WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund’s executive board has said that it has ‘confidence’ in and backs its Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva after concluding its review of an investigation into allegations that she pressured World Bank staff to alter data in favour of countries in her previous role as chief executive of the World Bank.
“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 chief executive of the World Bank,” the IMF said in a statement issued on Tuesday, according to Pakistan’s time.
“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,” said the statement.
The IMF’s 24-member board that represents its 190 member states, issued the statement after holding its eighth meeting on Monday and concluding its review of the investigation conducted by law firm WilmerHale.
The data-rigging claims scandal was the most serious challenge to the Washington-lender’s reputation since Dominique Strauss-Kahn was forced to step down as head of the fund in 2011 amid accusations he had sexually attacked a housekeeper in a New York City Midtown hotel room. He was arrested but the charges against him were subsequently dropped because of doubts about his accuser’s credibility. A separate civil suit was settled later between Mr Strauss-Kahn and his accuser, for an undisclosed amount.
As part of its review, the IMF’s board had met with WilmerHale and Georgiev last week. The fund said it acknowledges that the World Bank’s investigation of potential World Bank staff misconduct in the Doing Business report matter is ongoing.
The IMF’s board said it “reiterates 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”.
It said it plans to meet to consider possible additional steps that ensure the “strength of institutional safeguards in these areas”.
Georgieva, 68, became head of the IMF in 2019 as her predecessor Christine Lagarde left to become president of the European Central Bank. She has refuted the allegations that she pressured World Bank staff to adjust data while she was chief executive there.