Chapter

Article XII, Section 7

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept.
Published Date:
August 2016
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Publication of Reports

2013 Review of the Fund’s Transparency Policy

Preamble

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.

I. General Provisions on Authorization and Consent

1. The Managing Director shall arrange for publication by the Fund of Country Documents, Fund Policy Documents and Multi-Country Documents in accordance with the principles set forth in the attached Indicative List. Country Documents shall be documents pertaining to individual countries, including documents relating to surveillance, use of Fund resources and the Policy Support Instrument (PSI), and certain reports arising from Fund technical assistance. Documents pertaining to regional surveillance discussions on common policies of a currency union shall be considered to be Country Documents. Fund Policy Documents shall be documents on general policy issues, including but not limited to, surveillance, use of Fund resources, technical assistance and Fund administrative matters. Multi-Country Documents shall be documents covering multiple countries as further defined in paragraph 17.

2. a. The publication of Country Documents is subject to the consent of the member concerned. The publication of Fund Policy Documents requires the approval of the Executive Board. The publication of Multi-Country Documents requires the consents of the members concerned or the approval of the Executive Board, as the case may be, as set forth in paragraphs 20-26. The publication of documents jointly authored by the Fund and the World Bank requires the authorization of the World Bank.

b. Under paragraphs 3(b), 14, 21(b) and 24 of this Decision, prompt publication shall mean that a document is expected to be published no later than (a) fourteen calendar days after the Executive Board has considered the document, or (b) twenty-eight calendar days after the document has been issued to the Executive Board, whichever is later.

II. Country Documents

A. Consent

3. a. A member’s consent to Fund publication of Country Documents 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 will 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; or (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, Country Documents 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 twenty-eight 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. With respect to Documents 3, 5, 10 and 15-16, paragraph 3(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 28 will apply and the member’s explicit consent must be provided to the Fund prior to publication.

d. Paragraph 3(b) will not apply to a Press Release containing a Chairman’s Statement for the use of Fund resources (Document 7), a Press Release containing a Chairman’s Statement in the context of a PSI (Document 20), or a Press Release for an Article IV consultation, a regional surveillance discussion or a Board consideration of Financial System Stability Assessment (FSSA) report (Document 4). A member’s consent to the publication of these documents is governed by paragraphs 11 and 12 of this Decision.

e. In respect of any document that is subject to the procedures set out in paragraph 3(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 3(b)(i), (ii), or (iii) above.

4. a. The Managing Director will not recommend that the Executive Board approve (i) an arrangement under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) or completion of a review under such arrangement, or (ii) a Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (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, PRSP annual progress report (APR) or Economic Development Document (“EDD”) (Document 10 or Document 15, as the case may be).

b. The Managing Director will generally not recommend that the Executive Board approve a request for (i) access to resources in the General Resources Account or the PRGT, or (ii) access to Fund resources under the HIPC Trust, or (iii) assistance through a PSI, unless that member explicitly consents to the publication of the associated staff report. For purposes of this paragraph 4(b), approval of the use of the Fund’s resources includes the completion of a review under an arrangement and assistance through a PSI includes the completion of a review under the PSI.

5. Except as provided in paragraphs 11 and 12, 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.

B. Member’s Statement Regarding Fund Staff Reports

6. If a Fund staff report (Documents 1, 6, 14 and 19) 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.

C. Deletions and Rephrasing in Country Documents

7. a. For purposes of publication, deletions may be made to Country Documents, except for country policy intention documents on poverty reduction strategies (Documents 10 and 15), in accordance with paragraph 8 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, 6 and 11-12), or to any quantitative or structural benchmark (Documents 13-14), or to any assessment criterion or structural benchmark (Documents 1, and 17-19), 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 7(a), the Managing Director 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.

8. a. Requests for deletions to a Country Document, except for country policy intentions documents on poverty reduction strategies (Documents 10 and 15) may be made by the member concerned. Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph 8, other members may also request deletions to Documents 1-3, 6, 14, and 19 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 7 are met. Criterion (ii) in this paragraph 8(a) shall not apply to staff reports for Article IV consultation and regional surveillance discussions (Documents 1 and 2).

b. Deletions shall be requested in writing. Such requests are expected to be communicated to the Fund no later than two business 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 normally be made no later than (a) seven calendar days after the Executive Board has considered the document, or (b) twenty-one 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.

d. Procedures for resolving disputes arising from requests for deletions are set forth below.

