IMF board agrees to en­sure Fund sur­veil­lance

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE -

The Ex­ec­u­tive Board of the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund (IMF) agreed to move for­ward with a frame­work to help en­sure the even­hand­ed­ness of Fund sur­veil­lance. The frame­work re­sponds to rec­om­men­da­tions from the 2014 Tri­en­nial Sur­veil­lance Re­view (TSR) and, as out­lined in a staff pa­per, has two key el­e­ments. First, it ar­tic­u­lates prin­ci­ples of what it means to be even­handed. Se­cond, it es­tab­lishes a mech­a­nism for re­port­ing and as­sess­ing spe­cific con­cerns about lack of even­hand­ed­ness in sur­veil­lance.

The even­hand­ed­ness of IMF anal­y­sis and ad­vice is crit­i­cal to the in­sti­tu­tion's cred­i­bil­ity and the ef­fec­tive­ness of its en­gage­ment with mem­ber coun­tries. The TSR ex­am­ined the is­sue in de­tail, in­clud­ing through the ex­ter­nal study. While it did not find a sys­tem­atic lack of even­hand­ed­ness, it iden­ti­fied in­stances where dif­fer­ences in sur­veil­lance across coun­tries were not all well jus­ti­fied by coun­try cir­cum­stances. The TSR also con­firmed long-stand­ing per­cep­tions that the Fund is not even­handed. The new frame­work aims to ad­dress both per­cep­tions and in­stances of lack of even­hand­ed­ness trans­par­ently, while safe­guard­ing the in­de­pen­dence and can­dor of staff ad­vice. By forg­ing a com­mon un­der­stand­ing of even­hand­ed­ness, the prin­ci­ples can sup­port a deeper di­a­logue through which even­hand­ed­ness is­sues can be iden­ti­fied ear­lier and dis- cussed more can­didly in the sur­veil­lance process. The mech­a­nism is in­tended to serve as a back­stop to as­sess re­main­ing con­cerns and iden­tify lessons to pro­mote bet­ter prac­tices go­ing for­ward. In this re­spect, the even­hand­ed­ness frame­work also sup­ports the broader goals of the TSR to strengthen and pro­mote more mem­ber-fo­cused sur­veil­lance.

Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tors wel­comed staff's ef­forts to de­velop a more ro­bust frame­work to help en­sure the even­hand­ed­ness of Fund bi­lat­eral and mul­ti­lat­eral sur­veil­lance, in line with the rec­om­men­da­tions of the 2014 Tri­en­nial Sur­veil­lance Re­view. They em­pha­sized that the even­handed treat­ment of mem­ber coun­tries is es­sen­tial to the Fund's cred­i­bil­ity and le­git­i­macy and, thus, to the trac­tion of its pol­icy anal­y­sis and ad­vice. Di­rec­tors broadly sup­ported staff's pro­pos­als as a step to­ward ad­dress­ing ac­tual and per­ceived cases of lack of even­hand­ed­ness. In this re­gard, they con­sid­ered that the for­mu­la­tion of prin­ci­ples and the es­tab­lish­ment of a mech­a­nism for ad­dress­ing con­cerns about lack of even­hand­ed­ness would be a use­ful ini­tial step to com­ple­ment ex­ist­ing av­enues for di­a­logue through­out the sur­veil­lance pro­cesses.

Di­rec­tors agreed on the im­por­tance of hav­ing a clearer and shared un­der­stand­ing of what it means to be even­handed in sur­veil­lance, as lack of clar­ity on this def­i­ni­tion has been an ob­sta­cle to ad­dress­ing is­sues re­lated to even­hand­ed­ness. They agreed that even­hand­ed­ness should be viewed through the lens of "uni­for­mity of treat­ment," which is a long-stand­ing and cen­tral tenet of the Fund's op­er­a­tions. Ac­cord­ingly, even­hand­ed­ness does not mean that mem­ber coun­tries be treated iden­ti­cally, but that mem­ber coun­tries in sim­i­lar cir­cum­stances should be treated sim­i­larly. Di­rec­tors ac­knowl­edged the sub­stan­tial de­gree of judg­ment re­quired to ap­ply this prin­ci­ple, and some of them were con­cerned that this could also give rise to a lack of even­hand­ed­ness.

Di­rec­tors rec­og­nized the im­por­tance of bet­ter un­der­stand­ing whether and how sur­veil­lance is ap­pro­pri­ately cal­i­brated to coun­try cir­cum­stances. They em­pha­sized that the "out­puts" of surveil­lance­ef­fec­tively, the Fund's pol­icy anal­y­sis and ad­vice as well as their pre­sen­ta­tion­should con­tinue to be the pri­mary ba­sis for gaug­ing even­hand­ed­ness.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.