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36 The Chair of the Board is charged with steering discussions towards achieving as wide a consensus as possible, and very seldom is a formal vote taken. At the conclusion of a meeting, the Chair ascertains the “sense of the meeting,” and a “summing up” is prepared which reflects the views of the (quotaweighted) majority, as well as minority views. Countries are free to choose the constituency to which they belong, taking into account regional and other considerations (and in agreement with the other members in the constituency).

It describes the evolution of the Fund’s system for financial audit, focusing on the External Audit Committee. It also compares the framework at the Fund to those in other international organizations. The paper concludes that the current structure of financial oversight is not robust because the owners of the institution are not represented in the audit process. It recommends ways to strengthen the current framework to enhance accountability and ensure more effective oversight by the shareholders of the Fund including by strengthening the role and capacity of the Board in oversight of financial audit and control.

The findings of the evaluation suggest the need to establish a ministerial-level governing body, with a formal role within the IMF structure. This could be achieved by activating the ministerial-level Council that is envisaged in the Articles of Agreement. The Council would be a formal decision-making body—rather than, like the IMFC, an advisory one—so its pronouncements would have legal status. Its responsibilities would include setting the overarching strategic goals of the Fund; making decisions that require support at the highest political levels, such as the selection of the Managing Director; and it could legitimately exercise oversight over the institution, including the Board.

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