Article XII, Section 7
- International Monetary Fund
- Published Date:
- April 2011
Publication of Reports
Review of the Fund’s Transparency Policy
Recognizing the importance of transparency, the Fund will strive to disclose documents and information on a timely basis unless strong and specific reasons argue against such disclosure. This overarching principle is reflected in the specific provisions of the Decision set forth below and of other Fund policies on transparency. The principle respects, and will be applied to ensure, the voluntary nature of publication of documents that pertain to member countries consistent with the need for the Fund to safeguard confidential information and with the provisions of Article XII, Section 8 of the Articles of Agreement concerning publication by the Fund of its views with respect to a member.
Authorization and Consent
1. The Managing Director shall arrange for publication by the Fund of the documents on the attached list, subject to the consent of the member concerned in the case of Documents 1–11, 13, and 16–23 and to the authorization of the World Bank in the case of Documents 6, 11, and 19. For purposes of this decision: (i) Documents 1–4, 6, 9–10, 11, 13, 17, 19, and 22–23 will be referred to as “Country Documents”; (ii) Documents 5, 7–8, 16, 18, and 20–21 will be referred to as “Country Policy Intentions Documents;” and (iii) Documents 14 and 15 will be referred to as “Fund Policy Documents.”
2. a. A member’s consent to Fund publication of Documents 1–11, 13, 16–23 shall be voluntary but presumed. This presumption shall mean that the Fund encourages each member to consent to the publication by the Fund of such documents. For the purposes of encouraging members and obtaining their consent to publication, the following procedures shall apply.
b. Except as otherwise provided in this Decision, Fund publication of an applicable document would occur, unless, prior to the conclusion of the Executive Board meeting at which that document is considered or the date of adoption of a decision on a lapse-of-time basis to which that document relates, the member concerned notifies the Fund that it: (i) objects to the publication of the document; or (ii) requires additional time to decide whether or not to publish; (iii) consents to publication but subject to reaching agreement with the Fund on deletions to the document. In the absence of a notification referred to in (i), (ii), or (iii) above, Documents 1–11, 13, and 16–23 shall be published by the Fund promptly after the relevant Executive Board meeting or the date of adoption of a decision on a lapse-of-time basis to which the document relates. Members who notify the Fund as provided for in (ii) or (iii) above are expected to reach a decision on publication of the document in question within thirty calendar days of the Executive Board meeting or decision. Where a member provides the Fund with a notification as provided for in (i), (ii), or (iii) above, the applicable document shall not be published unless the member’s explicit consent is received by the Fund.
c. A member that requests access to Fund resources through the approval of a Fund arrangement or the completion of a review under an arrangement in the General Resources Account or the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), or access to Fund resources under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Trust, or assistance through the approval of a Policy Support Instrument (PSI) or the completion of a review under a PSI, will be expected to indicate that it intends to consent to the publication of the related Board documents (Documents 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 18–22 and staff reports on the use of Fund resources included in Document 9, as the case may be) before the Board meeting or the date of adoption of a decision on a lapse-of-time basis to which those documents relate.
d. With respect to Documents 3, 5–6, and 18–19, paragraph 2(b) will only apply if the applicable document has been circulated to the Executive Board in the context of a meeting or a proposal for lapse-of-time approval of a decision. If the document has been circulated for information only, paragraph 17 will apply and the member’s explicit consent must be provided to the Fund prior to publication.
e. Paragraph 2(b) will not apply to Chairman’s Statements for the use of Fund resources (Document 10), Chairman’s Statements in the context of a PSI (Document 23), or Article IV Public Information Notices (Document 4). A member’s consent to the publication of these documents is governed by paragraphs 10 and 11 of this Decision.
f. In respect of any document that is subject to the procedures set out in paragraph 2 (b), the Secretary’s cover memorandum will indicate that the document will be published promptly after the relevant Executive Board meeting or the date of adoption of a decision on a lapse-of-time basis, unless the member concerned notifies the Fund as provided for in paragraph 2(b)(i), (ii), or (iii) above.
3. a. The Managing Director will not recommend that the Executive Board approve (i) a PRGF arrangement or completion of a review under such arrangement, or (ii) a HIPC decision point or completion point decision, or (iii) a member’s request for a PSI or the completion of a review under a PSI, if the member concerned does not explicitly consent to the publication of its Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (I-PRSP), Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), PRSP preparation status report, or PRSP annual progress report (APR) (Document 5 or Document 18, as the case may be).
b. The Managing Director will generally not recommend that the Executive Board approve a request to use the Fund’s general resources that would result in the relevant member obtaining exceptional access, unless that member explicitly consents to the publication of the associated staff report. For purposes of this paragraph: (i) approval of the use of the Fund’s general resources includes the completion of a review under an arrangement; and (ii) exceptional access means access by a member to the Fund’s general resources, under any type of Fund financing, in excess of an annual limit of 200 percent of the member’s quota, or a cumulative limit (net of scheduled repurchases) of 600 percent of the member’s quota.
