IMF board backs Georgia after reviewing Reuters data fraud allegations

© Reuters File Photo: International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva speaks at a joint press conference after the summit on financing the African economy in Paris, France, May 18, 2021.

By Andrea Shalal and David Lauder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund’s executive board on Monday expressed full confidence in managing director Kristalina Georgieva after reviewing allegations that she pressured World Bank staff to change information in favor of China.

But Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen Georgieva noted that she would closely monitor the IMF’s follow-up and evaluate any new data or results, and called on the IMF to take proactive steps to strengthen data integrity and credibility.

The fund’s two-member board and the Treasury issued separate lengthy statements after a week-long marathon meeting over Georgieva’s move as chief executive of the World Bank, questioning his continued leadership at the IMF.

Georgieva, a Bulgarian economist and the first person in the developing world to head the fund, vehemently denied the claim. He welcomed the board’s approval in a separate statement of his own and said he was satisfied his members agreed that the allegations against him were baseless.

“It was definitely a tough episode for me personally,” he said. “However, I would like to express my unwavering support for the independence and integrity of institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF; and my respect for the values ​​on which these institutions are based.”

Georgia won the support of France and other European governments last week, but U.S. and Japanese officials pushed for a more thorough review of the allegations, according to brief sources.

The bank’s now-canceled “Doing Business” report contained a heinous report prepared by law firm Wilmerhall for the World Bank’s board about information irregularities.

Firm report Allegedly, Georgieva and other senior officials in the report applied “unreasonable pressure” on bank employees to increase China’s ranking, just as the bank sought Beijing’s support for a large capital increase.

Georgieva strongly denies the allegations Executive-Board.pdf The previous date was in 2017, when he was the chief executive of the World Bank. In October 2011, he became the managing director of the IMF.

The board said the information presented during its review – which included meetings with Wilmerhall attorneys and Georgieva – did not conclusively show that he played an inappropriate role in the Doing Business report.

European governments called for a speedy resolution of the issue ahead of this week’s annual meeting between the IMF and the World Bank, where Georgia and World Bank President David Malpas are discussing global recovery, debt relief and efforts to end the Covid-1 pandemic epidemic. Quick vaccination.

The United States and Japan, two of the fund’s largest shareholders, have warned against reaffirming premature trust in the IMF leader, a source said.

‘Legal problem’

Yellen spoke with Georgieva on Monday about the “serious issues” raised by the investigation and pledged to “protect the integrity and credibility of the World Bank and the IMF,” the Treasury said in a statement.

Although the report “raises legitimate issues and concerns,” the Treasury said it agreed with other board members that “there is no basis for a change in IMF leadership in the absence of further direct evidence on the role of managing director.”

Yellen told Georgieva that the Wilmerhall report showed the need for shareholders to be vigilant in protecting the integrity of both organizations and said the IMF needed to renew its commitment to transparency and whistleblower protection.

Regardless of who is responsible for the altered information, current and former employees of both organizations say the scandal has damaged the reputation of their research after-loss -Fact-Fraud-Scandal-2011-10-, raises critical questions about whether that work is under member-domestic influence.

Malpas declined to comment on the IMF process on Monday, but said the World Bank was working to improve the integrity of its research after Data-fraud-scandal-2011-11-1, in which chief economist Carmen Reinhart has been included as part of the bank’s 10-member senior management team.

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