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IMF names former Bundesbank chief to lead review panel on institutional safeguards -Breaking


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: Jens Weidmann (German Bundesbank President) attends 29th Frankfurt European Banking Congress, which took place at Frankfurt’s Old Opera House on November 22, 2019. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photograph

By David Lawder

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund announced Friday that it had appointed Jens Weidmann from Germany as its former Bundesbank President to head a new panel of external experts to improve institutional security in light of a data breach that engulfed Kristalina Georgieva, IMF Managing Director.

According to the IMF, the panel of experts will perform an independent review in order to determine “how the Fund can make sure that it has established robust and effective channels for complaints, dissenting and accountability.”

This work also includes reviewing the Fund’s existing framework for dealing with complaints applicable to IMF managing directors and executive board members.

As part of an effort to strengthen institutional and research safeguards, the external panel was created. It came two months after Georgieva had been cleared by the IMF Executive Board of wrongdoing following a lengthy review.

Georgieva was accused in September of putting “undue pressure” on World Bank staff in 2017, when she was the lender’s CEO, to alter data in its flagship “Doing Business” report to boost China’s ranking.

Georgieva strongly denied the claims in the investigative report of the law firm that was retained by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors. The incident will be the subject of a second investigation in the coming months.

Janet Yellen (the U.S. Treasury secretary) had supported Georgieva’s IMF job and called for “proactive measures” to strengthen the credibility of the IMF.

Two days ago, Reuters reported that a sentence criticizing Japan’s ongoing financing of high emission coal projects had been deleted from the published final version of Reuters’ mission statement about the Japanese economy. It upset climate activists.

Weidmann, who was critical of the European Central Bank’s ultra-easy Monetary Policy, left the Bundesbank on October 5, five years after his term expired. He served as the Bank for International Settlements’ board chair and economic adviser to Angela Merkel, the former German chancellor.

Others members include:

Susan Raines, Professor at Kennesaw State University, School of Conflict Management, Peacebuilding, and Development in Georgia

Olufemi Elias (a judge at the Islamic Development Bank’s Administrative Tribunal) and professor of law at Queen Mary University of London

Ruben Lamdany (a panel advisor) is a former deputy Director of the IMF’s Independent Evaluation Office, and an ex-World Bank Senior Economist.

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