Selected Decisions and Selected Documents of the IMF, Thirty- Ninth Issue -- Exchange of Documents with Other International Agencies

Prepared by the Legal Department of the IMF
As updated as of March 31, 2017

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Relations with Other International Organizations


Staff reports pertaining to: (i) surveillance under Article IV, Section 3(a) and (b), and (ii) the use of Fund resources by members; and (iii) technical assistance reports may be transmitted by the Managing Director to international agencies having specialized responsibilities within the Fund’s field of interest, subject to the reciprocal transmittal of comparable documents of the recipients to the Fund, and on the understanding with the recipients of the reports that the reports will be kept confidential. Such transmittals and exchanges of documents shall be carried out in accordance with the criteria set forth in SM/90/120 (6/20/90) and Correction 1 (7/17/90), and in SM/93/24 (1/28/93), and in the light of the discussion and summing up of EBM/90/105 and EBM/90/106 (7/2/90).

In addition, documents referred to in paragraph 11 of the Agreement between the Fund and the World Trade Organization may be transmitted to the World Trade Organization Secretariat on the sixth working day after their circulation to Executive Directors, provided that there is no objection by the member concerned.

Decision No. A-9786-(93/20),

February 11, 1993,

as amended by Decision No. A-10615-(96/105),

November 25, 1996


  • (a) Criteria for access

    The following three basic criteria would seem relevant in considering the appropriateness of (access to Fund documents:

    • (i) Commonality of operational interest and need: documents would in principle be available to official international organizations that share with the Fund a current operational and financial interest in the particular member country concerned. Thus, organizations that are or will be providing substantial financial assistance to Fund members, primarily balance of payments support whose effectiveness is dependent on the macroeconomic environment, would a priori meet this criterion. Organizations would also have to be deemed to have an operational need for the information in Fund documents.

    • (ii) Reciprocity: recipient organizations would need to be prepared to make arrangements as appropriate to ensure reciprocity of comparable country papers. The staff will need to explore the scope and nature of these papers in the case of each organization.

    • (iii) Confidentiality: recipient organizations would need to assure the Fund that the documents provided will not be used for any purpose other than that specified in the organization’s request and would be kept confidential. A senior official of the organization would submit a request to the Secretary of the Fund for the regular transmittal of documents, and provide assurance that the material in the documents was for the internal and exclusive use by staff only and that it would not be quoted from, either in whole or in part, or used in publication.

The agencies which meet these criteria at this time, and which could be expected to request regular transmittal of country documents, would include the AfDB, AsDB, Arab Monetary Fund, CDB, IsDB, IDB, EC Commission (see also Section V), EIB, and the UNDP on countries that are receiving technical assistance under the executing agency arrangement with the Fund. However, this indicative list can be expected to evolve over time with the agencies’ scope of financial operations, and in terms of the countries of concern for each agency. For example, it might also be appropriate to include in this list at some point in the future the newly founded European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Thus, the staff would keep agency and country indicative lists under periodic review in light of the basic criteria listed above.


Given the clear need for a more timely release of country documents, certain modifications in the procedures set out in SM/92/90 may be helpful. These do not alter the guidelines and principles of the Board’s decision of July 1990. The request for clearance of the document’s transmittal could be made, on a “no objection” basis, in the Secretary’s cover note to the document when it is first circulated to Executive Directors (see sample in Attachment III), with a considerable saving of paperwork and time. In this way, the document could be prepared for transmittal shortly after its circulation, and dispatched at a time indicated on the cover note. This time could be, according to the circumstances and on the basis of requirements to be indicated by the area department, either immediately following consideration by the Board or, in what are expected to be exceptional cases, at a specific date before the Board discussion. The need to consider release prior to Board discussion could arise when the early availability of a document is seen to be required, for instance, in order to make available background information when preparations are being made for the provision by donors or other agencies of financial or technical assistance to members, or to facilitate Paris Club rescheduling discussions.1

The modified procedures for clearing the release of country documents will apply only to the transmittal of staff reports and REDs sent to various agencies on a regular basis. Ad hoc requests for country documents will continue to be cleared in the same way as in the past, with the area and issuing department, and with the concurrence of the Executive Director concerned.

1 Ed. Note: Not included in this volume.

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