2018 Fiscal Forum: Corruption and Public Sector Governance

April 21-22, 2018

IMF Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

Corruption can weaken the state’s capacity to tax, leading to lower revenue collection. It can also undermine spending programs through cost inflation and distorted, low-quality budget allocation.

The 2018 Fiscal Forum will bring together policymakers and practitioners to discuss how revenue mobilization reforms and fiscal transparency can help to fight corruption.


Day 1—Saturday April 21, 2018: IMF Headquarters 2, Conference Hall 2

2:00-2:45 PM


2:45-3:00 PM

Opening Remarks

Vitor Gaspar, Director, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF

3:00-4:15 PM

Session 1: Fighting Corruption in Revenue Mobilization Through Institutional Reforms

Corruption can weaken the state’s capacity to tax, leading to lower revenue collection. Widespread corruption harms the culture of compliance, thereby increasing tax evasion. Tax evasion, like corruption, comes with a reduced fairness in taxation, thus undermining the society’s trust in government.

Digitalization offers new, better information and tools for the fight against corruption. For instance, electronic filing of tax returns and access to third-party information have helped to reduce corruption.

This session will feature speakers with experience in revenue mobilization reforms that required high-level political commitment.

Chair: Vitor Gaspar, Director, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF


  • Danilo Astori, Minister of Economy and Finance, Uruguay
  • Dana Reizniece-Ozola, Minister of Finance, Latvia
  • Henrik Kleven, Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Princeton University
  • Deborah L. Wetzel, Senior Director, Governance Global Practice, World Bank
4:15-4:45 PM

Coffee break

4:45-6:00 PM

Session 2: Fiscal Transparency

Corruption can undermine spending programs through cost inflation and distorted, low-quality budget allocation. For instance, corrupt procurement processes often lead to inflated costs, taking resources away from critical development needs. The distortion in budget allocation often leads to limited buildup of critical infrastructure, poor education and health outcomes among other issues. The IMF has been promoting fiscal transparency as a mechanism to fight corruption.

Digitalization is enabling reforms in budget preparation and fiscal transparency. Notably, it has allowed citizens easy access to information on government spending and encouraged open budget processes. At the same time, digitalization of government payments has often reduced fraud and corruption.

This session will bring together policymakers and practitioners to discuss the main issues and challenges in fighting corruption and how public financial management instruments and reforms can promote fiscal transparency and accountability.

Chair: Martin Mühleisen, Director, Strategy, Policy, and Review Department, IMF


  • Anat R. Admati, The George G.C. Parker Professor of Finance and Economics, Stanford University
  • Julius Mukunda, Executive Director, Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group, Uganda
  • Kamel Ayadi, President, High Level Authority on Financial and Administrative Control, Tunisia
  • Drago Kos, Chair of the OECD Working Group on Bribery
6:00-7:30 PM

Reception and Launch of the IMF Fiscal Transparency Handbook and OECD Budget Transparency Toolkit

Remarks, photo-op, and cocktails.

Vitor Gaspar (Director, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF), Luiz de Mello (Director, Policy Studies Branch, Economics Department, OECD), and Juan Pablo Guerrero (Network Director, GIFT)

Day 2—Sunday April 22, 2018: IMF Headquarters 1, Atrium

9:45-11:00 AM

ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION: Restoring Trust by Curbing Corruption

The past few years have seen a growing distrust in governments and public institutions. A key factor fueling this distrust is corruption, identified as one of the “most important problems facing the world today.” Corruption undermines revenue and reduces the efficiency of public spending. Recognizing that mitigating corruption requires a holistic and multifaceted approach, tailored to the specifics of each country, panelists will share their experiences with successful anti-corruption initiatives. Another focal point of the discussion will be the international facilitation of corruption and tax evasion. Finally, panelists will discuss how the IMF can contribute and help to mend the trust divide.

Chair: Greg Ip, Chief Economics Commentator, the Wall Street Journal


  • Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, IMF
  • Abdoulaye Bio-Tchané, Minister of State for Planning and Development, Benin
  • Lea Giménez Duarte, Minister of Finance, Paraguay 
  • Penny Mordaunt, Secretary of State for International Development, United Kingdom
  • Patricia Moreira, Managing Director, Transparency International