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Thread: IMF - Iraq to improve statistical database

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    IMF - Iraq to improve statistical database

    IMF - Iraq to improve statistical database
    Posted by Gamal Ragay
    Friday, 12 March 2010 20:04

    As Iraq intends to use the domestic counterpart of IMF resources for budget support, the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI)—which is the fiscal agent—will request the IMF to disburse the resources directly into a government account at the CBI. To provide adequate safeguards to the Fund, the following steps have been taken or will be implemented in the near future:

    - A Memorandum of Understanding has been agreed between the CBI and the government clarifying responsibilities with regard to servicing the debt to the Fund;
    - An external auditor has been appointed to undertake the audit of the CBI 2008 financial statements in accordance with International Standards on Auditing, and the audit is expected to be completed by March 31, 2010. The external auditor has already completed a verification of the CBI’s international reserves as of June 30, 2009. The completion of the external audit will allow the IMF to prepare a safeguards assessment update by the time of the first review of the program. In the future, the CBI will work with the Ministry of Finance to adopt a timely selection and rotation policy for future audits; an auditor for the 2009 CBI financial statements will be appointed before end-February 2010.
    - The external auditor will also undertake special audits of (i) CBI Net International Reserves, and a full count of gold and foreign reserves held at the Central Bank, as of June 30, 2009, (ii) CBI data reported to the Fund, including, but not limited to, Net International Reserves, Net Domestic Assets, credit to government and a full count of gold and foreign reserves held at the Central Bank, as of December 31, 2009, December 31, 2010, December 31, 2011 and the other test dates during the SBA, and (iii) procedures surrounding government accounts at the CBI.

    Progress has been made in moving toward accepting the obligations of Article VIII, Sections 2(a), 3, and 4, of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement. Iraq has worked with IMF staff to complete the review of exchange laws and regulations and are considering measures to remove the identified exchange restrictions on current international transactions. Iraq remains committed to avoid imposing any restrictions on the making of payments and transfers for current international transactions or introducing any multiple currency practices.

    Iraq will continue efforts to resolve outstanding external claims under terms that are consistent with the 2004 Paris Club agreement. Bilateral agreements with twelve non- Paris Club official creditors have already been signed and are being implemented. Iraq will continue best efforts to reach bilateral debt agreements with the remaining non-Paris Club creditors. The United Arab Emirates has announced the full cancellation of Iraq’s debt, and implementation of a bilateral agreement with Greece is awaiting the Greek parliament’s approval. Debt reconciliation was completed with Morocco, Egypt, and China, and Iraq hopes to sign the relevant debt agreements, particularly with China with which an agreement has been initialed recently, in the near future. Regarding private creditors, most of the commercial debt has been restructured, and is serviced as agreed. Iraq also expects that the proceeds of the liquidation of the London branch of Rafidain Bank will be distributed to private claim holders by the end of the year.

    Efforts will continue to improve Iraq’s statistical database. Monetary and balance of payments data are now being published in the IMF’s International Financial Statistics regularly, and annual national accounts data have been compiled up to 2007. Iraq will focus on improving the quality of these annual data developing quarterly national accounts data.

    While the Socio-Economic Household Survey has been completed, the updating of the CPI weights has been delayed for a number of reasons. A new national coordinator for the General Data Dissemination System (GDDS) has been appointed. As of December 15, Iraq is participating in the GDDS and comprehensive information on Iraq’s statistical production and dissemination practices now appears on the IMF’s Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board.

    Global Arab Network

    Extracted from letter of Intent of the government of Iraq, which describes the policies that Iraq intends to implement in the context of its request for financial support from the IMF. (IRAQ: MEMORANDUM OF ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL POLICIES FOR 2010–11)


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    Thanks for the post.

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