considerable share of the department’s technical assistance activity is directly or indirectly related to these structural issues.

This technical assistance takes the form of staff advisory missions, assignment of long-term experts, and provision of information on issues of interest to member countries. In 1988/89, staff undertook 31 advisory missions, providing advice on a wide range of policy issues including bank regulation and supervision; financial sector structure and competitiveness; monetary policy design and implementation; financial sector reforms; development of money markets and open market policies; establishment of unit trusts; and reorganization of the banking sector. A special arrangement to provide consultant services to a member country in connection with a World Bank loan was also carried out. In addition, departmental staff participated in 5 joint Bank-Fund advisory missions. Central banking experts were assigned to the monetary authorities of 51 member countries and 4 regional organizations, providing a total of almost 72 man-years of assistance. About 91 percent of this assistance was in the areas of research and policy and bank regulation and supervision; management, general operations, external debt, and accounting made up the remaining 9 percent.

As in recent years, the Bureau of Statistics again placed emphasis on providing technical assistance to member countries that are actual or prospective users of Fund resources. Priority was also given to meeting requests from countries whose statistical base was at an early stage of development.

Assistance was provided primarily through missions comprising staff members of the bureau and through training of national statisticians at Fund headquarters. Staff also participated in a number of area department missions when statistical issues were particularly important or complex. Mission activity was designed to improve the currentness, coverage, and quality of data required for the Fund’s analytical and operational needs. The principal areas of statistics covered were money and banking, government finance, balance of payments, international banking and external debt, and general economic data. Training activities at Fund headquarters consisted of familiarizing national statisticians with current statistical methodologies as well as with their application to individual cases.

During the year the staff of the bureau participated in 58 technical assistance missions to 34 countries and provided training at headquarters to officials from 9 member countries. Staff also provided lecturing assistance on public finance statistics at a World Bank seminar in Costa Rica and on balance of payments statistics at seminars organized by the Center for Latin American Monetary Studies in Cuba and by the Central American Monetary Council in El Salvador.

The Bureau of Computing Services provides narrowly focused technical assistance on electronic data processing to member countries. Although budgetary constraints and reduced staff resources limited the number of technical assistance missions provided during the financial year, short-term missions were authorized where it was felt they could facilitate existing Fund programs; improve the processing and analysis of economic information (such as money and banking statistics); and provide advice and guidance on data organization and modeling, on data base management systems, and on data processing strategies and procedures to implement information management systems. Missions were undertaken to Abu Dhabi, Cyprus, Jordan, Malaysia, and Poland to advise on improving the methodology for processing economic and financial data and to provide operational guidance not generally available elsewhere.

As a result of the expanding role of technology, an increased number of representatives from member countries, regional institutions, international organizations, and private companies visited the bureau to acquaint themselves with and to share experiences on the management and operation of economic and financial data systems. These visits ranged from one to three days of general overview briefings to a one-month hands-on training program. They covered such aspects as data administration and data modeling capabilities, financial reporting, and computer operations to improve the quality and usefulness of information bases and to provide for easy access and exchange of data with other organizational units inside and outside national institutions.

Relations with Other International Organizations

Cooperation with other international and regional organizations with related responsibilities or common interests continue to play an important role in enabling the Fund to fulfill its responsibilities with respect to international monetary and financial matters. Close ties are maintained with a number of international and regional organizations, including the United Nations, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Commission of the European Communities, and the Bank for International Settlements.

The Director of the Fund Office in the United Nations and the Special Representative to the United Nations is responsible for relations with the UN and its subsidiary bodies. The Office in Europe, located in Paris, deals in particular with the BIS, CEC, and OECD. The Geneva Office maintains close relations with the GATT, the UN Conference on Trade and Development, and other UN organizations located in Geneva. Liaison activities include attendance at meetings, participation in seminars and expert groups, and exchange of information and pertinent documents. The work of these offices is supplemented, as necessary, by assignment of staff and technical experts from headquarters. In addition, staff in the field attend and participate in numerous meetings and seminars, such as those of the regional economic and financial organizations in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East, including the regional development banks.

The Fund enjoys a unique relationship with the World Bank, and collaboration between the two institutions includes joint participation in missions, attendance at each other’s Executive Board meetings, regular exchange of documents and information, and attendance at and participation in conferences and seminars (see also the discussion above on Fund-Bank collaboration). Fund staff attended a number of aid coordination meetings held under World Bank auspices, including Aid Groups, Consultative Groups, and Donors’ Conferences, and provided background documents for some of these meetings.

