Selected Decisions and Selected Documents of the IMF, Thirty- Sixth Issue -- Review of the Fund’s Transparency Policy—Archives Policy

Prepared by the Legal Department of the IMF
As updated as of December 31, 2011

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ARTICLE IX, SECTION 5
Archives

REVIEW OF THE FUND’S TRANSPARENCY POLICY—ARCHIVES POLICY

1. Outside persons, on request, will be given access under the terms specified in this Decision to documentary materials maintained in the Fund’s archives.

2. Access will be given as follows:

(i) Executive Board documents that are over 3 years old;

(ii) Minutes of Executive Board meetings that are over 5 years old;

(iii) BUFF Statements by the Managing Director or Fund Staff to the Executive Board, BUFF/EDs, Gray Documents, Green Documents, Précis of Executive Board Meetings (replaced by Weekly Précis and Weekly Decisions Report), Executive Board Seminars Agendas and Minutes, Secretary’s Journal of Executive Board Informal Sessions Minutes, and Executive Board Committee Minutes that are over 5 years old; and

(iv) Other documentary materials maintained in the Fund’s archives that are over 20 years old.

3. Access to Fund documents specified in paragraph 2 above that are classified as “Secret” or “Strictly Confidential” as of the date of this Decision will be granted only upon the Managing Director’s consent to their declassification. It is understood that this consent will be granted in all instances but those for which, despite the passage of time, it is determined that the material remains highly confidential or sensitive.

4. Executive Board documents covered by Decision No. 13564-(05/85), October 5, 2005, as amended, on the Fund’s Transparency Policy, that are classified as “Strictly Confidential” after the date of this Decision will be automatically declassified when the respective time periods specified in paragraph 2 have elapsed, unless at the time of their initial classification as “Strictly Confidential, the authoring department specifies that the document in question shall not be subject to automatic declassification. If a specification is made that a document shall not be subject to automatic declassification, paragraph 3 of this Decision shall apply to the declassification of that document.

5. Access to the following will not be granted: (a) legal documents and records maintained by the Legal Department that are protected by attorney-client privilege; (b) documentary materials furnished to the Fund by external parties, including member countries, their instrumentalities and agencies and central banks, that bear confidentiality markings, unless such external parties consent to their declassification; (c) personnel files and medical or other records pertaining to individuals; and (d) documents and proceedings of the Grievance Committee.

6. To enable easier and wider public access to the Fund’s Archives, archival material covered by this Decision may be made available through a variety of means, including through a designated section on the Fund’s external website. Accordingly, a “request” under paragraph 1 of this Decision may be made orally in person at Fund Headquarters or by telephone; in writing by hardcopy or electronic means such as e-mail or facsimile; or through a portal in the Fund’s external website designated for access to archival material. Requested material may also be conveyed to the public by hardcopy, electronic means and web-based modalities.

7. Since the Board’s approval of the Policy on Access to Fund Archives in 1996, staff has continued to follow the long-standing policy of requesting Board consent for ad hoc exceptions to the policy on behalf of external researchers. A reasonable cost recovery scheme may be maintained for administering ad hoc requests for Board approval of exceptions to the terms specified under this Decision. No charge shall be assessed for requests received from government officials of member countries.

8. Decision No. 11192-(96/2), January 17, 1996, as amended, on the Opening of the Archives and Decision No. 12981-(03/34), April 9, 2003 on Review of the Policy on Access to the Fund’s Archives are repealed.

9. This Decision is expected to be reviewed by the Executive Board at regular intervals in tandem with the regular reviews of the Fund’s Transparency Policy, Decision No. 13564-(05/85), adopted October 5, 2005, as amended.

10. This Decision shall become effective on March 17, 2010. (SM/09/264, Sup. 3, 12/9/09)

Decision No. 14498-(09/126),
December 17, 2009,
as amended by Decision No. 14766-(10/115),
November 29, 2010

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