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International Monetary Fund: Public Appointments

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 10 October 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what assessment his Department has made of the suitability of (a) European and (b) non-European candidates for the post of Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund; and if he will make a statement; (155773)

(2) what discussions his Department has held on nominating a non-European candidate for the post of Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund; and if he will make a statement;

(3) what criteria his Department uses to assess candidates for nomination for the post of Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund; and if he will make a statement.

The UK supports an open, transparent and meritocratic process for the selection of the Managing Director of the IMF, with the best candidate for the job selected regardless of nationality. The Chancellor has made this clear to other Finance Ministers both publicly and privately, including at the 9 July meeting of ECOFIN.

In selecting the successor to Rodrigo de Rato, the IMF’s Executive Board put in place for the first time a selection process designed to deliver the UK’s preferred objectives. This included a clear job description, a public timetable, a month-long nominations period, an interview stage—and an invitation for applications from all member countries. All of these steps were followed and by the close of nominations on 31 August two highly credible candidates had been put forward: Dominique Strauss-Kahn of France and Josef Tosovsky of the Czech Republic.

Before determining which of the two candidates to support, the UK compared their qualifications and experience to the job description set out by the Executive Board, available on the IMF website at www.imf.org/external/np/sec/pr/2007/pr07159.htm and concluded that Dominique Strauss-Kahn would be best able to succeed in pushing forward significant reform at the Fund. For this reason, the UK Executive Director supported his candidacy and the UK welcomed Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s appointment on 28 September.

The UK will in future continue to support a similarly open and transparent process for all senior appointments at both the IMF and the World Bank.