(i) In the case of a serious disagreement between the Managing Director and a member regarding that 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.

(ii) In the case of staff reports for Article IV consultation and regional surveillance discussion (Documents 1 and 2), if the Managing Director approves deletions requested by other members, and the member to whom the document relates disagrees with the assessment of the Managing Director, the Managing Director, or the Executive Director elected, appointed, or designated by that member, may refer the matter to the Executive Board.

(iii) If the Managing Director is of the view that the requested 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.

D. Corrections to Country Documents

9. Corrections to Country 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.

10. Corrections to a Country Document are expected to be requested no later than two business 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, or (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.

E. Press Releases in Respect of Use of Fund Resources or the Policy Support Instrument

11. 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, APR, or EDD in the context of the use of Fund resources or a PSI, a Press Release, which will contain a Chairman’s statement on the discussion, emphasizing the key points made by Executive Directors, will be issued 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, APR, or EDD 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 21), and waivers for nonobservance of assessment criteria, and any other matter as may be decided by the Executive Board from time-to-time (Document 22), will be mentioned in the factual statement section of the Press Release or in a factual statement issued in lieu of a Chairman’s statement as provided for in paragraph 13(b). Before a Press Release is issued, 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 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 a discussion or decision with respect to a member’s overdue financial obligations, no Chairman’s statement will be published.

F. Press Releases for Article IV Consultations, Regional Surveillance Discussions or Stand-alone Executive Board Consideration of Financial System Stability Assessment Reports

12. Following the completion of an Article IV consultation for a member or a regional surveillance discussion, or a stand-alone Board consideration of an FSSA report, the Fund may issue a Press Release reporting on the results of the consultation or regional surveillance discussion (Document 1), or stand-alone Board consideration of an FSSA report (Document 3). If a member has consented to the publication of Documents 1 and/or 3, such publication will be made along with the publication of a Press Release. A Press Release will be in accordance with the following terms:

a. The Press Release 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 (a) in the case of an Article IV consultation or a regional surveillance discussion, factual information on the economy of a member and a table of economic indicators, and (b) in the case of a stand-alone Board consideration of an FSSA report, factual information on the member’s financial system; and

(ii) the Fund’s assessment of (a) the member’s prospects and policies in the case of an Article IV consultation or a regional surveillance discussion, and (b) the stability of the financial system in the case of a stand-alone Board consideration of an FSSA report. 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 Press Release prior to its issuance to propose changes, if any, consistent with paragraphs 7 through 10 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. In an Article IV consultation, a regional surveillance discussion or a stand-alone Board consideration of an FSSA report, in a case where a staff report is not expected to be published within seven calendar days of the Board consideration, a Press Release will be issued shortly after the Board consideration, if the member has consented to publication of the staff report. In a case of a combined Board consideration of an Article IV consultation with use of Fund resources or a PSI, as the case may be, a single Press Release covering these matters will normally be issued immediately after the Board consideration. In any event, a Press Release under this paragraph will not be issued before the circulation of the summing up as a Fund document.

e. Issuance of Press Releases shall not affect the summing up process for Article IV consultations, regional surveillance discussions, or FSSA Board discussions. 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 the possibility of issuing Press Releases shall not affect in any way the staff’s reporting to the Executive Board on discussions with members.

G. Non-publication of Press Releases in Selected Cases—Issuance by the Fund of Factual Statements in Lieu

13. A brief factual statement will be issued in the circumstances and within the time frames set forth in this paragraph 13.

a. With respect to the Executive Board’s consideration of an Article IV consultation, a regional surveillance discussion, an FSSA report, a post-program monitoring, an ex post assessment or an ex post evaluation:

(i) If, after twenty-eight calendar days from the relevant Board consideration, a member does not consent to the publication of a Press Release pertaining to the Board consideration, a brief factual statement will be issued stating the fact of the Board’s consideration of the matter.

