Back Matter
Author: Murray Petrie1
  • 1, International Monetary Fund


I. Financial Institutions Survey: Methodology and Summary of Quantatative Results

Separate surveys were developed for financial institutions, for budget analysis CSO, and for broader civil society groups. They were sent by email, and respondents were asked to complete the surveys electronically and return them by email. In two cases a hard copy of the survey was handed to a respondent; in about four cases a hard copy response was returned.

Financial Institutions Survey

The survey was intended to explore the level of awareness and use of fiscal ROSCs, what features and information are most valued, their perceived strengths and weaknesses, and to elicit views on how ROSCs could be made more useful. The survey also aimed to assess the level of awareness of private sector (and civil society) fiscal transparency initiatives, and views on different aspects of fiscal data quality.

It was sent to the three major sovereign bond rating agencies: Standard and Poors, Moody’s Investor Services, and FitchRatings. In the case of Standard and Poors and Fitch, a manager within the rating unit sent the survey to all the other members of the rating unit (except for senior management). Moody’s discussed the survey at a meeting of its ratings unit, and four analysts volunteered to complete the survey, three of whom actually responded. In an attempt to obtain a more representative sample, the IMF also sent the survey direct to two other Moody’s analysts selected at random, one of whom responded. A Moody’s analyst also sent the survey to four other analysts, none of whom responded.

The survey was also sent to individuals in US-based investment banks and financial institutions who were known, from a previous IMF outreach exercise, to be generally aware of ROSCs, in order to obtain feedback specifically on how and to what extent they were using fiscal ROSCs, and their views on the quality of fiscal ROSCs.

The survey was also sent to members of the Institute for International Finance (IIF) to ascertain the level of awareness of financial institutions outside the US. The survey was sent to the IIF, who then forwarded it electronically under a covering note to around eighty members of their economics advisory group that covers a wide range of financial institutions and investors from around the world. As noted, the response rate was too low to provide any meaningful data.

Finally, the survey was sent to two institutions (Oxford Analytica and the Estandardsforum) known to be active users of fiscal ROSCs as inputs to their own assessments of fiscal transparency; and also to the Economist Intelligence Unit.


II. Summary of Private Sector Survey: Quantitative Answers

Table 1 is based on 29 different responses from three categories of respondents. The overall response rate was 52 percent – although the response rates to some of the individual question were much lower. The first category includes rating agencies, the second are US-based international Banks and Investment Banks who were sent the surveys directly. The third, “Others,” includes Oxford Analytica, eStandardsforum and EIU. Table 1 shows response rates and mean responses for all the quantitative questions in the survey by each group and all respondents.

Table A1.

Summary of Quantitative Questions in the Survey of Financial Institutions

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The responses from IIF and OTH groups were excluded from the calculation of response rates (percent answered) and mean responses for the ALL columns. The IIF group was excluded due to a very small response rate. The OTH group was excluded because they are active users of fiscal ROSCs as inputs to their own assessments of fiscal transparency.

Table A1.

(Continued). Summary of Quantitative Questions in the Survey of Private Sector

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The calculation of response rates (percent answered) and mean responses for the ALL category excludes responses from IIF. The IIF group was dropped from the overall analysis due to a very small response rate.

Table A1

(Concluded). Summary of Quantitative Questions in the Survey of Private Sector

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The responses from IIF and OTH groups were excluded from the calculation of response rates (percent answered) and mean responses for the ALL columns. The IIF group was excluded due to a very small response rate. The OTH group was excluded because they are active users of fiscal ROSCs as inputs to their own assessments of fiscal transparency.

A. Familiarity with Fiscal Transparency

This section was designed to assess the awareness of fiscal ROSCs in the private sector. As expected most of the respondents were aware of the IMF Code on Fiscal Transparency and ROSC reports with 88 percent of all respondents45 saying they were aware of the code on fiscal transparency. Similarly, 88 percent of the respondents were aware of the ROSC reports and 68 percent had read part of a ROSC.

