IMF holds meeting over World Bank report irregularities

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has held a meeting in relation to the alleged role of its Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva in irregularities found in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2018 and 2020 reports.

The Board discussed the Ethics Committee’s deliberations and had a preliminary exchange of views on the report and the Managing Director’s statement in response to it.

A statement issued by the IMF Communications Department endorsed by Press Officer, Randa Elnagar, said, further discussions would be done by the Board on the matter.

“The Executive Board emphasised the importance it attached to conducting a thorough, objective, and timely review and agreed to meet again soon for a further discussion,” the statement has it.

The IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, has disputed the World Bank investigation, which noted that in her previous job at the Bank, she pressed staff to alter a report to avoid angering China.

“I disagree fundamentally with the findings and interpretations of the Investigation of Data Irregularities as it relates to my role in the World Bank’s Doing Business report of 2018,” she said in a statement.

The World Bank terminated its ease of doing business rankings after it implicated some top officials for engaging in irregularities in the 2018 and 2020 reports, notable among the officials being Kristalina Georgieva, and the former World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim.

The World Bank explained that the decision to suspend the report was after a review of all the information available to date on Doing Business, including the findings of past reviews, audits, and the report the Bank.

“On behalf of the Board of Executive Directors, World Bank Group management has taken the decision to discontinue the Doing Business report,” the World Bank said in a statement released last Thursday.

It added that “because the internal reports raised ethical matters, including the conduct of former Board officials as well as current and/or former Bank staff, management reported the allegations to the Bank’s appropriate internal accountability mechanisms.”

World Bank to adopt new approach to assess the ease of doing business

The World Bank said that going forward, it would be working on a new approach to assessing the business and investment climate by harnessing the energies and abilities of staff members who have worked diligently to advance the business climate agenda.

“The World Bank Group remains firmly committed to advancing the role of the private sector in development and providing support to governments to design the regulatory environment that supports this,” the statement had it.

The Bank explained that trust in the research was vital to the group, as it informs the actions of policymakers helps countries make better-informed decisions.

It added that such research reports allows stakeholders to measure economic and social improvements more accurately, and has been a valuable tool for the private sector civil society, academia, journalists, and others, broadening understanding of global issues.

World Bank Doing Business rankings

The World Bank “Doing Business” rankings have acquired the status of a prestige tag for emerging economies and become a key influencer of wide-ranging policies, globally.

The global rankings show how countries are most welcoming of private investment and business. During its last report in 2019, New Zealand topped the 190 countries for the rankings, with Ghana being ranked 118.

READ ALSO: EU Nominates Kristalina Georgieva As Next IMF Chief

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