Selected Decisions and Selected Documents of the IMF, Fortieth Issue -- Code of Conduct for the Members of the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund

Prepared by the Legal Department of the IMF
As updated as of April 30, 2019

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Executive Directors


The Executive Board approves the Code of Conduct for Members of the Executive Board (EBS/00/108, Rev. 1, 7/7/00)

Decision No. 12239-(00/71), July 14, 2000,

as amended by Decision No. 13146-(03/114),

December 12, 2003

EBS/00/108, Rev. 1

Code of Conduct

Executive Directors of the Fund are entrusted by the member countries that have selected them with responsibilities for ensuring that the Fund carries out the mandate prescribed in its Articles of Agreement. The office of Executive Director of the Fund requires personal and professional conduct that meets the highest standards. The Board of Governors has adopted certain resolutions with respect to the conduct of Executive Directors. In addition, Executive Directors have adopted the following Code of Conduct, which is intended to provide guidance on ethical standards in connection with, or having a bearing on, their status and responsibilities in the Fund.

The standards set out in this code also apply to Alternate Executive Directors, and Advisors to Executive Director, who perform their functions under the authority of the Executive Director. However, in lieu of the procedures set forth below concerning the Ethics Committee of the Executive Board, Executive Directors will consider any allegations of misconduct by Alternates and Advisors in their respective offices and will take such measures as are necessary and appropriate in the circumstances.


Except with respect to the consideration of alleged misconduct by the Ethics Committee, all references to Executive Directors in this Code shall include Alternates and Advisors unless otherwise indicated. With respect to assistants to Executive Directors, Executive Directors should apply, to the extent possible, the provisions of the Fund Staff Code of Conduct to assistants in their own offices, and should take such measures as are necessary and appropriate. Other persons who are designated as Temporary Alternates shall also be subject to the provisions of this Code on the same basis as Executive Directors.

Basic Standard of Conduct

Executive Directors should observe the highest standards of ethical conduct. In the performance of their duties, they are expected to carry out the mandate of the Fund to the best of their ability and judgment, and to maintain the highest standards of integrity. In their conduct outside the workplace, they should also ensure that they observe local laws so as not to be perceived as abusing the privileges and immunities conferred on the Fund and Executive Directors.

Conduct Within the Fund

Executive Directors should treat their colleagues and the staff with courtesy and respect, without harassment, physical or verbal abuse.

Executive Directors should exercise adequate control and supervision over matters for which they are individually responsible.

Executive Directors should ensure that Fund property and services are used by themselves and persons in their offices for official business only.

Protection of Confidential Information

In line with the rules and guidelines of the Fund, Executive Directors have the responsibility to protect the security of any confidential information provided to, or generated by, the Fund.

Public Statements

When making public statements or speaking to the media on Fund-related matters, Executive Directors should make clear whether they are speaking in their own name or on behalf of the Executive Board.

Conflicts of Interest

In performing their duties, Executive Directors will carry out their responsibilities to the exclusion of any personal advantage.

Executive Directors should avoid any situation involving a conflict, or the appearance of a conflict, between their personal interests and the performance of their official duties. If such a conflict arises, Executive Directors should promptly inform the Ethics Committee and withdraw from participation in decision making connected with the matter. If the conflict is potential rather than actual, Executive Directors should seek the advice of the Ethics Committee about whether they should recuse themselves from the situation that is creating the conflict or the appearance of conflict.

Personal Financial Affairs

Executive Directors should not use, or disclose to others, confidential information to which they have access, for purposes of carrying out private financial transactions. Because of the Fund’s role in exchange rate surveillance, Executive Directors should not engage in short-term trading (i.e., a combination of buying and selling within six months) in gold, foreign currencies, and closely related financial instruments, for speculative purposes. For this purpose, the term “combination” does not include one-way transactions, such as the selling or buying of foreign exchange for household expenses, education or travel expenses.

For purposes of complying with these principles, Executive Directors should follow the guidance provided to the staff.


