At the Brookings Institution this morning, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde delivered the opening remarks for a seminar on global transparency and anti-corruption initiatives.
Lagarde began her speech by outlining the IMF’s and other international organizations’ definition of public corruption as the “abuse of public office for private gain.” She noted, however, that corruption is a complex phenomenon involving several dimensions and multiple actors, such as “transnational private actors who influence public officials.”
Lagarde said that tackling corruption requires a two-pronged approach that involves increasing transparency and accountability as well as enacting regulatory reform and bolsteri ng legal institutions.
Lagarde explained that the catalyst for the IMF’s new anti-corruption initiatives is “a growing consensus among our members that corruption is a macro-critical issue in many countries.”
Last month, the IMF released a policy paper evaluating its progress in responding to governance issues as well as outlining its future role in anti-corruption and good governance efforts. The review noted the IMF “has undertaken numerous initiatives on governance and corruption across its operations and made significant contributions to the body of research on corruption.” The review also identified several areas of improvement, which included improving methodology for measuring corruption and its economic impact, providing “more concrete and granular policy advice” to governments, and “ensuring evenhanded treatment of corruption issues across countries.”