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Standards & Codes

Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSCs)

Standard Setting Agencies

Last Updated: May 2, 2002
Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT)
Corporate Governance
Fiscal Transparency
Insolvency and Creditor
Monetary and Financial Transparency

Standard Key Agency(s) Description

Accounting International Accounting Standards Board (IASB),
International Federation of Accountants (IFAC),
Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS)
A comprehensive set of International Accounting Standards (IAS) have been completed and promulgated by the IASB. Membership in IASB is predominantly private sector and carries no requirement that IAS be used. Adoption of IAS is the decision of national authorities or, where relevant, self-regulatory organizations. Some stock exchanges require financial statements in accordance with IAS as a condition for listing.

Against the background of individual country accounting scandals that began to emerge in 2001, the Bank and Fund staff are working with various standard setters and interested parties to strengthen standards.

The Public Sector Committee of the IFAC is formulating accounting standards for financial reports by governments and public sector entities.

The BCBS has identified and reviewed in its Accounting Task Force those standards of interest to bank supervisors.

Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Financial Action Task Force (FATF) The FATF has developed the 40 Recommendations against money laundering and the 8 Special Recommendations on combatting terrorism financing. The FATF began a process to review and update the 40 Recommendations in 2002. The FATF, IMF and World Bank have produced an AML/CFT assessment methodology.

Auditing International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) International standards on auditing (ISAs) and audit practice statements (IAPs) have been formulated by IFAC through its International Auditing Practices Committee (IAPC). IAPC will work with IOSCO on ISAs for cross-border offerings and reporting by foreign issuers as soon as IOSCO has completed the IASC endorsement mentioned above.

A significant number of IFAC members uses the ISA as a basis for developing their own national standards. The standards developed by IFAC/IAPC have no legal force; members are simply expected to use best efforts to see that IFAC and IASC pronouncements are used nationally. However, the IFAC does encourage members to undertake a self review of their domestic auditing practices to evaluate how well they compare with the ISA.

Banking Basel Committee The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision endorsed the Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision in September 1997. The Core Principles Methodology (October 1999) sets out detailed guidelines for the assessment of compliance with the core principles. For each principle there is a set of criteria (essential and additional)against which compliance is assessed.

Corporate Governance OECD, Basle Committee, World Bank The OECD Principles of Corporate Governance were endorsed at the May 1999 OECD Ministerial meeting. The principles are non-binding on OECD members. The OECD and the World Bank have established, with the cooperation of other international organizations, a Global Corporate Governance Forum, a Private Sector Advisory Group and regional corporate governance roundtables to promote an effective and continuing dialogue on corporate governance. Against the background of industrial country accounting scandals that began to emerge in 2001, the OECD decided to bring forward to 2004 its review of the Principles and the Bank and Fund staffs are supporting efforts by standard setters and other interested parties to strengthen standards.

The Basel Committee addresses corporate governance in the context of banking supervision and a report was circulated in January 1998 providing a framework for the supervisory evaluation of banks' internal controls.

Data Dissemination International Monetary Fund (IMF)

In the May 2002 review of Data Provision to the Fund for Surveillance Purposes, the IMF Executive Board discussed the dissemination of international reserves data to the public under the SDDS. The Fourth Review of the Fund's Data Standards Initiatives was completed in July 2001. Staff monitoring of observance of the data dimension and advance release calendar element of the access dimension of the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS), beginning by end-June 2000, was mandated by the Executive Board. A three-year transition period (ending March 2003) for the dissemination of quarterly external debt statistics with one-quarter lag as a required category of the SDDS, was also approved. A new guide to the compilation of external debt statistics: External Debt Statistics: Guide for Compilers and Users is in draft format, and provides table formats that can be used a guidance in meeting the requirements of the SDDS. The timeliness for the dissemination of the annual International Investment Position (IIP), was increased from six to nine months, provided that subscribers disseminate quarterly external debt data with a one-quarter lag. For subscribers implementing accrual accounting systems for fiscal data, periodicity and timeliness will be on a best-effort basis during the period ending June 2002. The use of a standard format for disseminating the reserves template and for transmitting data to the Fund - approved by the Executive Board in March 1999 - came into effect at the end of March 2000. Monthly reserves template data are redisseminated in a common template on the Fund's external website.

The Board endorsed the Data Quality Assessment Framework and integration into ROSCs in July 2001. The framework responds to calls for standards assessments and ROSCs to examine the quality of data being released as well as the frequency, timeliness, and coverage of data issues.

Fiscal Transparency International Monetary Fund (IMF) The Code of Good Practices on Fiscal Transparency was endorsed by the Fund in April 1998. The Code and Manual were revised in March 2001. The questionnaire, and manual are available on the Fund's web site.

Insolvency and Creditor Rights Systems World Bank, United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), International Bar Association (IBA)

The World Bank, with its partner organizations, has developed Principles and Guidelines for Effective Insolvency and Creditor Rights Systems. The Bank will review the Principles in late 2002/early 2003.

The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) adopted Model Law in May 1997 for cross-border insolvency and this is now under consideration in a number of countries.

The IMF has prepared a report on effective and orderly insolvency procedures. UNCITRAL has expressed strong interest in collaborating with the Fund and Bank in this area.

Insurance Regulation International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) In September 1997 the IAIS issued the Insurance Supervisory Principles, a compendium of principles, standards and guidance papers. A Task Force has been established to prepare a methodology for monitoring the implementation of the Principles which will be prepared in close collaboration with the international organizations engaged in surveillance activities. Three additional standards were issued in September 1998 relating to licensing, on-site inspections and supervision of derivatives.

The IAIS has solicited assistance from the World Bank in distributing the principles, standards and guidance notes to insurance supervisors, and in promoting implementation of the basic standards.

The IAIS consists of insurance supervisors. It is charged with developing internationally endorsed principles and standards on insurance supervision, and with assisting insurance supervisors in implementing those principles and standards through cooperation programs and training. The IAIS recommendations are advisory, rather than binding, on the membership.

Monetary and Financial Transparency Policies International Monetary Fund (IMF) The IMF adopted in 1999 the Code of Good Practices on Transparency in Monetary and Financial Policies: Declaration of Principles, after consultations with the BIS, World Bank, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), national authorities, international and national financial agency experts, and academic experts. The Code and a supporting document are available at

Payments Systems Committee on Payment and Settlements Systems (CPSS) The CPSS is a forum for the central banks of the Group of Ten countries to improve the robustness of payments systems. It has developed the Core Principles for Systematically Important Payment Systems, and has recently added Recommendations for Securities Settlement Systems.

Securities Market Regulation International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) Objectives and Principles of Securities Regulation and Disclosure Standards to Facilitate Cross-Border Offering and Initial Listings by Multinational Issuers were endorsed by the IOSCO membership in September 1998. A Task Force is developing two parallel self-evaluation exercises for IOSCO members: (i) a high-level self-assessment based on the entire set of Principles; and (ii) a more detailed self-assessment based on those Principles relating specifically to the Regulator and the Issuer. The questionnaires for the self-evaluation exercises are expected to be presented at IOSCO's Annual Conference in May 2000. The Task Force is also developing mechanisms for providing assistance to the international financial institutions and the OECD in their use of the Principles.

IOSCO is a forum for cooperation between national securities regulators. Its recommendations are meant to be advisory, rather than binding, on the membership.