Public Information Notice: IMF Executive Board Reviews Proposal for Streamlining Preliminary HIPC Documents

November 10, 2000

Public Information Notices (PINs) form part of the IMF's efforts to promote transparency of the IMF's views and analysis of economic developments and policies. With the consent of the country (or countries) concerned, PINs are issued after Executive Board discussions of Article IV consultations with member countries, of its surveillance of developments at the regional level, of post-program monitoring, and of ex post assessments of member countries with longer-term program engagements. PINs are also issued after Executive Board discussions of general policy matters, unless otherwise decided by the Executive Board in a particular case.

In the context of bringing as many HIPCs as feasible to their decision points this year, subject to the agreed framework and the need to strengthen the link between debt relief and poverty reduction in each case, the Executive Boards of the IMF and the World Bank on November 2 and 3, 2000 approved proposals to streamline preliminary HIPC documents, and consider these documents on an accelerated timetable in 2000. A paper on “Initiative for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries-Proposal for Streamlining Preliminary Documents” is posted on the Fund’s website (

In summing up the IMF Board’s discussion, First Deputy Managing Director Stanley Fischer, Acting Chairman, said:

“Directors agreed that preliminary documents should be streamlined to focus on a few key issues, notably: eligibility; track record; summary debt sustainability analysis; timing of possible decision points; possible triggers for the floating completion point; and likely assistance under the Initiative. A number of Directors emphasized that streamlining should not be allowed to compromise the quality and coverage of the information presented to the Board. Some Directors considered that reaching a decision point before the end of the year may be premature for some of the country cases currently envisaged for consideration within that time frame. Accordingly, requests were made that the preliminary documents also include the rationale for the choice of completion point triggers, details on the debt service profiles before and after HIPC Initiative assistance, more information on expenditure tracking and monitoring of debt relief, plans for interim relief, and policies on transparency. Directors also stressed that adequate information on a country’s performance under the PRGF, and the justifications for any shortening of the required track record-where appropriate-should be included. The staff will take these factors into account when preparing these papers.

“Directors also supported the proposal that, for the remainder of this year, the streamlined preliminary documents be discussed by the Board on a case-by-case basis, after a review period of five working days.

“Directors generally supported a review of the experience with these arrangements early in 2001,” Mr. Fischer said.


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