4. Except as provided in paragraph 10, a member’s explicit consent shall, for the purposes of this Decision, be communicated in writing, normally to the Secretary of the Fund. Such consent may be communicated by the Executive Director elected, appointed, or designated by the member.
Member’s Statement Regarding Fund Staff Reports
5. If a Fund staff report (Documents 1, 9, 17, and 22) on a member is to be published under this decision, the member concerned shall be given the opportunity to provide a statement regarding the staff report and the Executive Board assessment. Such statement shall be communicated to the Fund and published together with the staff report.
Deletions and Rephrasing in Country Documents and Country Policy Intentions Documents
6. a. For purposes of publication, deletions may be made to a Country Document, or a Country Policy Intentions Document (Documents 7–8, and 20–21) that has been the basis of a Fund decision, or of Document 16, in accordance with paragraph 7 below. Deletions should be limited to: (i) highly market-sensitive material, mainly on the outlook for exchange rates, interest rates, the financial sector, and assessments of sovereign liquidity and solvency; and (ii) material not in the public domain, on a policy the country authorities intend to implement, where premature disclosure of the operational details of the policy would, in itself, seriously undermine the ability of the member to implement those policy intentions. For purposes of this Decision, highly-market sensitive material shall mean material that (a) is not in the public domain, (b) is market relevant within the near term, and (c) is sufficiently specific to create a clear risk of triggering a disruptive market reaction if disclosed. Politically sensitive material shall not be deleted unless the material satisfies (i) or (ii) above. Information relating to any performance criterion or structural benchmark (Documents 1, 7–9, and 16–17), or to any assessment criterion or structural benchmark (Documents 1, 20–22), may not be deleted, unless the information is of such character that would have enabled it to be communicated to the Fund in a side letter pursuant to Decision No. 12067-(99/108), September 22, 1999.
b. If the Managing Director determines that the proposed deletions satisfy criteria (i) or (ii) in paragraph 6(a), he may decide that the deletions shall be accompanied by minor rephrasing of text, whenever such rephrasing would help retain maximum candor or minimize the risks of misinterpretation.
7. a. Requests for deletions to a Country Document, or a Country Policy Intentions Document (Documents 7–8 and 20–21) that has been the basis of a Fund decision, or of Document 16 may be made by the member concerned. Other members may also request deletions to Documents 1–3, 9, 17, and 22 if (i) the text to be deleted relates to that other member, (ii) the member to whom the document relates consents to the deletion, and (iii) the criteria set out in paragraph 6 are met.
b. Deletions shall be requested in writing. Such requests are expected to be communicated to the Fund no later than two days before: (i) the Executive Board meeting at which the document is discussed or (ii) the date of adoption of a decision on a lapse-of-time basis to which the document relates. In any event, requests for deletions shall be made no later than (i) twenty-one calendar days after the Executive Board has considered the document, or (ii) thirty-five calendar days after the document was issued to the Executive Board, whichever is later.
c. Once approved by the Managing Director, deletions and related rephrasing shall be circulated to the Executive Board in redlined form. The modified document circulated to the Executive Board shall include the justification for each modification made. In the case of a serious disagreement between the Managing Director and the member regarding the member’s request for deletions, the Managing Director, or the Executive Director elected, appointed, or designated by that member, may refer the matter to the Executive Board. If the Managing Director is of the view that the deletions would result in a document that, if published, would undermine the overall assessment and credibility of the Fund, the Managing Director shall recommend to the Executive Board that the document not be published.
Corrections to Country Documents and Country Policy Intentions Documents
8. Corrections to Country Documents and Country Policy Intentions Documents covered under this decision shall be limited to the correction of (i) data and typographical errors, (ii) factual mistakes, (iii) mischaracterization of views expressed by the authorities concerned, and (iv) evident ambiguity. Corrections shall normally take the form of substitution of text in existing sentences rather than the addition or deletion of entire sentences.
