IMF unveils new corruption policy for member states
Washington DC: The International Monetary Fund will systematically address corruption and its impact on economic growth with all its member countries under new guidelines.
The new policy also tackles how rich countries contribute to corruption in the developing world by failing to prevent bribery and money laundering or by allowing anonymous corporate ownership.
"We know that corruption hurts the poor, hinders economic opportunity and social mobility, undermines trust in institutions and causes social cohesion to unravel," IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in a statement on Sunday.
"We have now adopted a framework for enhanced engagement on governance and corruption that aims for a more systematic, evenhanded, effective and candid engagement with member countries."
Corruption and poor governance sap economic growth and exacerbate inequality, according to the IMF, and the new policy framework ensures the institutions will hold all members to the same standards -- something it had not always done.
The new policy comes as Ukrainian authorities work to implement stringent new anticorruption reforms at the behest of the IMF, which has held up the latest instalment of a $17.5 billion aid package.
The revised good governance guidelines, which take effect on July 1, follows a recent review of the IMF's 20-year-old policy framework which concluded the fund had sometimes employed euphemisms when discussing corruption in member states -- leaving local officials unclear about IMF concerns.
And IMF analysis sometimes failed to apply the same standards evenly to all members.
Under the new guidelines approved by the IMF board on April 6, the fund will discuss good governance concerns in all annual economic reviews of member countries.
IMF officials however say they do not expect the policy will lead to more stringent conditions on loans, which go to a minority of the fund's 189 members and which already include anti-corruption provisions.
The fund also will rely on the findings of outside transparency campaigners who have criticized the existence of tax and corporate havens in advanced economies as a conduit for illicit financial flows to and from poorer countries.