Article IX, Section 5

International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
May 2008
  • ShareShare
Show Summary Details


Opening of Fund Archives

The Executive Board decides that outside persons, on request, will be given access to documentary materials maintained in the Fund’s archives that are over 30 years old until September 8, 1999, after which access will be given to Executive Board documents that are over 5 years old, to minutes of Executive Board meetings that are over 10 years old, and to other documentary materials maintained in the Fund’s archives that are over 20 years old, provided, however, that access to Fund documents originally classified as “Secret” or “Strictly Confidential” will be granted only upon the Managing Director’s consent to their declassification. It is understood that this consent will be granted in all instances but those which, despite the passage of time, the material remains highly confidential or sensitive. Access to the following will not be granted: (a) legal documents and records maintained by the Legal Department that are protected by attorney-client privilege; (b) documentary materials furnished to the Fund by external parties, including member countries, their instrumentalities and agencies and central banks, that bear confidentiality markings, unless such external parties consent to their declassification; (c) personnel files and medical or other records pertaining to individuals; and (d) documents and proceedings of the Grievance Committee.

Decision No. 11192-(96/2),

January 17, 1996,

as amended by Decision Nos. 11915-(99/23), March 8, 1999, and


November 11, 2002

Policy on Access to Funds Archives—Review

1. Given the recent Executive Board decision (Decision No. 12882, (02/113) to shorten the period for public access to minutes of Executive Board Meetings from 20 years to 10 years, the Executive Board agrees that outside persons will be given access to the following additional document series after 10 years: BUFF Statements by the Managing Director or IMF Staff to Executive Board, BUFF/EDs, Gray Documents, Précis of Executive Board Meetings (replaced by Weekly Précis, replaced by Weekly Decisions Report), Executive Board Seminars Agendas and Minutes, and Secretary’s Journal of Executive Board Informal Sessions Minutes.

2. Since the Board’s approval of the Policy on Access to IMF Archives in 1996, staff have continued to follow the long-standing policy of requesting Board consent for ad hoc exceptions to the policy on behalf of external researchers. The Executive Board agrees that a reasonable cost recovery scheme should be introduced for administering ad hoc requests for Board approval of exceptions to the archives access rules, to be developed by the staff in consultation with the relevant departments. No charge would be assessed for requests received from government officials of member countries. (SM/03/115, 4/2/03)

Decision No. 12981-(03/34),

April 9, 2003

Cooperation with Investigations on Fund Activities by Auditing Institutions of Members—Procedures

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund adopts the following procedures to cooperate, upon request, with investigating agencies of members for the preparation of reports on the Fund and its activities. In keeping with the multilateral character of the Fund and in light of the many existing mechanisms to assess the Fund and its activities, the Executive Board expects that restraint will be exercised in requesting such investigations.

1. All requests from official investigating agencies will be notified to the Executive Board at least two weeks before the commencement of any cooperation with the agency pursuant to the request. The notification will include the full text of the terms of reference of the enquiry and any special features of the enquiry. Executive Directors will have an opportunity to comment on all aspects of the notification, as they deem suitable.

2. Management and staff will be prepared to meet a request if it is channeled through an Executive Director’s office and provides:

  • (i) a Précise description of the terms of reference of the enquiry; and
  • (ii) written assurances that:
  • confidential information provided in the course of the enquiry will not be disclosed;
  • management and staff will be given an opportunity to review any report resulting from the enquiry before its circulation outside the agency to ascertain that no confidential information is being disclosed in the report and that the factual information is correct; and
  • the views of management and staff will be included in the report in an acceptable manner.

3. In principle only documents and information available to the Executive Board will be made available to the agency; the consent of Executive Directors whose statements are involved should be requested before transmitting grays or Executive Board minutes to the agency. Requests by the agency for access to additional documents and information (other than those relating to the Fund’s internal advisory procedures) will be submitted to the Executive Board for approval if management supports the request. The Executive Board will not approve the request unless it has reviewed the relevant document or information; the procedures for the review will ensure the confidentiality of the document or information.

4. The Executive Board will be informed of requests which are denied by management under paragraph 2 or 3. In such cases, management or the relevant Executive Director may consult with the Executive Board.

5. All published reports resulting from such investigations will be circulated to the Executive Board for information, together with an assessment of the staff resources used by the Fund in the enquiry.

6. If, in the judgment of management, an investigative agency did not respect the written assurances provided in accordance with paragraph 2(ii), it shall so inform the Executive Board and propose any remedial action it considers necessary.

7. These procedures will be reviewed not later than January 30, 2004. (SM/00/97, Rev. 1, Sup. 2, 2/2/01)1

Decision No. 12424-(01/13),

February 5, 2001,

as amended by Decision No. 12936-(03/8),

February 4, 2003


Ed. Note: The Executive Board reviewed the procedures on January 20, 2004 (Decision No. 13172-(04/06) and on January 31, 2007 (Decision No. 13870-(07/10)). Pursuant to the latter decision, the procedures shall be reviewed again not later than January 31, 2012.

    Other Resources Citing This Publication