9. Corrections to a Country Document or Country Policy Intentions Document are expected to be requested no later than two days before the conclusion of the Executive Board’s consideration of the document or the adoption of a decision on a lapse-of-time basis to which the document relates. In any event, corrections made after Executive Board consideration shall be limited to (i) cases where the correction is brought to the attention of the Executive Board before the conclusion of the Executive Board’s consideration of the document, and (ii) cases where the failure to make the correction would undermine the overall value of publication. Corrections shall be circulated to the Executive Board in redlined form. Those corrections with significant implications for the substance of the document shall be discussed and justified in a supplementary staff report or in a corrections memorandum issued to the Executive Board.
Chairman’s Statements in Respect of Use of Fund Resources and the Policy Support Instrument
10. After the Executive Board (i) adopts a decision regarding a member’s use of Fund resources (including a decision completing a review under a Fund arrangement), or (ii) adopts a decision approving a PSI, or conducts a review under a PSI, or (iii) completes a discussion on a member’s participation in the HIPC Initiative, or (iv) completes a discussion on a member’s I-PRSP, PRSP, PRSP preparation status report, or APR in the context of the use of Fund resources or a PSI, a Chairman’s statement on the discussion, emphasizing the key points made by Executive Directors, will be released to the public. Where relevant, the Chairman’s statement will contain a summary of HIPC Initiative decisions pertaining to the member and the Executive Board’s views on the member’s I-PRSP, PRSP, PRSP preparation status report, or APR in the context of use of Fund resources or a PSI. Waivers for nonobservance, or of applicability, of performance criteria, and any other matter as may be decided by the Executive Board from time to time (Document 12), and waivers for nonobservance of assessment criteria, and any other matter as may be decided by the Executive Board from time-to-time (Document 24), will be mentioned in the factual statement section of the press release containing the Chairman’s statement or in a factual statement issued in lieu of a Chairman’s statement as provided for in paragraph 12(b). Before a Chairman’s statement is released, it will, if any Executive Director so requests, be read by the Chairman to the Executive Board and Executive Directors will have an opportunity to comment at that time. The Executive Director elected, appointed, or designated by the member concerned will have the opportunity to review the Chairman’s statement, to propose minor revisions, if any, and to consent to its publication immediately after the Executive Board meeting. Notwithstanding the above, no press release or Chairman’s statement published under this paragraph shall contain any reference to a discussion or decision pertaining to a member’s overdue financial obligations to the Fund, where a press release following an Executive Board decision to limit the member’s use of Fund resources because of the overdue financial obligations has not yet been issued. In the case of an Executive Board meeting pertaining solely to such a discussion or decision, no Chairman’s statement will be published.
Article IV Public Information Notices
11. Following the completion of an Article IV consultation for a member, the Fund may release a Public Information Notice (PIN) reporting on the results of the consultation. If a member has consented to the publication of Document 1, such publication will be made along with the publication of a PIN. PINs will be in accordance with the following terms:
a. The PIN will be brief (normally 3–4 pages) and will consist of two sections:
(i) a background section, a draft of which should be attached to the staff report whenever possible, with factual information on the economy of a member, including a table of economic indicators; and
(ii) the Fund’s assessment of the member’s prospects and policies. This section will correspond closely to the Chairman’s summing up of the Executive Board discussion.
b. The Executive Director concerned will have the opportunity to review the draft PIN prior to its release to propose changes, if any, consistent with paragraphs 6 through 9 above.
c. In case of a serious disagreement between the Managing Director and the Executive Director concerned on the draft, either may request the Executive Board to consider the matter.
d. The PIN will be released shortly following the completion of the Article IV consultation, but in any event not before the circulation of the summing up as a Fund document.
e. The following practices are confirmed: (i) the release of PINs shall not affect the current Article IV consultation summing up process. In particular, the Chairman’s summing up will continue to be provided to the Executive Director concerned for review following the Executive Board meeting, and (ii) the possibility of releasing PINs shall not affect in any way the staff’s reporting to the Executive Board on consultation discussions with members.
Non-publication of PINs and Chairman’s Statements in Selected Cases—Release by the Fund of Factual Statements in Lieu
12. a. If a member does not consent to the publication of a PIN following the Executive Board’s conclusion of an Article IV consultation with that member (Document 4), or following a post-program monitoring, ex post assessment or ex post evaluation discussion by the Executive Board pertaining to that member (Document 13), a brief factual statement announcing that the Executive Board has concluded that consultation or discussion will be released instead.
b. If a member does not consent to the publication of a Chairman’s statement (Documents 10 and 23) under paragraph 10 where one would be applicable, or if no Chairman’s statement has been issued because a decision was taken on a lapse-of-time basis, a brief factual statement describing the Executive Board’s decision relating to (i) that member’s use of Fund resources (including HIPC initiative decisions (Document 11), Document 12, and consideration of Documents 5, when relevant), or (ii) the approval of a PSI for that member, or the conduct of a review under that member’s PSI (including Document 24 and consideration of Document 18, when relevant) will be released instead.
