Public Information Notice: IMF Reviews the Fund's Transparency Policy—Issues and Next Steps, October 10, 2003

The Fund's Transparency Policy--Issues and Next Steps
September 29, 2003

The Fund's Transparency Policy—Progress Report on Publication of Country Documents
April 4, 2003

Public Information Notice: IMF Reviews Experience and Next Steps in the Fund's Transparency Policy
September 27, 2002

The Fund's Transparency Policy, Statement by Horst Köhler
September 25, 2002

IMF Reviews Experience and Next Steps in the Fund's Transparency Policy
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Transparency at the IMF, A Factsheet

The Fund’s Transparency Policy—Issues and Next Steps (Amendments to the Transparency Policy Decision)

Prepared by the Legal and Policy Development and Review Departments

Approved by François Gianviti and Mark Allen

February 12, 2004

Use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the attachment (26 Kb)

1. At the Executive Board’s review of the Fund’s transparency policy, Executive Directors agreed on several changes to be made to the policy (see BUFF/03/170, 9/17/03). To bring these changes into effect, amendments to the transparency policy decision have been prepared for approval by Executive Directors; the changes may be adopted by a majority of the votes cast. The text of the decision as amended is shown in the attached, with the relevant changes “redlined.”

2. The main changes agreed by Executive Directors may be summarized as follows:

a. “Voluntary but presumed publication” of all use of Fund resources (UFR) staff reports and post-program monitoring (PPM) staff reports, starting immediately after the attached amendments to the decision are approved. “Voluntary but presumed publication” of Article IV consultation staff reports and related papers and Article IV PINs, starting from July 1, 2004 onwards. (Paragraph 3 of the attached decision.)

b. Clarification of the meaning of “presumed publication”. (Paragraph 3(b) of the attached decision.)

c. Release of a brief factual statement in the event a member does not consent to the publication of a PIN following an Article IV consultation with that member. This new rule will come into effect on July 1, 2004. (Paragraph 11(a) of the attached decision.)

d. Non-recommendation by the Managing Director of approval for exceptional access to the Fund’s general resources unless the member consents to the publication of the associated staff report. In that regard, the attached amendment defines “exceptional access” as access to the Fund’s general resources, under any type of financing, in excess of an annual limit of 100 percent of quota and a cumulative limit (net of scheduled repurchases) of 300 percent of quota. This new rule will come into effect on July 1, 2004. (Paragraph 4(b) of the attached decision.)

e. Clarification that the “deletions criterion” covers not only highly market-sensitive material on exchange and interest rates, but also in banking and fiscal areas, and in vulnerability assessments. (Paragraph 8 of the attached decision.)

f. Authorization for the Managing Director to recommend non-publication of a document in the case of deletions that would result in a document that would undermine the overall assessment and credibility of the Fund. (Paragraph 8 of the attached decision.)

g. New deletions and modifications criteria for Fund policy staff reports. (Paragraph 13 of the attached decision.)

3. Further, two issues which were not included in the transparency review Board paper and discussion are being addressed in the attached, in the first case to correct an inadvertent omission and, in the second case, to reflect new practice since:

a. the treatment of PINs for post-program monitoring (PPM) discussions (Document 13 in the transparency policy decision); and

b. the issuance of PINs following ex post assessments by the Executive Board for members with long-term use of Fund resources.

In relation to (a) above, staff proposes that PPM PINs be treated in the same manner as PPM staff reports (Document 9 in the transparency policy decision), i.e., publication would be “voluntary but presumed”. A brief factual statement will be released instead of a PIN in cases where the member does not consent to PIN publication. Paragraphs 3(a) and 11(a) of the attached draft decision reflect these proposals respectively. As for (b) above, given the similarities between PPM and ex post assessment discussions, staff also proposes that PINs following the latter be published on a “voluntary but presumed” basis. As in the case of PPMs, if a member does not wish a PIN to be published following an ex post assessment discussion, a brief factual statement will be issued by the Fund in lieu. These proposals are reflected by the addition of PINs following ex post assessment discussions to Document 13 in the list attached to the transparency decision, and by paragraph 11(a) of the attached decision itself.

4. In addition, subsequent to the transparency review, the review of the Offshore Financial Centers (OFC) assessment program (BUFF/03/196, 11/11/03) resulted in authorization for the reclassification and publication of the Module 2 main assessment report as a staff report (Assessment of Financial Sector Supervision and Regulation (AFSSR) Report). This is reflected in the inclusion of AFSSRs in the attached decision and the addition of a new paragraph 18 to deal with those OFC assessments which do not pertain to a Fund member.

5. In addition to the above, a few minor editorial changes, also “redlined,” are proposed by the staff to clarify and update the decision (e.g., replacing paragraph 3 with new paragraphs 3(a) and 3(b)).

6. Lastly, at the review of the transparency policy, Executive Directors also approved new steps in the treatment of certain documents (e.g., circulation of FSAP technical notes and publication of the Board agenda). These steps are not included in the attached decision because they are operational measures which can be implemented forthwith.