Where Daniel Bradlow sees the International Monetary Fund existing in a culture of unaccountability, others might well see review and responsibility [letters, Sept. 24].

A board of directors, chosen by the IMF's member governments, makes all decisions on the loans and other proposals made by the fund's management. Decisions are released to the public, adding another layer of accountability to the process.

At the board's request, independent experts often review the fund's activities. Reviews of our research and "surveillance" (country and world economic assessments) can be read on the IMF's Web site at www.imf.org. An earlier external review of IMF loans to its poorest members, backed up by consultations with the public, has led to a stronger focus on growth and poverty reduction.

A group of finance ministers and central bank governors meets twice a year to review the work of the IMF and issue policy guidance. This panel, now called the International Monetary and Financial Committee, met in Washington last weekend and looked at, among other things, strengthening this oversight role.

An office of internal audit at the IMF is charged with evaluating aspects of the fund's work. If the need arises, the fund seeks external examination of pressing issues in member countries. The investigations of PricewaterhouseCoopers into aspects of the Central Bank of Russia's operations are an example.

The IMF and its member governments are looking at whether this framework is sufficient. Further measures can be expected.



External Relations Department

International Monetary Fund