On 25 June, Transparency International published an article on an analysis of IMF anti-corruption efforts. It reminds one that it is over 2 years since the IMF sent the world a clear signal of its ambition to play a leading role in the fight against corruption. The IMF is said to be committed to increase its dedication to anti-corruption through various channels, including through its regular yearly assessments of member countries (aka “Article IV reports”). The NGO reviewed IMF assessments for 96 countries published between 2019 and February 2020 and compared each country report to its pre-framework counterpart. It also reviewed a smaller group of reports, to examine the extent to which the IMF’s anti-corruption recommendations were specific and actionable. The article says that, despite an overall increase of corruption-related mentions, there continues to be a wide variance in the way the IMF addresses corruption across countries, and it still has a lot of work left to do to better address good governance and anti-corruption issues. The article makes 3 recommendations for the IMF going forward –
- greater transparency would help the IMF strengthen its methodology;
- the IMF could improve its effectiveness by sharing its schedule of country visits. This would allow civil society organisations, academics, etc to better understand how and when they can contribute to IMF national assessments and help the IMF receive more informed input; and
- to reduce the risk of overlooking important weaknesses in national anti-corruption efforts, it is important that the IMF more systematically and consistently consider input from other anti-corruption experts – this includes external experts and those from civil society.
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