(ii) If, after twenty-eight calendar days from the relevant Board consideration, the staff report has not been published, a brief factual statement will be issued stating the fact of the Board’s consideration of the matter and clarifying the authorities’ publication intention with respect to the staff report.

b. With respect to the Executive Board’s consideration of use of Fund resources or a PSI, a brief factual statement shall be issued in accordance with the following provisions:

(i) If a member does not consent to the publication of a Press Release containing a Chairman’s statement (Documents 7 and 20) under paragraph 11 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 will be issued immediately after the Board consideration. The factual statement will describe the Executive Board’s decision relating to (a) that member’s use of Fund resources (including HIPC initiative decisions (Document 8), waivers (Document 21), and consideration of PRSP documents and EDDs (Document 10), when relevant), or (b) the approval of a PSI for that member, or the conduct of a review under that member’s PSI (including waivers (Document 22) and consideration of PRSP documents and EDDs (Document 15), when relevant).

(ii) With respect to the consent provisions set forth in paragraph 4(b), if, after twenty-eight calendar days from the relevant Board consideration, the staff report has not been published, a brief factual statement will be issued stating the fact of the Board’s consideration of the matter and clarifying the authorities’ publication intention with respect to the staff report.

III. Fund Policy Documents

A. Authorization

14. After the Executive Board meets on Fund policy issues in a formal Board meeting or informal session, or adopts a decision on a lapse-of-time basis, it shall be presumed that the staff report under consideration (Document 23) and/or a Press Release (Document 24) pertaining to the consideration 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 Press Release 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 Press Release in the cover memorandum of the relevant document and, where publication is not recommended, to explain why. Except as specified in paragraph 15 below, whenever publication is approved, the paper and/or Press Release will normally be published promptly after an Executive Board meeting or an informal session, or date of adoption of a lapse-of- time decision to which the documents relate. Whenever publication is proposed of a paper or Press Release prepared for an informal Executive Board session, 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.

B. Press Releases on Fund Policy Issues

15. A Press Release pertaining to Board consideration of Fund policy issues 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. In a case where a policy staff report is not expected to be published within seven calendar days of the Board consideration, a Press Release will be issued shortly after the Board consideration.

C. Corrections, Deletions and Related Rephrasing with Respect to Fund Policy Staff Reports

16. 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 Press Release pertaining to the Executive Board consideration, it would be clearly indicated in the published version of the report which staff proposals the Executive Board did not endorse.

IV. Multi-Country Documents

17. Multi-Country Documents comprise (i) Multilateral Policy Issues Documents, (ii) Country Background Pages and (iii) Cluster Documents. Multilateral Policy Issues Documents address multilateral global economic issues. Country Background Pages are characterized by specific information pertaining to individual countries and to individual country data but the analysis of respective individual countries and individual country data is not integrated. Cluster Documents are documents that include analysis of issues affecting a group of countries where each individual country analysis is integrated into the broader analysis.

18. Multi-Country Documents pertain to both individual documents and material sections within individual documents. Material sections shall mean whole chapters or appendices. A single Multi-Country Document may comprise (i) a Multilateral Policy Issues Document, (ii) a Country Background Pages, (iii) a Cluster Document, or (iv) some combination of the above.

19. For Multi-Country Documents, the Secretary’s cover memorandum will indicate the publication rules governing the document.

A. Multilateral Policy Issues Documents

20. The provisions applicable to the publication of Fund policy staff reports and Press Releases pertaining thereto set forth in paragraphs 14-15 shall apply to Multilateral Policy Issues Documents and Press Releases for Multilateral Policy Issues Documents. Paragraph 16 regarding modification rules for Fund policy staff reports shall apply to all Multilateral Policy Issues Documents, except for the World Economic Outlook (WEO), the Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR) and the Fiscal Monitor (FM). In accordance with established practice, staff may modify the WEO, GFSR and FM prior to publication in order to, inter alia, take into account views expressed at the relevant Executive Board meeting.

