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IMF described as trusted advisor

Published: Wednesday February 20, 2013 | 3:19 pm Comments 0
IMF managing director Christine Lagarde
IMF managing director Christine Lagarde

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) management and staff have welcomed a report released today by the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) on the Role of the IMF as a Trusted Advisor.

The report focuses on the quality and traction of the IMF’s advice to its members.

“I am encouraged by the survey findings that the large majority of authorities held positive views of the Fund and its work and that the Fund’s image has continued to improve,” Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in a statement.

She acknowledged, however, that more is needed to ensure that all Fund members see the institution as an “honest, even-handed and intellectually rigorous partner.”

Lagarde noted that “reversing the effects of legacy and stigma … is a challenge with no quick or easy solutions.”

The IEO report includes a myriad of recommendations to improve the work of the IMF and its interactions with the membership.

The IMF said the staff agreed with a number of suggestions, notably enhancing the value of Article IV consultations by drawing on relevant cross-country experiences, and improving the medium-term focus of the relationship between the Fund and member countries by lengthening country assignments and enhancing the dialogue with country authorities.

The IMF staff, however, had reservations regarding some other recommendations, such as providing country authorities with draft policy recommendations ahead of staff missions.

This they believed would not necessarily solve the difficulties identified and could raise potential policy implementation problems, the release said.

Lagarde concluded that the IEO paper contained helpful guidelines and vowed to work with staff to implement those endorsed by the executive board.

“I believe we should focus on the proposals to enhance our engagement through deeper dialogue before, during and after missions by working harder to ensure continuity of engagement by Fund teams,” in addition to ensuring that staff apply policies with the utmost transparency and even-handedness, she said.

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