B. Use of Fiscal ROSCs

The questions in this section attempted to gauge the extent of use of fiscal ROSCs amongst those who had read a fiscal ROSC. A significant portion of the respondents who answered (94 percent) felt that they had a better understanding of a country’s fiscal position and risk after reading a ROSC. On the use of information from fiscal ROSCs as a direct input to their assessment, the mean response was around 0.5, indicating that about half had used information from ROSCs directly. On a scale of 1 (signifying no impact) to 5 (being major impact), the average response was 2.3 for the impact of fiscal ROSCs on assessment, indicating some impact of fiscal ROSCs. Six respondents said a fiscal ROSC had a major impact (5) on the assessment, and six others responded with a 4.

C. Strengths and Weaknesses of Published Fiscal ROSCs

This section asked questions about the strengths and weaknesses of ROSC and was answered by only those who had read a ROSC before. The first part asked the respondents to choose from 1 to 5, 1 being not important at all to 5 being very important, regarding strengths of fiscal ROSCs. The majority (defined as more than 50 percent of the respondents choosing that category) of the respondents felt that very important aspects of fiscal ROSCs included ease of accessibility, uniformity across countries, and source of information on fiscal institutions and practices. A significant proportion also agreed that it was important that ROSCs included IMF staff recommendations.

In the next section the respondents were asked to choose from 1 to 5 (1 being strongly agree and 5 being strongly disagree) regarding some perceived weaknesses of fiscal ROSCs. A significant proportion of the respondents agreed that fiscal ROSCs should include more quantitative data (47 percent saying strongly agree) and that fiscal ROSCs should include a rating of fiscal transparency (41 percent saying strongly agree). On the question of whether the fiscal ROSCs were too long or if they lacked candor, most people chose in the range of 2 – 3 indicating somewhat neutral response.

D. Sources and Quality of Fiscal Data46

This section of the survey asked questions about the adequacy of fiscal data currently available and the kinds of data that respondents would find useful. On a range of 1 through 5 (1 being very deficient to 5 being meeting all needs), the average response was 3.1 indicating most respondents found the available data to be adequate. Most respondents reported some improvement in fiscal data in the last 1-2 years, with an average response of 2.9 on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being no improvement and 5 being major improvement).

The next set of questions was designed to ascertain the kinds of fiscal data that the private sector would find useful. They were asked to rate different kinds of fiscal data from 1 (indicating not important at all) to 5 (indicating very important). Data for which the majority of respondents (defined as greater than 50 percent) indicated 5 were: public debt net of public financial assets; guarantees and other contingent liabilities; off-budget expenditures; sensitivity of the budget to macroeconomic risks; the medium term outlook and broad macroeconomic policy; and quasi-fiscal activities by public financial institutions and public enterprises. Amongst these, most people found off-budget expenditures to be very important, with 72 percent of the respondents choosing 5. Least interest was shown in data on non-financial performance information with an average response of 3.0.

Most people indicated that in practice they pay most attention to the general government deficit (followed by the public sector deficit). Over 80 percent of the respondents stated that they make some adjustments to reported data on the fiscal balance and public debt. The survey indicated that widespread use of accrual basis reporting will have somewhat of an impact on private sector assessments with an average response of 3.29 on a scale from 1 (no impact) to 5 (major impact).

E. Fiscal Transparency Assessments by Private Sector Organizations

Awareness of private sector transparency assessments was low with less than half the respondents (44 percent) saying they were aware of them. A small proportion of the respondents chose to answer questions comparing IMF fiscal ROSCs and private sector assessments. Of those who answered, a majority indicated that the private sector assessments were inferior, complementary, and necessary.

Summary of Responses from the “Others” Category

This group included responses from Oxford Analytica, Estandardsforum, and EIU. The first two of these institutions are fundamentally different from the other respondents to the survey because they use fiscal ROSCs as an input to their own assessments and ratings of fiscal transparency. (EIU was included to see they if they had considered doing the same thing). All respondents in this category were aware of the fiscal ROSCs and the Code. As expected, Oxford Analytica and Estandardsforum said that they had cited something in a fiscal ROSC and also that fiscal ROSCs had a significant impact on their assessments. They all agreed with the major strengths of fiscal ROSCs except they felt that it was not important that they were produced by an official international organization. Oxford Analytica and Estandardsforum felt that private sector assessments were very similar in quality to IMF ROSCs, necessary, and complementary.

