Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Report on the Civil Society (Fourth Pillar) Consultations with the International Monetary Fund on Reform of IMF Governance

August 31, 2010

Coordinated by New Rules for Global Finance Coalition

Compiled and Summarized by Domenico Lombardi

Preface This document responds to the request of the IMF’s Managing Director to New Rules for Global Finance Coalition, to present a summary of civil society recommendations on IMF Governance Reform. This input constitutes the fourth “pillar” of a process of gathering input: the first pillar was the report of the IMF Independent Evaluation Office on IMF Governance (IEO, 2008); the second pillar was the report of a Committee of the Board, headed by Mr. Thomas Moser, Executive Director representing the Constituency of Switzerland (Board Working Group, 2008); and the third pillar was the report of the Committee of Eminent Persons on IMF Governance Reform chaired by Mr. Trevor Manuel, then Finance Minister of South Africa (Manuel, 2009).

This is the second of two papers produced through the fourth pillar process. The first, written by Jo Marie Griesgraber, Executive Director of New Rules, is a summary of recommendations, and was submitted to the Executive Board prior to its July 21, 2009 discussion of IMF Governance Reform. Like the first paper, this one is also derived from consultations with representatives of CSOs actively participating in the fourth pillar process (see: Additional input for this paper comes from six videoconferences with civil society participants from academia, NGOs, and the private sector, in: 1) Nairobi and Johannesburg; 2) Lima and Montevideo; 3) Mexico City and Buenos Aires; 4) Bishkek and Almaty; 5) Ghana; and 6) Jakarta and New Delhi.4 In most cases the cities were self-selected by CSO participants offering to coordinate interested colleagues in their respective city.

This document summarizes the thrust and scope of the consultations on the IMF coordinated by New Rules with the aim to formulate recommendations that form a common floor for CSO demands in terms of IMF reforms. It was compiled and summarized by Domenico Lombardi, President of The Oxford Institute for Economic Policy (OXONIA), Oxford (UK), at the request of New Rules. Its principal audience is the Executive Board of the IMF. It seeks to consolidate the views and recommendations that surfaced through submissions to, discussed during the six videoconferences, and to a lesser extent, emailed directly to New Rules or to Dr. Lombardi. (Obviously not every good idea is incorporated herein, and we apologize for inevitable omissions.5) Whereas the first paper focused on short-term governance reforms, many of which are possible within the existing IMF Articles of Agreement, this paper discusses many of those same recommendations in greater detail, and explores some of the significant additional reforms needed to transform the IMF into the institution the 21st Century financial system requires.6 It should be noted that every videoconference participant insisted on the centrality of holding the IMF accountable for policies and the conditions that accompany IMF programs in borrowing countries. The issue of conditionality may appear to be beyond the parameters of the IMF’s normal understanding of “governance”; accountability for the consequences of conditionality is not.

Report of the Civil Society Consultations with the IMF (english) (43 pages)

Informe de las Consultas de la Sociedad Civil con el FMI (español) (44 pages)

Rapport des consultations de la société civile avec le FMI (français) (44 pages)