IMF Improves Disclosure Policy

The IMF is taking steps to reduce the number of deletions made in the publicly disclosed versions of its key reports about member countries;

About one-quarter of published reports contain substantive corrections going beyond what is permitted under existing guidelines. In most cases, these changes related not only to the presentation of the authorities’ views, but also to the staff’s analysis and views. This procedure was also used, not infrequently, to add or delete information. In about 25 percent of published reports, corrections were made after the Board discussion of the report.

The transparency policy appears to have had subtle, but noteworthy effects on candor. About 9 percent of reports are published with deletions that entail some diminution of candor and 16 percent of reports with corrections that blur or tone down staff’s analyses and assessments. Only in five percent of cases was a key message significantly altered. However, the survey of mission chiefs suggests that concerns remain about potential losses of candor, regarding both the policy dialogue and staff’s reporting to the Executive Board.”

The report also tries to ‘name and shame’ (you have to read between the lines) those countries that don’t publish the Article IV reports. The members not publishing any Article IV or UFR reports in the period from July 1, 2003, to Feb. 28, 2005, were: Bahrain, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cote d'Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Fiji, Guyana, Honduras, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Myanmar, Oman, Panama, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Yemen.

Not surprisingly Middle East is the worst performer in terms of share of reports published (47 %, see Table 2).

The IMF review also includes a literature review of pros and cons of transparency.

Interesting Related Link:

- The Art of Information Access Project -it’s anthropologist’s version of the
practices involved in gaining access to government-held documents through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in the United States


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This page contains a single entry by Paul published on April 5, 2006 11:32 PM.

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