Q3 attempted to gauge the extent of use of fiscal ROSCs amongst those who had read a fiscal ROSC. The last section of Q3 asked respondents to list countries on which their answers were based and to provide any additional comments.

Most of the respondents named emerging market economies such as the Philippines, Turkey, Brazil, Tunisia, and the Czech Republic. Some of the reasons for turning to a fiscal ROSC included: it is a source of reference particularly when starting on analysis of a country; to better understand the fiscal data and to fill some gaps in data. Many people pointed out better understanding of the extent of fiscal control, off-budget activities, and quasi-fiscal activities. One or two respondents pointed out that it is difficult to use fiscal ROSCs consistently because they are not uniform across countries, and because of resource constraints.

In the last section of Q5, respondents were asked to specify some other features of fiscal ROSCs that they consider to be important, in addition to the features already referred to in Q% (such as wide coverage or ease of accessibility).

Most respondents chose not to respond, but many who did indicated ROSCs should provide an indication of the true size of the fiscal deficit, and a true picture of fiscal credibility. One was the role of fiscal ROSCs in providing information on what may be missing from government estimates such as SOE borrowing or QFAs. Some respondents felt that Fiscal ROSCs should give an assessment of the quality of information, the track record of accounting and reporting practices, the impact of fiscal deficiencies on macro performance, and past management on NFPEs and QFAs. One respondent said there needs to be a closer linkage between the findings of ROSCs and the design of fiscal conditionality in IMF programs.

Q6. Comments: Please provide any additional comments on the quality of any fiscal ROSCs you have read.

A few users suggested that ROSCs lacked comparability and consistency across countries. Two respondents suggested that in order to facilitate comparisons, ROSCs should be organized more along the lines of the fiscal transparency code rather than being organized according to important issues in the country. Another suggested that ROSCs should include a ranking based on countries’ compliance with the code. One user felt it would be useful to have actual data in ROSCs, while another commented that it is important for ROSCs to be published quickly instead of letting the countries delay publication until they have addressed all the criticisms.

Q7. From what main sources do you obtain fiscal information on the country you monitor? Please list in the order of importance:

Most respondents mentioned the IMF and World Bank as major sources along with some other international organizations like ADB. Country included reports by Ministry of Finance, Statistical Agencies and Central Banks. Some respondents also use information from local economists, private sector assessments, rating agencies, IIF, and EIU.

Q9. What do you consider to be the key deficiencies of the fiscal data that you use?

Many respondents mentioned lack of comparability and consistency both historically and across countries as a key deficiency of available fiscal data. The lack of comparability is due to different accounting bases, different definitions of the government sector, and different treatment of various one-off transactions. Another common concern was lack of timeliness and frequency of the data. There was some concern about comprehensiveness of the data, especially the lack of data beyond the central government, and gaps with respect to QFAs, off-budget activities, and contingent liabilities.

Q11. If there has been an improvement in fiscal data, please give specific examples of how it has improved for particular countries.

Many respondents mentioned that accessibility of data has improved due to use of information technology, particularly in Taiwan, Sri Lanka, and Philippines. Other countries that were mentioned where fiscal data had improved were EU accession countries, Cyprus, Peru, Bahrain, Indonesia, Brazil, Egypt, South Africa, and Thailand. The two primary reasons mentioned for improvements mentioned were “reaction to crisis” (Brazil and many Asian countries) and “adopting EU practices in-line for accession” (Eastern Europe).

Q13. In terms of coverage of fiscal data, which measure of the fiscal balance do you pay most attention to in practice? Please provide explanation as appropriate.

Most respondents said they pay most attention to general government balance because it captures many of the aspects missed by the central government balance. Two countries mentioned where central and general government balance differed significantly were India and Argentina. It was also felt that it is more appropriate to compare general government deficit across countries since it is more likely to be consistent and comprehensive. However, a number indicated that the public sector balance was also important, while some said in practice they used the central government balance due to lack of data beyond central government.

Q14. Are there any adjustments that you typically make to reported data on the fiscal balance or public debt, to produce numbers that you regard as better measures? If yes, please indicate the adjustments typically made.