Fund Policy Documents
13. After the Executive Board meets on policy issues in a formal or informal meeting, or in an Executive Board seminar, or adopts a decision on a lapse-of-time basis, it shall be presumed that the staff report under consideration (Document 14) and/or a PIN (Document 15) on the discussion will be published. This presumption will, inter alia, apply to matters upon which deliberation is ongoing, but it is recognized that the risk of undermining the Fund’s decision-making process may constitute a reason not to publish immediately in such cases. The presumption will not apply to policy issues dealing with the administrative matters of the Fund, except with respect to matters pertaining to the Fund’s income, financing or budget matters that do not involve market sensitive information. Publication of a policy paper or PIN will require a decision of the Executive Board. Staff is expected to set out a recommendation on publication of a Board policy paper and/or its related PIN in the cover memorandum of the relevant document and, where publication is not recommended, to explain why. Whenever publication is approved, the paper and/or PIN will normally be published promptly after an Executive Board meeting, seminar, or date of adoption of a lapse-of-time decision to which the documents relate. Whenever publication is proposed of a paper or PIN prepared for Executive Board seminars, publication will be deemed to have been approved by the Board unless an Executive Director objects by the date set forth in the Secretary’s cover memorandum.
14. A PIN on policy discussions will be based on the decision adopted by the Executive Board and/or the Chairman’s summing-up, or the Chairman’s Concluding Remarks, as the case may be. It will also include a short section setting out background information.
15. a. Prior to the publication of a Fund policy staff report, the Managing Director may make necessary factual corrections, deletions, and related rephrasing with respect to the report (including of highly market-sensitive material and country-specific references). However, staff’s proposals in a report shall not be modified prior to its publication. In cases where confusion might arise from differences between staff’s proposals in the report and the Executive Board’s conclusions regarding those proposals as reflected in the PIN pertaining to the Executive Board discussion, it would be clearly indicated in the published version of the report which staff proposals the Executive Board did not endorse.
b. Paragraph 15(a) shall not apply to the World Economic Outlook and Global Financial Stability Report. In accordance with established practice, staff may modify these documents prior to their publication in order to, inter alia, take into account views expressed at the relevant Executive Board meeting.
Other Changes to Documents
16. Before a document is published, the following shall be removed: (i) references to unpublished Fund documents, (ii) references to certain internal processes that are not disclosed to the public under existing policies, including inquiries regarding possible misreporting and breaches of members’ obligations, and (iii) any discussion of a breach of obligation under Article VIII, Section 5 or misreporting under applicable Fund policies that the Managing Director has proposed be treated as de minimis in nature as defined in paragraph 1 of Decision No. 13849-(06/108), December 20, 2006.
Timing and Means of Fund Publication
17. Documents may be published under this decision only after their consideration by the Executive Board, except for documents that are circulated for information only including: (i) I-PRSPs and PRSPs; (ii) joint staff advisory notes (JSANs); and (iii) Reports on Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSCs) and Assessment of Financial Sector Supervision and Regulation (AFSSR) Reports. Documents under item (ii) may be published only after the stated period within which an Executive Director may request that the document be placed on the agenda of the Executive Board. Other documents covered by this paragraph may be published immediately after circulation to the Executive Board.
18. Publication by the Fund under this decision shall normally mean publication on its website but may include publication through other media.
Article XII, Section 8
19. Nothing in this decision shall be construed to be inconsistent with the power of the Fund to decide under Article XII, Section 8, by a seventy percent majority of the total voting power, to publish a report made to a member regarding its monetary or economic conditions and developments which directly tend to produce a serious disequilibrium in the international balance of payments of members.
20. In the case of a document pertaining to a country which is not a member of the Fund: (i) all references to “member” in this decision shall be taken to mean “country”; and (ii) all references to “Executive Director elected, appointed, or designated by that member” shall be taken to refer to the appropriate authorities of the country concerned.
21. This decision is expected to be reviewed in light of experience no later than 2012 and thereafter at intervals not to exceed five years.
