Doing Business rankings: IMF board backs Georgieva after review of data-rigging claims

The IMF has decided to keep Kristalina Georgieva as its managing director despite accusations she influenced a report to favour China while at the World Bank

The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) executive board on Monday (11 October) expressed its full confidence in managing director, Kristalina Georgieva after reviewing allegations that she pressured World Bank staff to alter data to favour China in the 2018 Doing Business rankings.

The IMF said the information presented during its review – which included meetings with WilmerHale attorneys and Georgieva – did not conclusively demonstrate that she played an improper role in the Doing Business report.

In a statement, the Fund said, “The IMF executive board met today to conclude its review of the matter raised by WilmerHale’s investigation of the World Bank’s Doing Business 2018 report. This was the eighth such Board meeting on this matter, as part of the executive board’s commitment to a thorough, objective, and timely review.

“In particular, the executive board had two extensive discussions each with the representatives of WilmerHale as well as with the managing director. The executive board also took note that the World Bank’s investigation of potential World Bank staff misconduct in the Doing Business report matter is ongoing,” the statement said.

“The executive board considered that the information presented in the course of its review did not conclusively demonstrate that the managing director played an improper role regarding the Doing Business 2018 Report when she was CEO of the World Bank.

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“Having looked at all the evidence presented, the executive board reaffirms its full confidence in the managing director’s leadership and ability to continue to effectively carry out her duties. The board trusts in the managing director’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards of governance and integrity in the IMF,” the statement added.

The board also reiterated its own commitment to supporting the managing director in “maintaining the highest standards of governance and integrity in the data, research, and operations of the IMF and has confidence in the impartiality and analytical excellence of IMF staff and in the IMF’s robust and effective channels for complaint, dissent, and accountability.”

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