The most common adjustment was subtraction of privatization proceeds from revenues and treated as financing items. Other adjustments mentioned were, adding sub-national government data, and taking government guarantees into account in debt calculations.

Q15. Do you consider that a more widespread use of accrual basis reporting by governments would improve your ability to undertake you investment, credit rating, or other financial assessment? Please give reasons for you response.

Many people were of the view that although accrual accounting is superior in principle, due to practical considerations a switch to accrual accounting will not have a major impact on their assessments. One of the reasons mentioned was that many governments will continue to report on a cash basis making it difficult to compare across countries. Resources may be better spent improving the comprehensiveness and timeliness of cash accounting measures. Countries reporting on an accrual basis need to provide a full reconciliation to cash-basis numbers.

Q16. In this question the respondents were asked to make comments on fiscal transparency assessments being produced by the private sector, in comparison to fiscal ROSCs.

Respondents who answered this question felt that it was useful to have private sector assessments to complement IMF ROSCs, as they provide a diversity of views and approaches, are more concise, and provide a rating of transparency.

Q17. Please list any other assessments of fiscal or budget transparency that you are aware of produced by the private sector, other official organizations (e.g. the World Bank, the OECD) or by NGOs (e.g. the CBPP), indicating those that you found most useful.

The most frequently mentioned source was the OECD (a variety of publications) for developed countries. Many also mentioned World Bank publications, while some referred to the IMF, Estandards, and one referred to two civil society publications by the International Budget Project.

Q18. What are your views on the desirability, in principle, of publicly available assessments of fiscal transparency being produced by private (non-government) sector entities versus public (official) sector entities? Please briefly describe you views.

A number of respondents saw an advantage for private sector assessments in that they can be more clear and frank since they are more independent of governments, and there may be fewer political considerations. Many respondents felt that official and private sector assessments complement each other, and it is desirable to have both. Some of the reasons why official sources may have an advantage in producing these assessments were: it is not clear if the private sector can make money from ROSCs; the amount of resources needed to do quality reports may be prohibitively high for the private sector; and the official sector may have more access to information and expertise.

Q19. Do you consider you may in future make more use than in past of published material on fiscal transparency produced by IMF or others. If yes, please briefly indicate which material, and how you might use it.

Some respondents indicated they will read fiscal ROSCs (and other IMF reports) on a regular basis, especially as more ROSCs become available, and especially for countries where information is otherwise hard to obtain.

Q20. Finally do you have any suggestions on how the IMF’s fiscal transparency initiative could be made more useful to you. Please indicate areas of suggested improvement, ranking your suggestions in order of importance.

Many respondents felt that country coverage should be increased, along with more frequent updates. Many also suggested that fiscal ROSCs should include estimates of the true deficit and debt, and to indicate the scale of particular off-budget transactions rather than just describing them. A few people mentioned having a standardized score or a numerical rating included in the fiscal ROSC. It was suggested that fiscal ROSCs should be organized according to the code so it is easy to compare across countries, a summary table comparing compliance for each part could be included, as well as an annex showing compliance in a comparable group of economies.


III. Financial Institutions Interview Schedule1

Rating Agencies:

Standard and Poors: Marie Cavanaugh and Joydeep Mukherji, Directors, Sovereign Ratings. New York.

Moody’s Investor Services: Thomas Byrne and Mauro Leos, Vice Presidents, Sovereign Risk Unit. New York.

Fitch Ratings: Lionel Price, Chief Economist, and Richard Fox, Senior Director, Sovereign and International Public Finance. London.

New York-based Investment Banks:

Citibank/CitiGroup: Cheryl Rathbun, Vice President and Chief of Staff, Global Corporate and Investment Bank.

JP Morgan: Alexei Remizov and Leanna Bryerlee, Vice Presidents, Country Risk.

Bank of New York: Doug Chapman, Senior Vice President, and John Koch, Vice President.

Organizations Independently Assessing and Disseminating Information on Fiscal Transparency:

Oxford Analytica: Michael Bates, Director of Consultancy and Research, and Juan Garin, Deputy Director. Oxford.