List of Documents Covered by the Decision
I. Surveillance and Supporting Documents
1. Article IV and Combined Article IV/Use of Fund Resources Staff Reports
2. Selected Issues Papers and Statistical Appendices
3. Reports on Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSCs), Financial Sector Stability Assessment (FSSA)
Reports and Assessment of Financial Sector Supervision and Regulation (AFSSR) Reports
4. Public Information Notices (PINs) following Article IV consultations and regional surveillance discussions
II. Use of Fund Resources by a Member
5. Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (I-PRSPs), Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs), PRSP Preparation Status Reports, and PRSP Annual Progress Reports (APRs)
6. Joint Fund/World Bank Staff Advisory Notes (JSANs) on I-PRSPs, PRSPs, PRSP Preparation Status Reports, and APRs
7. Letters of Intent and Memoranda of Economic and Financial Policies (LOIs/MEFPs)
8. Technical Memoranda of Understanding (TMUs) with policy content
9. Use of Fund Resources, Post-Program Monitoring, Ex Post Assessment, and Ex Post Evaluation of exceptional access arrangements Staff Reports (excluding staff reports dealing solely with a member’s overdue financial obligations to the Fund)
10. Chairman’s Statements
11. Preliminary, decision point, and completion point documents under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative
12. Statements on Fund decisions on waivers of applicability, or for nonobservance, of performance criteria, and any other matter as may be decided by the Executive Board from time-to time
13. PINs following Executive Board discussions on post-program monitoring, ex post assessments or ex post evaluations
III. Fund Policy Documents
14. Fund Policy Issues Papers
15. PINs following Executive Board discussions on policy issues
IV. Staff Monitored Programs (SMPs)
16. LOIs/MEFPs for SMPs
17. Stand-alone Staff Reports on SMPs
V. Policy Support Instrument (PSI)
18. I-PRSPs, PRSPs, PRSP Preparation Status Reports, and APRs in the context of PSIs
19. Joint Fund/World Bank Staff Advisory Notes (JSANs) on I-PRSPs and PRSPs in the context of PSIs
20. Letters of Intent and Memoranda of Economic and Financial Policies (LOIs/MEFPs) for PSIs
21. Technical Memoranda of Understanding (TMUs) with policy content for PSIs
22. Staff Reports for PSIs
23. Chairman’s Statements for PSIs
24. Statements on Fund decisions on waivers of nonobservance of assessment criteria, and any other matter as may be decided by the Executive Board from time-to-time.
(SM/05/343, Sup. 1, 9/22/05) (SM/09/264, Sup. 3, 12/9/09)
Decision No. 13564-(05/85),
October 5, 2005,
as amended by Decision Nos.13814-(06/98), November 15, 2006,
13817-(06/98), November 15, 2006,
13849 (06/108), December 20, 2006,
14253-(09/8), January 27, 2009,
14284 (09/29), March 24, 2009,
14354-(09/79), July 23, 2009,
effective January 7, 2010, and
14497-(09/126), December 17, 2009,
effective March 17, 2010
The Acting Chair’s Summing Up—The Fund’s Transparency Policy—Issues and Next Steps, Executive Board Meeting 03/87, September 12, 2003
Directors welcomed the opportunity to review the implementation of the Fund’s transparency policy and to discuss the next steps. They considered the key issue for this transparency review to be whether to move to a policy of presumed publication of country staff reports. Directors acknowledged that progress had been made in publication rates for most types of documents and in most regions under the policy of voluntary publication, reflecting the broad acceptance among the membership of the benefits of transparency.
Most Directors noted that progress in publication rates has been slow and unevenly distributed across regions, and that further impetus is needed by moving to a policy of presumed publication. These Directors noted that publication of country reports would help strengthen surveillance and provide for greater accountability of the Fund. Extending the presumed publication policy to all documents related to the use of Fund resources (UFR) would help put into context members’ requests for the use of Fund resources as set forth in their published Letters of Intent (LOIs)/Memoranda on Economic and Financial Policies (MEFPs), and explain the basis for management’s recommendation that the Board approve these requests.
Many other Directors, however, pointed out that the information provided by the staff showed that the present voluntary approach is effective and that it is not clear that a policy of presumed publication would achieve significant additional gains in publication rates. These Directors suggested that a move to presumed publication could undermine the candor of discussions and documents and the advisory role of the Fund.
All Directors emphasized that candor in the Fund’s dialogue with members and in reporting to the Board will remain essential for effective surveillance. They looked forward to the opportunity to discuss the potential conflict between transparency and candor in the next Biennial Review of Surveillance, in light of the increased coverage expected in staff reports of such topics as vulnerability, debt sustainability, currency mismatches, and other balance sheet and capital account developments.