B. Country Background Pages

21. For the purpose of publishing Country Background Pages, the following provisions shall apply:

a. The consent of the member to which a document or a material section of a document pertains (the “member concerned”) is required to publish such a document or section.

b. Fund publication of a Country Background Pages or material sections within such a document will 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 pertains, a member concerned notifies the Fund that it: (i) objects to publication; or (ii) requires additional time to decide whether or not to publish; or (iii) consents to publication but subject to reaching agreement with the Fund on deletions. If no member concerned provides a notification referred to in (i), (ii) or (iii) above, the document or section 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.

c. In a case where one or more members concerned object to publication of information pertaining to it, the Managing Director may (i) decide to publish the Country Background Pages without the information pertaining to the objecting member, or

(ii) recommend to the Executive Board not to publish the Country Background Pages and/or, as the case may be, the associated Multilateral Policy Issues Document or Cluster Document, if the non-publication would substantially undermine the overall analysis and substance of the document.

22. For the purpose of deletions and corrections, the member concerned has the right to request deletions or corrections to information pertaining to it in accordance with the criteria and procedures applicable to Country Documents as set forth in paragraphs 7-10 of this Decision.

C. Cluster Documents

23. The consent of each member to which a Cluster Document pertains (the “members Concerned”) is required for publication of the report and a Press Release pertaining to the report. In a case where one or more members concerned object to publication, the document shall not be published. If the members concerned have consented to the publication of the report, such publication will be made along with the publication of a Press Release.

24. Fund publication of a Cluster Document would occur promptly after the relevant Executive Board meeting or the date of adoption of a decision on a lapse-of-time basis, 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 pertains, one or more members 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; or (iii) consents to publication but subject to reaching agreement with the Fund on deletions to the document.

25. For the purpose of deletions and corrections, each member concerned has the right to request deletions or corrections in accordance with the criteria and procedures applicable to Country Documents as set forth in paragraphs 7-10 of this Decision, subject to the following considerations. In the case of serious disagreement amongst the members concerned regarding requests for deletions, the Managing Director shall propose a solution to the members concerned. If a commonly acceptable solution cannot be found, then the Managing Director, or Executive Directors elected, appointed, or designated by the members concerned, may refer the matter to the Executive Board.

26. a. In a case where a Cluster Document is not expected to be published within seven calendar days of the Executive Board consideration, a Press Release will be issued shortly after the Board consideration, if the members concerned consent to issuance of the Press Release. In any event, a Press Release pertaining to a Clustered Document will not be issued before the circulation of the summing up as a Fund document.

b. If, after twenty-eight calendar days from the relevant Board consideration, one or more members concerned do not consent to the publication of a Press Release pertaining to the Board consideration, a brief factual statement will be issued stating the fact of the Board’s consideration of the matter.

c. If, after twenty-eight calendar days from the relevant Board consideration, the staff report has not been published, a brief factual statement will be issued stating the fact of the Board’s consideration of the matter and clarifying the publication intention of the members concerned with respect to the staff report.

V. Other Matters

A. Other Changes to Documents

27. 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.

B. Timing and Means of Fund Publication

28. 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, PRSPs and EDDs; and (ii) Reports on Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSCs) and Assessment of Financial Sector Supervision and Regulation (AFSSR) Reports. Documents covered by this paragraph may be published immediately after circulation to the Executive Board.

29. Publication by the Fund under this decision shall normally mean publication on its website but may include publication through other media.

C. Article XII, Section 8

30. 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.

D. Non-Members

31. 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.

E. Review

32. This decision is expected to be reviewed in light of experience no later than 2018.

Indicative List of Documents Covered by the Decision

(1) This list is indicative and is not intended to be exhaustive. Country Documents, Fund Policy Documents and Multi-Country Documents that may be created in between reviews of the Transparency Policy will be subject to this Decision, unless the Executive Board decides otherwise on a case-by-case basis.

(2) The publication rules applicable to Multi-Country Documents will be explained in the Secretary’s cover memorandum for the documents.

(3) Country Documents and Fund Policy Documents pertain to individual documents. Multi- Country Documents pertain to both individual documents and material sections within individual Multi-Country Documents. Material sections shall mean whole chapters or appendices.

(4) To the extent that the coverage of any document is not clear, publication of such documents will be guided by the overarching principles set forth in the preamble to the Transparency Policy Decision.