Estandardsforum: George Vojta, Chairman, and Matt Zimmer, Principal, with Carl Adams, Executive Director, Financial Standards Foundation. New York.


Economist Intelligence Unit: Merli Baroudi, Director Country Risk Service, David Anthony, Director, Country Risk Alerts, Matthew Sherwood, Senior Editor/Economist, and Andre Astrow, Deputy Editorial Director. London.

Institute for International Finance: Yusuke Horiguchi, First Deputy Managing Director, and Sabine Miltner, Senior Advisor and Director, Multilateral Policy Department. Washington DC.


IV. Civil Society Surveys

Two separate surveys were distributed:

  • One to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) in Washington DC, and, via the CBPP and under a covering note from them, to 48 of their partner organizations in the International Budget Project (IBP) in 22 countries – referred to as the IBP survey; and

  • One to 58 development civil society organizations (CSOs) in developed and developing countries, from lists maintained by the IMF - referred to as the CSO survey.

The surveys were distributed by email, and respondents were asked to complete the surveys electronically and return them by email. Table 2 contains a summary of the quantitative results.

Table A2.

Summary of Quantitative Questions in the Survey of Civil Society Organizations and Budget-Related NGOs

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A. Budget Related CSOs Survey

The IBP survey was intended to assess the level of awareness amongst applied budget analysis CSOs of the Fiscal Transparency Code and Manual; the extent of awareness and use of fiscal ROSCs; views on the adequacy of fiscal data; and views on how the Fund should more actively disseminate information on its fiscal transparency initiatives.

Five responses were received to the IBP survey resulting in a response rate of around 10 percent. Many (4 out of 5) of the CSOs were aware of the fiscal transparency code and report on observation of standards and codes (ROSCs) but very few (1 out of 5) had actually read part of a ROSC. The respondents reported that there has been little improvement in budget and expenditure data published by the government they analyze, and that it is insufficient for their needs. As expected, of those who answered all said they were aware of the CSO studies of on budget transparency and most had also read a CSO study. Asked about how the IMF could publicize and disseminate its fiscal transparency initiative, most interest (4.4 average response out of 5) was shown in presentations to civil society groups, and issuance of in-country press notices.

B. Civil Society Organizations Survey

The CSO survey was intended to assess the level of awareness of the Code and fiscal ROSCs, and of CSO budget transparency assessments amongst the broader international CSO community; to obtain views on how the Fund should more actively disseminate information on its fiscal transparency initiatives; and to see if respondents anticipated they might in future make more use of IMF information on fiscal transparency than they currently do.

Ten responses were received to the CSO survey, a response rate of around 17 percent. Six of the respondents were from developing country CSOs, and four were U.S.-based. A small proportion (2 out of 10) of the respondents were aware of the fiscal code and fiscal ROSCs. About one third of the respondents were aware of CSO studies of fiscal ROSCs and had actually seen a CSO study. All respondents indicated that they anticipate in future making more use of fiscal ROSCs than they currently do. Asked about how the IMF could better publicize and disseminate its fiscal transparency initiative, most interest (average response of 5 out of 5) was shown in issuance of in-country press notices and periodic public information notices indicating all the ROSCs posted on the IMF’s website in the previous period. Responses were also high (average response of 4) for presentation on fiscal transparency to civil society groups and open-forum discussions with civil society.


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The author thanks Farhan Hameed for assistance in the analysis and writeup of the survey results; Bill Allan and Taryn Parry for their input into the project and their comments on previous drafts; and Lynn Aylward, Anton op de Beke, Jim Brumby, Joel Friedman, George Kopits, Warren Krafchik, Lionel Price, Kristin Roesser, Jan Aart Scholte, Matt Zimmer, and participants in the “Discussion of Fiscal Transparency” session held during the IMF and World Bank’s 2003 Spring Meetings for helpful comments. Mr. Petrie is an independent consultant and a member of the panel of fiscal experts of the IMF. He is also an Executive Officer for Transparency International New Zealand, and has contributed to the budget transparency work of the Center for Budget Policies and Priorities. Comments on this draft should be sent to Mr. Petrie via e-mail.