Most Directors noted the significant declines from already low levels of publication rates of staff reports for the use of Fund resources with exceptionally high access. They emphasized the critical importance of transparency for strengthening confidence in these cases, as they typically involve capital account crises where a high premium is placed on increasing public understanding and market support of the program strategy. However, many other Directors were concerned that, given the high degree of market sensitivity in exceptional access cases, publication of these reports might conflict with the need for frank assessments of the risks involved.
On balance, the Board agreed on a set of measures to enhance transparency further. It was agreed to establish a policy of voluntary but presumed publication for all UFR and Post-Program Monitoring (PPM) staff reports, to be effective as soon as the amendments to the Transparency Policy Decision have been circulated to and approved by the Executive Board.
It was also agreed that, in exceptional access cases, the Managing Director will generally not recommend Board approval of a program or completion of a review unless the authorities consent to the publication of the associated staff report. This new publication policy for UFR staff reports in exceptional access cases will apply to new arrangements approved on or after July 1, 2004 that contain exceptional access, and to existing arrangements that, by reason of augmentation after July 1, 2004, will result in exceptional access. Exceptional access arrangements (i.e., those on the same terms and conditions and timing) in place as of July 1, 2004 will be grandfathered. One Director expressed the view that it would be preferable for the Managing Director’s recommendation not to depend on the publication of the staff report but on a more comprehensive assessment of the adequacy of the country’s transparency policy.
The Board also agreed to move to voluntary but presumed publication for all Article IV staff reports, Article IV Public Information Notices (PINS) and related Article IV papers (Selected Issues papers, Statistical Annexes and Appendices prepared as background material for Article IV consultations). If a member did not wish a PIN to be published, a brief press release would be issued promptly by the Fund to inform the public that the Board had concluded the consultation. These changes will be effective July 1, 2004; until July 1, 2004, existing policies will continue to apply.
Directors considered the possibility of moving to a policy of presumed publication for Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSCs) and Financial System Stability Assessments (FSSAs). While a number of Directors stressed the value of better informing the public and markets through a policy of presumed publication of these documents, other Directors referred to the voluntary nature of standards and codes, and cautioned that presumed publication could affect participation in the Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP). Against this background, Directors decided to retain the existing policy of voluntary publication, while encouraging members to publish these reports.
In the recent FSAP review, a few Directors proposed that the FSAP technical notes (FTNs) constituting background material for the FSAP process should be circulated to the Board to better inform Directors. Directors agreed that, when FTNs raise issues of sufficient relevance to surveillance, they should be included in the background material for Article IV consultations, and thus would be subject to the Fund’s publication policy on Article IV and related reports. Whenever such notes are prepared jointly with World Bank staff, their circulation and publication would be coordinated with the World Bank. Publication of FTNs that are not circulated to the Board as background documentation for Article IV consultations would continue to follow the practice applied to technical assistance reports. When the authorities request publication and management consents to it, FTNs would be circulated to the Board prior to publication and subsequently published on the Fund’s external website.
Directors discussed the modalities of voluntary but presumed publication for various Fund documents. It was agreed that, under the presumed publication policy, publication would be expected to occur within thirty calendar days of Board consideration of the relevant papers. If the member has not decided on its publication intentions by the time of the Board meeting, the Secretary will remind the member to communicate its publication intentions to the Fund within thirty calendar days following the Board meeting. In this context, Directors emphasized that presumption of publication requires the explicit consent of the member prior to publication, without which the report would not be published.
Directors re-examined the issue of allowing deletions of highly politically sensitive material, and the removal of material that would undermine the ability of the authorities to implement policies or would render implementation more costly. While many Directors continued to favor the extension of the deletions policy to highly politically sensitive material, the majority of the Board did not support such a move, noting the practical difficulties of designing an objective test of “high political sensitivity” to implement such a policy, and the risks of undermining the candor and comprehensiveness of Board documents. Directors urged the staff to continue to avoid language that would exacerbate domestic political challenges to implementing reforms.
Against this background, Directors generally agreed that the continued application of the current deletions policy is appropriate, with the scope of deletions covering highly market-sensitive information, including not only exchange and interest rate matters, but also highly market-sensitive material in vulnerability assessments and the banking and fiscal areas. Directors also agreed that, when third party analysis is presented in a staff report, the source should be indicated, or a staff assessment of such analysis should also be included in the paper.
Directors expressed concern that, in the context of increased publication, there could be an intensification of pressures to delete significant elements of documents on grounds of high market sensitivity. They agreed that management may recommend to the Board to withhold publication of the relevant documents when deletions of highly market-sensitive material would undermine the overall assessment of the Fund and its credibility.
