Who oversees the IMF? 

The IMF is governed by and accountable to its member countries. It meets regularly with government and private-sector representatives to inform and improve its work. To ensure accountability, the IMF relies on internal and external audits, risk management tools, and independent evaluations. IMF staff are subject to strict ethical and workplace standards of conduct.

IMF and accountability


Engaging with the public

In conducting its work, the IMF meets regularly with political leaders, and country authorities. In addition, the IMF routinely engages with private sector representatives, members of the media, parliamentarians, academics, civil society organizations, labor unions, and youth leaders. These public engagements allow the IMF to inform and improve its policy advice. 

Checks and balances

The IMF audits its operations to improve governance, transparency, and accountability. It relies on an external audit firm, an independent External Audit Committee, and an internal audit function. 

The IMF’s Executive Board, in consultation with the External Audit Committee, selects the external audit firm. The outside audit firm conducts the IMF’s annual external audit and expresses an opinion on the IMF’s financial statements. 


The External Audit Committee is independent of the IMF’s management. As part of its mandate, it reviews the performance of the external audit firm and key risks that could affect the IMF’s financial reporting.

The IMF’s Office of Internal Audit and Inspection assesses and advises on the effectiveness of the IMF’s governance, risk management, and internal controls. It also acts as consultant to improve the IMF’s business processes.

Assessing risk

The IMF’s Internal Risk Management Unit assesses and manages the risks that come from the IMF’s surveillance, lending, and capacity development activities. The unit also ensures implementation of the IMF’s strategic direction as outlined in the Managing Director’s Global Policy Agenda


Learning from experience

The IMF’s Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) provides objective evaluations of IMF policies and activities. The IEO is fully independent from IMF management and staff and operates at arm’s length from the Executive Board. The IEO promotes learning within the IMF, strengthens its external credibility, and supports institutional governance and oversight. IEO evaluations include topics such as the IMF’s engagement with small developing states, its collaboration with the World Bank, and its advice on unconventional monetary policies.  

Ethics and staff conduct

To ensure good internal governance, the IMF has integrity measures that require financial disclosure and certification. It has a code of conduct for staff, a similar code of conduct for members of the Executive Board, and an integrity hotline offering protection to whistleblowers.

The IMF Ethics Office advises the IMF and its staff on ethical behavior, oversees ethics and integrity training, and investigates alleged violations of ethics rules and regulations. An Ombudsperson provides impartial, independent assistance in resolving employment-related problems.

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This page was last updated in September 2022