Long-standing cooperative arrangements with the GATT regarding consultations with common member countries on trade restrictions imposed for balance of payments purposes continued to involve staff participation and provision of pertinent documents. In addition, Fund staff attended meetings of the GATT Council of Representatives as well as the annual session of the CONTRACTING PARTIES to the GATT. Progess within the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations continued to be closely monitored in the Fund through staff attendance at meetings of many of the trade negotiating groups and through contacts with the GATT Secretariat. Reflecting the increasing importance to the Fund of the GATT’s work in this area, the Managing Director addressed the Ministerial Mid-Term Review of the Uruguay Round in Montreal on December 6, 1988.

The Managing Director participated in a number of meetings convened under the auspices of various international and regional organizations, most notably the United Nations, where he attended regular meetings of the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). On September 12, 1988 he addressed the Ad Hoc Committee of the Whole of the General Assembly on the Mid-Term Review of Implementation of the United Nations Program of Action for African Economic Recovery and Development, 1986–1990 (UNPAAERD).

External Relations

During the year, the Fund significantly broadened efforts to explain its role and policies to a wider audience, and continued to place priority on reversing the negative perceptions of the Fund held in a number of member countries. The Fund was actively involved in a concentrated public information program in the Federal Republic of Germany before the 1988 Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors held in Berlin (West). This information effort, which was coordinated by the German authorities and involved Fund-wide staff participation, was largely credited with ameliorating the impact of anti-Fund propaganda throughout Germany.

Considerable interest in the Fund by the general public and the press was stimulated by the creation of an external contingency mechanism in the Fund, the review of the extended Fund facility, the first programs under the newly created enhanced structural adjustment facility, developments under the debt strategy, and the continuing discussions on the Ninth Quota Review. To help meet this growing interest, the Managing Director and senior staff delivered addresses on a wide range of international economic issues at both international and national forums. Fund staff also delivered papers and participated in conferences, seminars, and symposia. The seminar program for nonofficials again played an important role in the Fund’s external relations effort. One seminar was held during the financial year, in Hamburg on May 5–7, 1988, and arrangements were completed for four other seminars.

During the financial year, the Fund continued to expand its contacts with the news media in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and North America as part of an ongoing effort to improve public understanding of the institution and its role in the international monetary system. Presentations on the role and work of the Fund were also given to representatives of academic, business, financial, labor, and political groups under the Visitors’ Program. The IMF Visitors’ Center maintained an active calendar of seminars on a variety of international economic issues, as well as presenting art exhibitions (in collaboration with embassies of member countries) and other cultural events such as film screenings and concerts.

The Fund’s publications play a major role in disseminating information on its work. The Fund has a vigorous publications program, and both the number of titles and the variety of subject matter have continued to expand. A new pamphlet series was introduced to explain the Fund’s policies and activities to a broader audience in nontechnical language, and five pamphlets were produced during the financial year in English, French, German, and Spanish. The World Economic Outlook and other publications in the “World Economic and Financial Surveys” series generate considerable public attention, as do the more specialized topics covered in the “Occational Papers” series.

Executive Directors and Staff

A list of Executive Directors and their voting power on April 30, 1989 is given in Appendix VI. The changes in membership of the Executive Board during 1988/89 are shown in Appendix VII.

In the financial year ended April 30, 1989, there were 132 appointments to the Fund’s regular staff and 93 separations. At the end of the financial year, the staff numbered 1,691 and was drawn from 100 countries.

