IMF & Governance and Anti-Corruption

Poor governance and the lack of transparency offers greater incentives and more opportunities for corruption—the abuse of public office for private gain. Corruption alters the incentives of individual entrusted with public authority, undermines the ability of states to deliver inclusive and sustainable growth and lift people out of poverty. It is a corrosive force that eviscerates the vitality of business and stunts a country’s economic potential.


In 1997, the IMF adopted a policy on how to address economic governance, embodied in the Guidance Note “The Role of the IMF in Governance Issues”. To further strengthen the implementation of this policy, the IMF adopted in 2018 a new Framework for Enhanced Engagement on Governance (Governance Policy) that aims to promote more systematic, effective, candid, and evenhanded engagement with member countries regarding governance vulnerabilities—including corruption—that are critical to macroeconomic performance.

 

The policy focuses on state functions that are most relevant to economic activity; namely: (i) fiscal governance; (ii) financial sector oversight; (iii) central bank governance and operations; (iv) market regulation; (v) rule of law; and (vi) Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT). 

Governance and Accountability During the COVID-19 Crisis

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The IMF’s response to help its member countries manage the COVID crisis and save lives and livelihoods has been unprecedented, including in the sheer speed and size of that effort. Despite the speed of this response, the IMF has focused on safeguards to ensure that appropriate governance, transparency and accountability measures are in place even for the IMFs rapid emergency financing. This financing supports countries’ commitments to level up healthcare spending and provide income support for affected households and businesses.

Highlight

Beyond Keeping the Receipts

The Exchange: Figueres and Geoergieva

A conversation with government officials and civil society representatives on lessons from recent emergency spending

Opening Remarks: 

Geoffrey Okamoto, First Deputy Managing Director, IMF

Speakers: 

Rhoda Weeks-Brown, General Counsel & Director, Legal Department, IMF 

Sawsan Gharaibeh, Co-Founder, Rasheed (Transparency International – Jordan)

Ghizaal Haress, Ombudsperson, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Dondo Mogajane, Director-General, National Treasury, South Africa

Katherine Siggerud, Chief Operating Officer, U.S. Government Accountability Office 

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Governance Diagnostic Reports

Governance diagnostic reports—a key tool in the IMF’s capacity development efforts—are in-depth, country-tailored assessments of corruption and governance vulnerabilities that draw heavily on local knowledge and expertise, and provide prioritized and sequenced recommendation. More Governance Diagnostics are underway, and we expect that they will be also be published upon completion.

Recent Reports

Voluntary Assessments for Advanced Countries

An assessment of the framework to prevent supply-side corruption and cross-border concealment has been covered in the Article IV consultations of some advanced economies

 

Given the importance of the “supply-side” and “concealment” issues, the Fund has been urging members—irrespective of whether they experience systemic domestic corruption themselves—to voluntarily agree to have their systems assessed by the Fund in the context of surveillance, both with respect to their anti-bribery frameworks and those aspects of their AML/CFT frameworks that seek to curb concealment of the proceeds of corruption by foreign officials. 

 

Ten countries have volunteered thus far and have had their assessment included in their Article IV consultation reports: Austria (ongoing), CanadaFranceGermanyItaly
JapanCzech RepublicSwitzerlandUnited Kingdom, and United States