More recently, a twelfth standard and code was recognized by the IMF’s Executive Board.


Previous surveys of financial market participants on their use of ROSCs have covered all the standards and codes as a group (see FSF, 2001, and IMF, 2003c). The standards are very diverse, with quite distinct communities of interest. It is difficult to clearly discern views of fiscal ROSCs from these exercises. The surveys have also been confined to the financial and official sectors.


The Code was amended in 2000, in light of initial experience in applying it. The main change related to strengthening the provisions relating to data quality. In recognition that one size does not fit all, the Fiscal Transparency Manual also identifies two other benchmarks, a set of basic requirements, and a set of best practices. (See IMF, 2001, overview.) The OECD has also promulgated a set of Best Practices for Budget Transparency. While broadly similar to the IMF Best Practices, they focus only on central government, and on the budget sector rather than all fiscal activities. They are not intended to constitute a formal “standard,” and the OECD is not assessing the extent to which countries adhere to them.


The IMF Board decided, at its 2001 review of experience in assessing standards, that in cases where countries’ observance of standards is deemed poor, or where the information available to the Board was insufficient, the Board would encourage countries to participate in a ROSC (IMF, 2001b, p. 8). Since then the Board has explicitly encouraged three countries (Ireland, Israel, and Mexico) to volunteer for a fiscal ROSC, and has also suggested that fiscal ROSCs for the members of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union would be a helpful means of facilitating peer review of members’ achievement of fiscal benchmarks.


See IMF 2003b for a progress report on the implementation of the fiscal transparency initiative. See also IMF and World Bank 2003b and IMF 2003a for an assessment of the extent to which all ROSCs have influenced surveillance and TA.


See Bhatia, 2002, p. 52.


The sovereign ceiling refers to the fact that it is generally very difficult for any entity in a country to be rated higher than the government’s foreign currency rating, due to the government’s powers of taxation and foreign exchange control. The sovereign ceiling no longer seems to be regarded as a binding constraint in all instances, but it nevertheless remains a key factor. See Standard and Poors 2002a. See also Bhatia, 2002, for a discussion of the key role the sovereign ratings assigned by the three major rating agencies play in international capital markets.


See for instance Standard and Poors 2002a, Standard and Poors 2002b. See also Bhatia, 2002, who states that Standard and Poors responded to the Asian crisis by adding a third fiscal score to its rating categories, aimed at quantifying off-budget and contingent liabilities; and by splitting a combined category for external debt into two separate categories for public and private sector external debt.


There is generally less data available on emerging markets, and the data are less reliable. Investors evaluating sovereign risk in emerging markets also look for a wider range of information than they do with respect to developed country markets, in part because ability to repay and even willingness to repay are more important issues than they are with respect to developed countries.


A 1999 survey of rating agencies by the IMF found that on average each sovereign ratings analyst was responsible for rating seven countries (see IMF, 1999, p. 197). The rating agencies reportedly increased the resources devoted to sovereign ratings following the Asian crisis, and Bhatia (2002) states that each Standard and Poors and Fitch analyst is responsible for between four and five countries.


The Estandardsforum is a partnership between Oxford Analytica, the Wharton Financial Institutions Center, the Reinventing Bretton Woods Committee, and Mr. George Vojta (who is the Chairman).


The Financial Stability Forum (FSF) observed with respect to such gap-bridging initiatives: “The Group considers, overall, that the official sector should certainly not impede these initiatives, given their potential value, but neither should it imply its endorsement of the information they provide.” (FSF, 2001).


Oxford Analytica is an international consulting firm drawing on over 1,000 senior faculty members at Oxford and other major universities and research institutions around the world.


Other sources of assessment may be used if they meet certain criteria, such as being authoritative, objective and comprehensive. In one case, the Estandardsforum cites one of the CBPP studies (see Section IV) as the source of one of its country fiscal transparency ratings.


The Estandardsforum itself assigns a numeric rating to each of the six categories on a scale of 0-10 (no assessment available is given the zero score, while no compliance is given a 1, on the basis that no information is the worst possible situation facing international investors). They then sum these scores across all the 12 standards and codes to provide a snapshot and league tables of countries’ overall compliance with standards and codes.