Table III.1Publications Issued, Financial Year Ended April 30, 1989
Reports and Other Documents
Annual Report of the Executive Board for the Financial Year Ended April 30, 1988
(English, French, German, and Spanish). Free.
Annual Report on Exchange Arrangements and Exchange Restrictions, 1988
$12.00 each.
By-Laws, Rules and Regulations
Forty-Fifth Issue (English, French, and Spanish). Free.
Selected Decisions of the International Monetary Fund and Selected Documents, Thirteenth Issue (French and Spanish). Free.
Selected Decisions of the International Monetary Fund and Selected Documents, Supplement to Thirteenth Issue (English). Free.
Summary Proceedings of the Forty-Third Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors. Free.
Subscription Publications
Balance of Payments Statistics
A two-part yearbook and 12 monthly issues. $54.00 a year. $27.00 to university faculty members and students. $25.00 for yearbook only.
Direction of Trade Statistics
Monthly, with yearbook. $52.00 a year. $26.00 to university faculty members and students. $18.00 for yearbook only.
Government Finance Statistics Yearbook
Introduction and titles of lines in English, French, and Spanish. $32.00. $16.00 to university faculty members and students.
International Financial Statistics
Monthly, with yearbook (English, French, and Spanish). $148.00 a year. $74.00 to university faculty members and students. Yearbook, $30.00. Individual monthly copies, $15.00 each.
Staff Papers
Four times a year. $24.00 a year. $12.00 to university faculty members and students.
The five publications listed above may be obtained at a special rate of $230.00 ($115.00 for university faculty members and students).
For users of Fund publications that have access to a computer, magnetic tape subscriptions to Balance of Payments Statistics, Direction of Trade Statistics, Government Finance Statistics Yearbook, and International Financial Statistics are available at $1,850.00 a year each for single users and $7,500.00 a year each for time-sharing companies. This price includes the book version. The price for universities is $950.00 a year for each publication.
Occasional Papers
No. 58. The Implications of Fund-Supported Adjustment Programs for Poverty: Experiences in Selected Countries
By Peter S. Heller, A. Lans Bovenberg, Thanos Catsambas, Ke-Young Chu, and Parthasarathi Shome.
No. 59. The Measurement of Fiscal Impact: Methodological Issues Edited by Mario I. Blejer and Ke-Young Chu.
No. 60. Policies for Developing Forward Foreign Exchange Markets By Peter J. Quirk, Graham Hacche, Viktor Schoofs, and Lothar Weniger.
No. 61. Policy Coordination in the European Monetary System. Part I: The European Monetary System: A Balance Between Rules and Discretion
By Manuel Guitián.
Part II: Monetary Coordination Within the European Monetary System: Is There a Rule?
By Massimo Russo and Giuseppe Tullio.
No. 62. The Common Agricultural Policy of the European Community: Principles and Consequences
By Julius Rosenblatt, Thomas Mayer, Kasper Bartholdy, Dimitrios Demekas, Sanjeev Gupta, and Leslie Lipschitz.
No. 63. Issues and Developments in International Trade Policy

By Margaret Kelly, Naheed Kirmani, Miranda Xafa, Clemens Boonekamp, and Peter Winglee.
No. 64. The Federal Republic of Germany: Adjustment in a Surplus Country

By Leslie Lipschitz, Jeroen Kremers, Thomas Mayer, and Donogh McDonald.
Occasional Papers are available for $7.50 each, with a special price of $4.50 each for university faculty members and students.
World Economic and Financial Surveys
International Capital Markets: Developments and Prospects

By a Staff Team from the Exchange and Trade Relations and Research Departments.

$15.00 ($10.00 for university faculty members and students).
Multilateral Official Debt Rescheduling: Recent Experience

By Peter M. Keller, with Nissanke E. Weerasinghe.

$10.00 ($6.00 for university faculty members and students).
Primary Commodities: Market Developments and Outlook

By the Commodities Division of the Research Department

$10.00 ($6.00 for university faculty members and students).
Staff Studies for the World Economic Outlook

By the Research Department of the International Monetary Fund

$15.00 ($10.00 for university faculty members and students).
World Economic Outlook, October 1988: Revised Projections by the Staff of the International Monetary Fund

$12.00 ($8.00 for university faculty members and students).
World Economic Outlook, April 1989: A Survey by the Staff of the International Monetary Fund

$25.00 ($15.00 for university faculty members and students).
Books
Aspectos del presupuesto público

Edited by A. Premchand and A.L. Antonaya.

$12.50.
Economic Development in Seven Pacific Island Countries

By Christopher Browne, with Douglas A. Scott.

$18.00.
Economic Policy Coordination: Proceedings of an International Seminar Held in Hamburg.

Moderator, Wilfried Guth.

$15.00.
External Debt: Definition, Statistical Coverage and Methodology, A Report by an International Working Group on External Debt Statistics of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Bank for International Settlements, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (English, French, and Spanish).

$12.00.
Politiques Economiques, Croissance et Equilibre Extérieur dans les

Pays du Maghreb.

$18.00.
Value-Added Tax: International Practice and Problems

By Alan A. Tait.

$29.50.
Booklets
Helping the Poor: The IMF’s New Facilities for Structural Adjustment

By Joslin Landell-Mills (English, French, German, and Spanish). Free.
Promoting Economic Stability: The IMF’s Compensatory and Contingency Financing Facility

By David M. Cheney (English). Free.
Ten Common Misconceptions About the Fund

By the External Relations Department (English, French, German, and Spanish). Free.
The IMF and the World Bank: How Do They Differ?

By David D. Driscoll (English, French, German, and Spanish). Free.
What Is the International Monetary Fund?

By David D. Driscoll (English, French, German, and Spanish). Free.
Other

Finance and Development

Issued jointly with the World Bank; quarterly (English, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish). Free.
IMF Survey

Twice monthly but only once in December (English, French, and Spanish). Private firms and individuals are charged at an annual rate of $45.00.
Copies of the Fund’s publications may be obtained from Publication Services, International Monetary Fund, 700 19th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20431, U.S.A.

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