IMF Deputy Chief urges greater transparency in government reforms

  • By Nuzla Rizkiya

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) continues to stress that greater transparency is an essential element of government reforms for improved sector performances in the country. 
IMF’ Legal Department Deputy Chief Joel Turkewitz highlighted IMF’s governance diagnostic report for Sri Lanka and emphasised its critical recommendations of transparency in addressing corruption.  

“One of the very first things that the IMF did when re-engaging in Sri Lanka was the emphasis on the passage of the anti-corruption law. So, there had already been an identification that corruption issues were critical. The governance diagnostic was a recognition on this, but it was also a commitment to a public discussion of governance and corruption,” Turkewitz said. 

Published in September 2023, the IMF’s diagnostic report provided a comprehensive analysis of the severity of corruption vulnerabilities and governance weaknesses that affect core state functions required for sound fiscal and monetary policies in Sri Lanka. 

In the report, the IMF had shortlisted 16 priority recommendations which dominantly revolved around greater transparency and 60 complimentary additional recommendations for better public sector performance. 
“The diagnostic hasn’t ended in itself but it is seen very much as the beginning of a process. The (Sri Lankan) government has made a commitment to take action on the reforms. What I want to emphasise are things like public discourse about the reforms that are taking place, about what reforms are needed for Sri Lanka as well as public monitoring of the government in terms of its actions on 
its commitments.” 

The IMF’s governance diagnostic report was a holistic effort to understand and suggest ways to improve governance in Sri Lanka, according to the IMF Deputy Chief. 
“If Sri Lanka is to have real consequence, it will be through the combined efforts of both the government and people who are actively involved in participating in governance, in understanding and having dialogue about what reforms are critical, in publicly monitoring government’s progress and supporting and insisting upon progress,” Turkewitz said.

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