Posted by Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director, IMF
The first public event of this year’s IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings was a seminar organized by the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department on the morning of Monday April 15th which brought together experts from governments, academia, civil society, and international organizations to discuss how to work together to revitalize the fiscal transparency agenda in the wake of the recent crisis.
The timing of last Monday’s Fiscal Transparency Seminar at the start of a week of seminars, panels, roundtables, and other events underscores the importance that the IMF attaches to the issue of fiscal transparency. The number of people who turned up to listen to and participate in the discussion highlighted the breadth and depth of public interest in this topic. The need to improve government financial disclosure was a recurring theme in many of the discussions which I attended during the past very busy week.
For those of you who could not join us at last week’s seminar, I would like to use this article to share with you the IMF’s latest thinking on fiscal transparency and present our work program in this critical area. In particular, I want to focus on three issues:
- first, I want to highlight the progress that has been made in promoting greater fiscal transparency over the past decade, thanks to the collective efforts of governments, civil society, academics, think tanks, international organizations, and others;
- second, I want to review some of the lessons that the recent crisis has taught us about the adequacy of existing fiscal transparency standards and practices; and
- finally, I’d like to outline the key elements of a revitalized fiscal transparency agenda, and how the Fund plans to support that agenda.