Executive Directors should make written disclosure to a compliance officer selected by the Executive Board of any financial or business interests of their own or their immediate family members. Until the extent and manner of this disclosure are determined by the Executive Board, the rules governing disclosure by the senior staff of the Fund shall apply. The compliance officer shall bring any unresolved concerns regarding a conflict of interest between an Executive Director’s holdings and the performance of Fund duties to the attention of the Ethics Committee of the Board.

Gifts and Entertainment

In regard to acceptance of favors, gifts and entertainment, Executive Directors should exercise tact and judgment to avoid the appearance of improper influence on the performance of their official duties. The ordinary courtesies of international business and diplomacy may be accepted, but substantial and unusual gifts, favors and entertainment, as well as loans and other services of significant monetary value, should not be accepted.

Post-Fund Employment

When negotiating for, or entering into an arrangement concerning, prospective employment outside the Fund, Executive Directors should not allow such circumstances to affect the performance of their duties. Where involvement in a Fund matter could be, or could be perceived as, benefiting the prospective employer, regardless of whether there is detriment to the Fund or their constituents, Executive Directors should recuse themselves.

Executive Directors who leave the Fund should not use or disclose confidential information known to them by reason of their service with the Fund, and should not contact Executive Directors or other Fund officials (other than through official channels) to obtain confidential information.

The Ethics Committee of the Executive Board

An Ethics Committee, comprised of five Executive Directors, shall be established by the Executive Board to consider matters relating to this Code. In addition, if requested to by Executive Directors, the Committee shall give guidance to them on ethical aspects of conduct, including the conduct of their Alternates, Advisors and assistants.

The Executive Board shall select a Chairperson, four members, and five alternate members from among Executive Directors. They shall be selected on the occasion of a general election of Executive Directors, and shall serve for two years. If the Chairperson, a member or an alternate member resigns, a new Chairperson, member or alternate member shall be selected by the Executive Board to complete the remainder of the term.

In the absence of the Chairperson, the Committee member who is the most senior Executive Director in the Board shall serve as acting Chairperson. In the event that a member of the Committee is not able to attend or serves as acting Chairperson, an alternate member shall serve in that member’s place in order of seniority of Board membership. If the conduct of a member of the Committee is under consideration by the Committee, that member shall recuse himself/herself and be replaced as provided above.

The General Counsel of the Fund, or if absent his/her representative, shall be the permanent secretary of the Committee. The Ethics Committee may seek the views of the Fund’s Ethics Officer ex officio on any matter with which it is dealing.

The meetings of the Ethics Committee shall be restricted to members only and the permanent secretary of the Committee except at the Committee’s invitation.

The Ethics Committee shall consider any alleged misconduct by an Executive Director, and any matters brought to its attention by the compliance officer concerning the disclosures made by Executive Directors about any actual or potential conflict of interest. The Executive Director concerned shall, in all cases, be given the opportunity to present his/her views to the Committee.

If a majority of the Ethics Committee concludes that misconduct has been committed, and taking into account both the nature and seriousness of the misconduct and the Executive Director’s prior record of conduct, the members of the Committee shall make recommendations to the Committee of the Whole of the Executive Board regarding whether a warning should be issued to an Executive Director, and whether such warning should be conveyed to the Governor(s) of the member country (or countries) that appointed, elected or designated the Executive Director. If a majority of the Ethics Committee concludes that no misconduct has been committed, the Executive Director concerned shall be so informed and no recommendation shall be made. When convened for this purpose, the Committee of the Whole shall be comprised exclusively of Executive Directors and shall have a quorum equal to one-half the number of Executive Directors.

Upon receiving the recommendations of the Ethics Committee, the Committee of the Whole shall consider which of the following actions to take: (i) no further action in the matter; (ii) issuance of a warning to the Executive Director; or (iii) issuance of a warning to the Executive Director and transmittal of the warning to the Governor(s) of the member country (or countries) that appointed, elected or designated the Executive Director. If there is no consensus in the Committee of the Whole as to which action to take, the matter shall be referred to the Executive Board for decision.

The Executive Director concerned shall, in all cases, have the opportunity to present his/her views to the Committee of the Whole, but shall not participate in the deliberations on the case.

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