IMF vows fair review of ‘Doing Business’ reports


THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) has vowed to conduct a thorough, objective and timely review of the irregularities in the Doing Business reports for 2018 and 2020.

In a statement on Tuesday, IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said the IMF Executive Board recently met with representatives of the law firm WilmerHale in the ongoing review and will soon meet with Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva on the issue.

WilmerHale was the law firm that raised issues on the World Bank’s Doing Business 2018 report. Georgieva, meanwhile, was the IMF official implicated in the report released by the law firm.

“The IMF Executive Board met today with the representatives of the law firm WilmerHale as part of its ongoing review of the matter raised by WilmerHale’s investigation of the World Bank’s Doing Business 2018 report. The Executive Board will also meet on the matter soon with the Managing Director as part of this process,” Rice said. “The Executive Board remains committed to a thorough, objective, and timely review.”

WilmerHale’s report stated that Georgieva was “the responsible person at the Bank to ‘ensure’ that China’s reforms were acknowledged in the report.”

Efforts to do this included changing the methodology used in the report to “boost China’s score” and “make specific changes to China’s data points” to improve its ranking.

Georgieva denied these allegations in the WilmerHale report.

“I disagree fundamentally with the findings and interpretations of the Investigation of Data Irregularities as it relates to my role in the World Bank’s Doing Business report of 2018. I have already had an initial briefing with the IMF’s Executive Board on this matter,” Georgieva said in September.

Earlier, the Anti-Red Tape Authority (Arta) was set to create a technical working group (TWG) tasked with developing methodologies or criteria for the localized Doing Business (DB) report.

Arta Director General Jeremiah Belgica raised the proposal in a recent meeting of the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) and Anti-Red Tape Advisory Council, which it approved as well.

The TWG will be led by Arta Deputy Director General for Operations Ernesto Perez and will be composed by the members of the said council.

Crafting a “more personalized and localized” version of the DB report, Belgica said, will bode well for the EODB efforts of the government agencies.

The anti-red tape agency is also eyeing to launch a Report Card Survey, which seeks to measure the EODB compliance of government agencies.

Arta will coordinate with the Civil Service Commission and the Philippine Statistics Authority in rolling out the new initiative.

The move to localize the DB report followed the World Bank’s (WB) announcement that it would discontinue the survey after finding “data irregularities” due to potential manipulation.

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