A recent study by Gelos and Wei (2002) found that emerging market equity funds tend to allocate less money to less transparent countries, controlling for other factors. Their measure of country transparency included three components, one of which was ratings derived from Oxford Analytica reports of fiscal and monetary policy transparency against the respective IMF Codes. Gelos and Wei also found that herding among funds is somewhat less prevalent in more transparent countries; and they found support for the view that, during the Asian and Russian crises, international investors tended to flee less transparent countries. In contrast, they found that mutual funds react less strongly to macroeconomic news in less transparent countries, and more strongly to the same news in more transparent countries.


See CLSA, 2002.


See FSF, 2001, and IMF, 2003c.


See also Price, 2002, and Chambers, 2002, for rating agency comments on the relevance of ROSCs, including fiscal ROSCs.


Of the twenty survey responses, only four were from Moody’s. Given that Moody’s has not formally incorporated use of fiscal ROSCs into its operating procedures, this may mean there is some upward bias in the survey results on the level of awareness and use of ROSCs.


While fiscal ROSCs are increasingly incorporating links to official government web sites where fiscal data are posted, they do not themselves contain quantitative data.


This would be a more relevant and useful disclosure than the current disclosure, which states that the Fund’s publication policy allows for the deletion of market-sensitive material. This has very little if any relevance to a fiscal ROSC.


As occurred with the one-off fiscal transparency assessment exercise completed by CLSA.


In a similar manner to governments meeting the costs of the credit assessment services of bond rating agencies.


While some of the CalPERS-financed studies are available on its web site, not all of them are in the public domain. The Estandardsforum information, and the CLSA study have been available only on a subscription basis - although the Estandardsforum data is now publicly available.


Concerns have been expressed during official outreach exercises about the objectivity (and accuracy) of the assessments and information provided by private sector firms with respect to various international standards (see FSF 2001, and IMF 1999).


The recent IMF Board discussion of the Standards and Codes initiative noted a growing demand for ROSCs, and a need for greater prioritization of new ROSCs and up-dates of existing ROSCs, given limitations on available resources. Priority for new ROSCs is to be given to countries where the returns are greatest in terms of financial stability or development impact. The Fund is also exploring greater external partnerships in producing ROSCs and ROSC updates. See IMF Public Information Notice No. 03/43, April 3, 2002.


These suggestions were made by the IIF with respect to SDDS compliance. See IIF, 1999.


See IMF, 1999, Hemming and Petrie, 2000, and the Fiscal Management Assessment Report on Turkey, SM/02/191, 6/20/02, discussed in IMF, 2003a, p. 18.


See for instance FSF, 2001, IIF, 1999 and Schneider, 2002. The FSF did note that lack of political will within governments and legislatures was proving to be a barrier to the further implementation of standards, and suggested efforts to directly reach the business community within these countries as a way of building a reform-minded constituency. The FSF did not refer, however, to the potential role of the broader civil society.


For general information on the International Budget Project and summaries of civil society budget transparency studies, see the IBP web site,


For the DC study, see Lazere, 2002. Information on both the Russian project and the DC study is available on the IBP web site.


See Pope, 2000, Chapter 23. See also Petrie, 1999.


See TI’s Press Release on the Global Corruption Report 2003, 22 January 2003.


The list of countries where there is both a fiscal ROSC and a civil society study omits Argentina, where there is only a very short, early experimental fiscal ROSC.


See the International Budget Project Newsletter, No. 13, January 2003. Available at


For example, IMF staff missions to the Czech Republic (a country with a high number of ROSCs) have regularly flagged standards and codes issues with the local press while the former IMF resident representative for the Czech Republic and Hungary gave presentations on standards at seminars. See IMF, 2003a.


Similar to the one published recently - see IMF, 2003d.


The overall response rates and mean responses were calculated excluding the 4 respondents from the “Others” category.


Calculations for this section included the responses from “Others” category.


The meetings in New York were attended by Mrs. Parry and Mr. Petrie, the meetings in London and Oxford were with Mr. Allan, and the meeting with the IIF was attended by Messrs. Allan, Bertuch-Samuels and Petrie, and Mrs. Parry.