I. Country Documents

A. Surveillance and Combined Documents

1. Staff Reports for Article IV consultations and Combined Article IV consultation/Use of Fund Resources Staff Reports, Combined Article IV consultations/PSI, and regional surveillance discussions

2. Selected Issues Papers and Statistical Appendices

3. Reports on Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSCs), Financial System Stability Assessment (FSSA) Reports, and Assessment of Financial Sector Supervision and Regulation (AFSSR) Reports

4. Press Releases following Article IV consultations, regional surveillance discussions, and stand-alone Board consideration of FSSA reports

B. Use of Fund Resources Documents

5. Joint Fund/World Bank Staff Advisory Notes (JSANs) on Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (I-PRSPs), Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs), PRSP Preparation Status Reports, and RSP Annual Progress Reports (APRs)

6. Staff Reports for Use of Fund Resources, Post-Program Monitoring, Ex Post Assessment, and Ex Post Evaluation of exceptional access arrangements (excluding staff reports dealing solely with a member’s overdue financial obligations to the Fund)

7. Press Releases containing a Chairman’s Statement for Use of Fund Resources

8. Preliminary, decision point, and completion point documents under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative

9. Press Releases following Executive Board discussions on post-program monitoring, ex post assessments or ex post evaluations

10. I-PRSPs, PRSPs, PRSP Preparation Status Reports, APRs, and EDDs

11. Letters of Intent and Memoranda of Economic and Financial Policies (LOIs/MEFPs)

12. Technical Memoranda of Understanding (TMUs) with policy content

C. Staff Monitored Program (SMP) Documents

13. LOIs/MEFPs for SMPs

14. Stand-alone Staff Reports on SMPs

D. Policy Support Instrument (PSI) Documents

15. I-PRSPs, PRSPs, PRSP Preparation Status Reports, APRs, and EDDs in the context of PSIs

16. Joint Fund/World Bank Staff Advisory Notes (JSANs) on I-PRSPs and PRSPs in the context of PSIs

17. Letters of Intent and Memoranda of Economic and Financial Policies (LOIs/MEFPs) for PSIs

18. Technical Memoranda of Understanding (TMUs) with policy content for PSIs 19. Staff Reports for PSIs 20. Press Releases containing a Chairman’s Statement for PSIs E. Statements on Fund Decisions

19. Staff Reports for PSIs

20. Press Releases containing a Chairman’s Statement for PSIs

21. 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

22. 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

II. Fund Policy Documents

23. Fund Policy Issues Papers

24. Press Releases following Executive Board consideration of policy issues

III. Multi-Country Documents

25. Multilateral Policy Issues Documents such as, the World Economic Outlook, the Global Financial Stability Report, the Fiscal Monitor, and Spillover Reports

26. Press Releases following Executive Board consideration of Multilateral Policy Issues

27. Country Background Pages

28. Press Releases following Executive Board consideration of Country Background Pages

29. Cluster Documents

30. Press Releases following Executive Board consideration of Cluster Documents

(SM/13/115, Sup. 2, 6/17/13; SM/13/115, Sup. 2, Cor. 1, 6/21/13)

Decision No. 15420-(13/61), June 24, 2013,

as amended by Decision No.15805-(15/62),

June 22, 2015

Reform of the Fund’s Policy on Poverty Reduction Strategies in Fund Engagement with Low-Income Countries—Web Posting of PRS Documentation

Web posting of Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs), Interim PRSPs, Annual Progress Reports of PRSPs, PRSP Preparation Status reports and Economic Development Documents in accordance with the procedures outlined in SM/06/359 (10/25/06) shall be taken to constitute issuance of such documents to the Executive Board for the purposes of: (1) Section II, paragraph 1(b)(3) of the Instrument to Establish the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust, Annex to Decision No. 8759-(87/176), adopted December 18, 1987, as amended; (2) Section III, paragraph 2(c) of the Instrument to Establish a Trust for Special PRGF Operations for the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries and Interim PRGF Subsidy Operations, Annex to Decision No. 11436-(97/10), adopted February 4, 1997, as amended; and (3) paragraph 8 of the Policy Support Instrument-Framework, Decision No. 13561-(05/85), adopted October 5, 2005, as amended. (SM/15/124, 05/27/15)

Decision No. 13816-(06/98),

November 15, 2006,

as amended by Decision No. 15806-(15/62),

June 22, 2015

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.

BUFF/03/170

September 17, 2003

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.

BUFF/00/129

August 4, 2000

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.

BUFF/99/157

December 28, 1999

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.”

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