Directors agreed to apply the broad principles for deletions and corrections that are now in place for country staff reports to policy papers prepared by the staff. Modifications to such policy papers before publication would be limited to factual corrections and deletions of highly market-sensitive material and of country-specific references. If Directors considered that there was a danger of confusion when the summing up differed from the staff recommendations, the published version of the staff policy paper would indicate clearly in the text those staff positions that the Board had not endorsed.
On administrative papers, while a number of Directors favored a move to presumed publication, most agreed that publication should continue to be considered on a case-by-case basis. In all cases, staff recommendations regarding the publication of these papers will be explained to Executive Directors when the paper is circulated.
On other publication-related matters, Directors supported publication of the Board agenda at the same time as it is made available to Executive Directors, with the indication that the agenda is tentative and subject to change. They asked the staff to elaborate on the modalities.
Amendments to the Transparency Policy Decision reflecting the changes agreed to above will be prepared and circulated to the Executive Board for approval. Except for those changes that are to become effective on July 1, 2004, such changes will become effective upon the Board’s approval of the amendments to the decision.
The next review of the Fund’s transparency policy is expected to take place by June 2005.
Summing Up by the Acting Chairman—Review of Fund Facilities—Proposed Decisions and Implementation Guidelines Executive Board Meeting 00/113, November 17, 2000
Directors agreed that recognition will be given to members’ meeting repurchase expectations by mentioning this fact in summings up and, if they are published, Public Information Notices (PINs) following Article IV or post-program monitoring discussions, and by reporting on the member’s country-specific page of the web site. Extensions of expectations will be made public in the form of a factual statement posted on the IMF web site on the member’s country-specific page, and in the next weekly update of “Fund Financial Activities: Week at a Glance.”
Publicity upon Suspension of Voting Rights and Termination of Suspension
The Fund shall issue a press release upon its decision to suspend the voting rights of a member and thereafter upon termination of suspension and shall also include the information contained in such press releases, where pertinent, in the Annual Report for the year concerned.
Decision No. 10305-(93/32),
March 10, 1993
Concluding Remarks by the Acting Chairman—Strengthening the Application of the Guidelines on Misreporting Executive Board Meeting 00/77, July 27, 20001
Directors also reviewed the current policy on publication of cases of misreporting and decided to retain the current policy, which requires that after the Board makes its determination that misreporting occurred, the Fund proceed to make relevant information public in every case, with Board review of the text for publication. A number of Directors suggested that we think about introducing the concept of the material importance of an instance of misreporting as affecting the decision on whether to publish. The staff will reflect on this issue and consider whether, in the light of recent and further experience, workable proposals can be presented in the forthcoming paper for Board discussion in October.
Summing Up by the Acting Chairman—Transparency and Use of Fund Resources Executive Board Meeting 99/135, December 20, 1999
Executive Directors welcomed the opportunity to revisit transparency-related issues, including the questions of the release of use of Fund resources (UFR) staff reports and whether there should be UFR summings up/Public Information Notices (PINs) following Board discussion of a request for the use of Fund resources.
Concerning the release of UFR staff reports, a clear majority of the Board agreed with the staff’s proposal to complete the reviews of the recent UFR transparency initiatives and the Article IV pilot project that are scheduled for June and August, 2000, before proceeding to a decision on the possible publication of UFR staff reports.
In considering the question of whether there should be UFR summings up and PINs, Directors agreed with the proposal to continue publishing Chairman’s statements, emphasizing the key points made by the Board in approving or reviewing the program. … Directors considered that the current procedures for the timely publication of Chairman’s statements worked well and should not be modified in advance of the June 2000 review. However, it was agreed that, in view of the clarification of the legal situation relating to such statements, the Executive Director for the country concerned would have, separately, an opportunity to review the Chairman’s statement, and would need to give a decision on its publication, subject to very minor revisions, if any, within a very short time of the Board meeting. In the event that the Executive Director did not agree to publication of the Chairman’s statement, the Fund would release publicly a short factual statement indicating that the Board meeting had been held and that resources were being provided. The Executive Director for the country concerned would inform the Board of the reasons why publication of the Chairman’s statement had not been accepted.
Several Directors expressed the view that, for internal purposes, the Chairman should present a summing up at the end of UFR Board discussions, and the Board agreed to institute this practice.
The Board will review the experience with the transparency initiatives under way in June and August 2000, and will return to the issue of the release of UFR staff reports in the context of the August 2000 review of the pilot project on the voluntary release of Article IV staff reports.
