The IMF, Public Finance, Corruption, and Civil Society

Vitor Gaspar, Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Fiscal Affairs Department, presented the IMF’s Fiscal Monitor report on corruption at the latest PTF Anti Corruption Forum event. The event, co-sponsored by the Center for Private International Enterprise (CIPE), attracted a large audience from civil society, academia, business and politics.

Last year, PTF co-sponsored an Anti Corruption Forum event with the Brookings Institution, featuring then IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, who presented the Fund’s new Anti-Corruption Framework. The first detailed IMF report on corruption since the passage of the new Framework, developed by Vitor Gaspar and his team, details the ways in which governments misuse many aspects of fiscal policy and management to enrich themselves at the expense of the citizens they are entrusted to serve.

Vitor Gaspar’s compelling presentation was followed by a panel discussion that included Professor Brian Levy, who stressed civil society engagement to counter corruption in fiscal management, including the management of state-owned-enterprises. He noted that it is vital to build on experience and best practices and to be highly specific with regard to context and the problems to be addressed. Professor Levy also recognized that progress through small steps may be necessary to eventually attain the best outcome.

More than 100 people attended the event and there were many questions and comments from the floor. For example, PTF’s Vinay Bhargava, underscored the importance of citizen engagement in seeking to ensure the sustainability of anti-corruption reforms.