Selected Decisions and Selected Documents of the International Monetary Fund

Article IX, Section 5 Immunity of Archives

International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
April 2004
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Opening of Fund Archives

The Executive Board decides that outside persons, on request, will be given access to documentary materials maintained in the Fund’s archives that are over 30 years old until September 8, 1999, after which access will be given to Executive Board documents that are over 5 years old, to minutes of Executive Board meetings that are over 10 years old, and to other documentary materials maintained in the Fund’s archives that are over 20 years old, provided, however, that access to Fund documents originally classified as “Secret” or “Strictly Confidential” will be granted only upon the Managing Director’s consent to their declassification. It is understood that this consent will be granted in all instances but those which, despite the passage of time, the material remains highly confidential or sensitive. Access to the following will not be granted: (a) legal documents and records maintained by the Legal Department that are protected by attorney-client privilege; (b) documentary materials furnished to the Fund by external parties, including member countries, their instrumentalities and agencies and central banks, that bear confidentiality markings, unless such external parties consent to their declassification; (c) personnel files and medical or other records pertaining to individuals; and (d) documents and proceedings of the Grievance Committee.

Decision No. 11192-(96/2), January 17, 1996,

as amended by Decision Nos. 11915-(99/23), March 8, 1999, and


November 11, 2002

Policy on Access to Fund’s Archives—Review

1. Given the recent Executive Board decision (Decision No. 12882, (02/113) to shorten the period for public access to minutes of Executive Board Meetings from 20 years to 10 years, the Executive Board agrees that outside persons will be given access to the following additional document series after 10 years: BUFF Statements by the Managing Director or IMF Staff to Executive Board, BUFF/EDs, Gray Documents, Précis of Executive Board Meetings (replaced by Weekly Précis, replaced by Weekly Decisions Report), Executive Board Seminars Agendas and Minutes, and Secretary’s Journal of Executive Board Informal Sessions Minutes.

2. Since the Board’s approval of the Policy on Access to IMF Archives in 1996, staff have continued to follow the long-standing policy of requesting Board consent for ad hoc exceptions to the policy on behalf of external researchers. The Executive Board agrees that a reasonable cost recovery scheme should be introduced for administering ad hoc requests for Board approval of exceptions to the archives access rules, to be developed by the staff in consultation with the relevant departments. No charge would be assessed for requests received from government officials of member countries. (SM/03/115, 4/2/03)

Decision No. 12981-(03/34)

April 9, 2003

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