Journal Issue

Organization: Articles of Agreement shape IMF structure

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Published Date:
January 1999
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The IMF’s organizational structure is set out in its Articles of Agreement, which entered into force in December 1945. The Articles provide for a Board of Governors, an Executive Board, a Managing Director, and a staff of international civil servants. Since the mid-1970s, the Executive Board has received ministerial guidance from the Interim Committee of the Board of Governors on the International Monetary System (the Interim Committee) and the Joint Ministerial Committee of the Boards of Governors of the Bank and the Fund on the Transfer of Real Resources to Developing Countries (the Development Committee).

Board of Governors. The highest authority of the IMF resides in its Board of Governors, which consists of one Governor and one Alternate Governor appointed by each member country. The Board of Governors, whose members are usually drawn from ministers of finance or heads of central banks, normally meets once a year, but may meet or vote by mail at other times.

Interim Committee. The Interim Committee provides ministerial guidance to the Executive Board. Composed of 24 IMF governors, ministers, or other officials of comparable rank, the Interim Committee meets twice a year and reports to the Board of Governors on the management and functioning of the international monetary system and on proposals to amend the Articles of Agreement.

Development Committee. The Development Committee, also composed of 24 members—finance ministers or other officials of comparable rank—advises and reports to the Boards of Governors of the World Bank and the IMF on development issues.

Executive Board. The Board of Governors has delegated many of its powers to the IMF’s Executive Board, the IMF’s permanent decision-making organ. The Executive Board, which generally meets three times a week at the IMF’s headquarters in Washington, consists of 24 Executive Directors who are appointed or elected by member countries. It deals with a wide variety of policy, operational, and administrative matters, including surveillance of members’ exchange rate policies, provision of IMF financial assistance to member countries, and discussion of systemic issues in the global economy.

Managing Director. Selected by the Executive Board, the IMF’s Managing Director chairs the Executive Board and serves as head of the organization’s staff. Under the direction of the Executive Board, the Managing Director is responsible for conducting the ordinary business of the IMF. The Managing Director serves a five-year term and may be reelected to successive terms.

Staff. The Articles of Agreement require that staff appointed to the IMF demonstrate the highest standards of efficiency and technical competence and reflect the organization’s diverse membership. Of the organization’s approximately 2,200 staff members, 123 nationalities are represented.

Photo Credits: Lee Jae-won for Reuters, page 1; Denio Zara and Padraic Hughes for the IMF, pages 4, 6, 14 and 32; Alexander Nemenov for AFP, page 9; Armando Babini for AFP, page 11; Stephanie Pilick for AFP, page 15; Orlondo Sierra for AFP, page 17; and AFP, page 19; IMF archive, pages 28, 29, 30, and 31.

Artwork: Massoud Etemadi for the IMF, pages 14 and 20.

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