Selected Decisions and Selected Documents of the IMF, Fortieth Issue -- The Acting Chair’s Summing Up—2012 Review of Data Provision to the Fund for Surveillance Purposes, Executive Board Meeting 12/98, November 1, 2012

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

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The Acting Chair’s Summing Up—2012 Review of Data Provision to the Fund for Surveillance Purposes, Executive Board Meeting 12/98, November 1, 2012

Executive Directors welcomed the timely review of data provision to the Fund for surveillance purposes. They noted that significant progress has been made since the last review in 2008, and considered that the current data provision framework remains adequate. Nevertheless, Directors agreed that there remains scope for strengthening its implementation within the existing resource envelope, drawing on the conclusions of the 2011 Triennial Surveillance Review and the data gaps revealed by the global financial crisis. To this end, Directors broadly supported the recommendations to further strengthen data provision and encouraged staff to continue to improve the treatment of data issues in surveillance.

Directors saw merit in improving clarity and candor in assessing and communicating the adequacy, quality, and timeliness of data provision to the Fund, along the lines proposed in the staff report. They generally considered that, while a new classification of data adequacy introduced in 2008 has worked relatively well, clearer instructions on how to draw distinction among the different categories would help ensure uniform application. Directors also supported the proposals to identify more prominently in Article IV staff reports the main data deficiencies that hamper surveillance, progress in implementing past recommendations, and data sources. Directors supported efforts to ensure consistency in addressing data deficiencies among Article IV staff reports, the General Data Dissemination System, and Fund technical assistance on statistics.

Directors stressed the importance of financial sector data for both the Fund and the member countries, noting that data limitations may impede financial and external stability assessments. They supported modifying the Statistical Issues Appendix to focus more on data for financial sector surveillance and, where relevant, progress on the G-20/IMFC Data Gaps Initiative and on adherence to the recently approved SDDS Plus for countries that have indicated their intention to adhere to the initiative, while also making further progress in areas where the conceptual statistical framework needs development.

Directors broadly supported further efforts to improve key data sets: International Investment Position, Currency Composition of Foreign Exchange Reserves (COFER), financial soundness indicators, general government debt, and monetary and financial data, including through the adoption of standardized reporting forms. Directors underscored the need for close cooperation and consultation with member countries, mindful of the reporting burden, capacity constraints, and country-specific settings, including institutional arrangements, and with due regard to the confidentiality of information. They welcomed ongoing efforts to broaden country participation in the COFER database and encouraged non-reporters to do so. Some Directors noted that data on foreign exchange intervention could also prove useful for Fund surveillance.

Directors considered that procedures for following up on potential breaches of Article VIII, Section 5, have been broadly effective and that no changes to the framework are necessary at this time. However, they saw merit in drawing lessons from a review of prolonged open cases, with a few seeking scope for shortening the resolution process.

Directors stressed the importance of working closely with other international agencies to fill data gaps while minimizing the reporting burden for countries. In particular, they encouraged staff to continue to cooperate closely with the Financial Stability Board (FSB) in developing a dataset for global systemically important financial institutions (G-SIFIs), with appropriate data sharing procedures among official institutions on a strictly confidential basis. A number of Directors noted that legal challenges remain to be taken into account with respect to the Fund’s access to G-SIFI individual-to-aggregate data, and looked forward to a decision on this issue at the upcoming FSB plenary. Directors also saw a need to liaise more with relevant institutions with expertise to address labor market data deficiencies. Directors looked forward to an updated guidance note on data provision reflecting today’s discussion. They agreed that the next review of data provision should take place in 2017.


November 6, 2012

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