Public Information Notices—Release
Following the completion of an Article IV consultation for a member, the Fund may release a Public Information Notice reporting on the results of the consultation in accordance with the following terms:
1. Contents of Public Information Notices
The Public Information Notice will be brief (normally 3–4 pages) and will consist of two sections:
(a) A background section with factual information on the economy of a member, including a table of economic indicators. When possible, a draft of this section would be included in the staff report on Article IV consultation discussions to permit an early opportunity for comment.
(b) The Fund’s assessment of the member’s prospects and policies. This section will correspond closely to the Chairman’s summing up of the Executive Board discussion. Editing of the summing up will be minimal, removing only highly market-sensitive information, mainly Fund views on exchange rate and interest rate matters.
2. Member’s Consent to the Release of a Public Information Notice
The release of a Public Information Notice shall be subject to the consent of the member concerned, normally to be communicated through its Executive Director, in accordance with the following procedures:
(a) A member may indicate its intention to consent to the release of a Public Information Notice at any time prior to issuance of the Chairman’s summing up of the Article IV consultation as a Fund document, but is free not to do so.
(b) The Executive Director concerned will have the opportunity to review the draft Public Information Notice prior to its release.
(c) In case of a serious disagreement between the Managing Director and the Executive Director concerned on the draft, either may request the Executive Board to consider the matter.
(d) A Public Information Notice will be released only upon the written consent of the member, normally communicated through the Executive Director concerned, to the proposed draft. The release of each Public Information Notice will require a separate written consent. A consent can be withdrawn at any time prior to the release of the Public Information Notice.
(e) It is understood that no pressure will be exerted on a member to provide consent for the release of a Public Information Notice by the Managing Director, Fund staff, or other members.
3. Timing of Release
The Public Information Notice will be released shortly following the completion of the Article IV consultation. As an indicative target, the Fund will aim to issue the Public Information Notice five to ten working days following the relevant Executive Board meeting, but in any event not before the end of the working day following the circulation of the summing up as a Fund document.
4. Confirmation of Present Practices
(a) The release of Public Information Notices shall not affect the current Article IV consultation summing up process. In particular, the Chairman’s summing up will continue to be provided to the Executive Director concerned for review following the Executive Board meeting.
(b) The possibility of releasing Public Information Notices shall not affect in any way the staff’s reporting to the Executive Board on consultation discussions with members.
Decision No. 11493-(97/45),
April 24, 1997
Summings Up for Internal Purposes on Use of Fund Resources
Following any Executive Board meeting on the use of Fund resources by a member combined with an Article IV consultation, summings up for internal purposes on the use of Fund resources shall no longer be prepared. Instead, a paragraph or paragraphs concerning Executive Directors’ views regarding the member’s Fund-supported program shall be attached to the summing up of the Board discussion of the Article IV consultation. Such paragraph(s) shall not be published with any Public Information Notice following the meeting.
Decision No. 12663-(02/6),
January 22, 2002
External Audit Firm Mandatory Rotation and Limits on Provision of Audit-Related Services and Non-Audit-Related Services
1. The contract to conduct the annual external audit of the financial statements of the Fund required under Article XII, Section 7(a) of the Fund’s Articles of Agreement and Section 20 of the Fund’s By-Laws shall be subject to bids every five years.
2. There shall be a mandatory rotation of the Fund’s external audit firm every 10 years. In cases where the Fund’s external audit firm is awarded a second consecutive 5-year contract after the first 5-year period, the new contract will require that the audit firm rotate the engagement partner and the audit manager.
3. The Fund’s external audit firm shall not be eligible to bid for, and shall not be awarded, the provision of non-audit-related consulting services to the Fund. The provision of audit-related consulting services to the Fund by the Fund’s external audit firm shall be subject to the prior approval of the Executive Board after consultation with the External Audit Committee (EAC), provided that, under no circumstances, shall the remuneration of the Fund’s external audit firm for such services exceed 33 percent of the value of the five-year contract for conducting the annual audit of the financial statements of the Fund.
4. This decision shall not preclude the Fund’s current external audit firm from submitting bids in accordance with this decision and completing any other existing contracts with the Fund.
Decision No. 13323-(04/78),
August 5, 2004
Ed. Note: In the context of PRGF operations, subparagraph 3(d) of the Annex to Decision No. 11436-(97/10) states that “[t]he Fund shall issue press releases on its decisions regarding the circumstances of the misreporting and the applicable remedies.”