Press Release: IMF Management and Staff Respond to the Report by the Independent Evaluation Office on IMF Interactions with Member Countries

January 20, 2010

Press Release No. 10/11
January 20, 2010

The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) management and staff welcome the report released today by the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) on IMF Interactions with Member Countries.

IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn stated that the IEO’s findings provide “important insights into Fund interactions with its membership” and “reinforce the thrust” of IMF reforms. He noted that the evidence points to an essentially favorable assessment of the Fund’s relations with its members, but also emphasizes specific areas that the Fund needs to work on in the period ahead.

Mr. Strauss-Kahn stressed that the IMF must continue its efforts to strengthen the role and relevance of the Fund’s surveillance and policy advice, not only in advanced and large emerging market economies but across its membership. In particular, “as the institution assists its members in securing a durable recovery from the crisis while striving to limit any recurrences, promoting candor in staff’s assessments is critical,” he said.

Responding to the report, IMF staff stated that the report is a useful reminder of the complexity of Fund interactions with members and the dimensions along which more needs to be done. Staff stressed that “the overall findings of the report should be considered against the background of important changes in Fund surveillance and financing frameworks” that have happened lately.

IMF staff also observed that the report’s positive assessment of relations with PRGF-eligible countries, in particular, confirms the importance of the Fund’s catalytic role in low-income countries. The staff noted, nonetheless, that the “report raises important issues regarding the effectiveness and independence of Fund surveillance in large countries that deserve serious consideration.” Going forward, we must ensure that the staff’s analysis and policy advice are clear and hard hitting, the staff noted.


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