The executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expressed full confidence in Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva on Monday (Oct. 11, 2021). This comes after the executive board launched an investigation into allegations that she pressured staff to tamper with data in favor of China during her tenure as World Bank chief executive. U.S. Treasury Secretary Yellen said the United States will continue to evaluate any new evidence surrounding the allegation and closely monitor the future performance of the IMF.
The 24-member organization’s executive board said the information presented in the investigation failed to conclusively prove Georgieva played an improper role in the Bank’s data tampering. The European members of the executive board advocated for the investigation to be completed quickly so that the IMF and World Bank could focus on promoting global economic recovery. But the United States and Japan, the IMF’s two largest shareholders, do not want to express confidence in Georgieva prematurely.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Georgieva speaks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (Reuters, Nov. 21, 2019)
In a report, the U.S. law firm WilmerHale alleged that Georgieva, when she was the Bank’s chief executive in 2017, exerted undue pressure on staff to change data in the Bank’s flagship report “Doing Business” in favor of China. At the time, the Bank was seeking more funding from China for a Bank project. Georgieva strongly denied the allegations.
The U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement Monday that the U.S. agrees with other executive directors that there is a lack of direct evidence that the president played an improper role and therefore a lack of basis for removing the IMF president, but that the Bank’s report of falsified data raises legitimate concerns. The statement said the IMF must act proactively to consolidate the integrity and credibility of the data, and Georgieva and other IMF leaders must reaffirm their commitment to maintaining transparency in research, analysis and policy.