WASHINGTON — The International Monetary Fund’s govt board on Monday expressed confidence within the management of Kristalina Georgieva, its managing director, following allegations that she had manipulated knowledge to placate China when she was a senior World Bank official.
The determination got here lower than a month after an impartial inquiry commissioned by the World Bank concluded that she performed a central function in meddling with its 2018 Doing Business survey. The findings raised questions on her judgment and talent to proceed main the I.M.F. But in the end its govt board determined that the investigation into Ms. Georgieva’s actions “did not conclusively demonstrate” that she had acted improperly.
“Having looked at all the evidence presented, the executive board reaffirms its full confidence in the managing director’s leadership and ability to continue to effectively carry out her duties,” the I.M.F.’s govt board stated in a press release. “The board trusts in the managing director’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards of governance and integrity in the I.M.F.”
Ms. Georgieva, a Bulgarian economist, maintained robust help from lots of the I.M.F.’s shareholders, together with France, which had lobbied arduous for her to get the job in 2019. The United States, which is the fund’s largest shareholder, declined to specific public help for her following the allegations however in the end didn’t name for her elimination.
Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen spoke with Ms. Georgieva on Monday and informed her that the World Bank investigation into her actions “raised legitimate issues and concerns,” the Treasury Department stated. Ms. Yellen stated, nonetheless, that absent “further direct evidence” relating to Ms. Georgieva’s function in knowledge manipulation on the World Bank, there was no foundation for a change in management on the fund, in accordance with a readout of the decision.
The consequence may result in political blowback for the Biden administration. Republicans and Democrats in Congress had urged Ms. Yellen to insist on “full accountability” after it emerged that Ms. Georgieva had instructed employees to discover a approach to make sure that China’s rating didn’t fall in its annual report on nationwide enterprise climates.
The Biden administration and lawmakers from each events have been involved about China’s rising financial clout and affect in multilateral establishments.
Treasury Department officers debated the gravity of the revelations for weeks, insisting publicly that the method of reviewing Ms. Georgieva’s actions on the World Bank must be allowed to play out.
The World Bank’s Doing Business report assessed the enterprise local weather in nations world wide. Developing nations, particularly, cared deeply about their rankings, which they used to lure overseas funding.
At the time of the reported manipulation, World Bank officers have been involved about negotiations with members over a capital improve and have been beneath stress to not anger China, which was ranked 78th on the checklist of nations in 2017 and was set to say no within the 2018 report.
According to the investigation, the employees of Jim Yong Kim, then the financial institution’s president, held conferences to seek out methods to enhance China’s rating. Ms. Georgieva additionally bought concerned, working with a high aide to develop a solution to make China look higher with out affecting the rankings of different nations.
The investigation discovered that Ms. Georgieva was “directly involved” in efforts to enhance China’s rating and at one level chastised the financial institution’s China director for mismanaging the financial institution’s relationship with the nation.
Last week, the I.M.F.’s govt board spent hours interviewing officers from the legislation agency of WilmerHale, which carried out the World Bank’s investigation. They additionally interviewed Ms. Georgieva, who criticized the method of that investigation and insisted that she had acted appropriately.
“The WilmerHale Report does not accurately characterize my actions with respect to Doing Business 2018, nor does it accurately portray my character or the way that I have conducted myself over a long professional career,” Ms. Georgieva stated in a press release to the board; it was obtained by The New York Times.
Ms. Georgieva was a longtime World Bank worker who rose by means of the ranks to develop into its chief govt. She beforehand served on the European Commission — the European Union’s govt physique — and she or he has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of National and World Economy in Sofia, Bulgaria, the place she additionally taught.
Ms. Georgieva stated in a press release on Monday evening that the episode had been troublesome for her personally and that she was grateful the I.M.F. board had expressed confidence in her management.
“I am pleased that after a comprehensive, impartial review of the facts, the I.M.F. board agrees that the allegations were unfounded,” Ms. Georgieva stated. “Trust and integrity are the cornerstones of the multinational organizations that I have faithfully served for more than four decades.”