IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, accused of pushing to change a report in favor of China when she was in office at the World Bank, has once again firmly rejected the accusations.
An investigation by WilmerHale, commissioned by the World Bank’s ethics committee, found irregularities in the drafting of the 2018 and 2020 editions of the World Bank’s “Doing Business” report, which scrutinizes the framework countries to find out which ones are most favorable to starting a business.
“Let me be clear: the conclusions are wrong. I have not pressured anyone to change the reports, ”Georgieva said in a statement released Friday by the communications firm SKDK.
“The Managing Director hired an external firm to deal with issues relating to events prior to her arrival at the IMF,” said an IMF spokesperson.
While WilmerHale’s report mentions a meeting during which Georgieva allegedly asked her teams to change the methodology of the report so that the ranking is more favorable to China, the boss of the IMF retorts: “the review the integrity of these reports was my professional responsibility at the time ”.
Georgieva defends herself
“Contrary to what has been reported, I followed all the protocols to edit the 2018 report,” she adds. Mrs
Georgieva points out that the methodology used in the “Doing Business” report “has been the subject of concern for many years”.
“Like other members of the World Bank before and since, I fundamentally considered that my role was to oversee the protection of the integrity of the methodology of the report, and not its technical implementation,” she also explains. .
“Data integrity is at the heart of the institutions that I have led during my career in the public service, and I would never be complicit in any modification of data for political purposes,” continued Ms. Georgieva, highlighting before his 40 years of experience as an economist.
Shanta Devarajan supports Georgieva
IMF boss received backing this week from former World Bank economist Shanta Devarajan who criticizes the investigators.
The rush to judgment against @KGeorgieva, a distinguished international leader, is misguided. Here’s why (1/5)
— Shanta Devarajan (@Shanta_WB) September 23, 2021
“I spent hours telling my side of the story to lawyers at the World Bank, who only included half of what I told them,” he said on Twitter.
The role of management, including Georgieva, “was to verify China’s numbers, ensuring that China is recognized for the reforms it has undertaken, without compromising the integrity of ‘Doing Business’. The Bank’s lawyers have omitted this last sentence ”.
Last week, the former chief economist of the World Bank and Nobel laureate in economics, Paul Romer, had, in an interview with AFP, instead denounced the “lack of integrity” of the former management team of organization, including Kristalina Georgieva.
In 2018, he had to resign after criticizing the methodology of this same report. The World Bank announced last week that it was immediately ceasing to publish the report while the US Treasury called the findings “serious” while stressing that it would review the report.