0909 GMT January 21, 2022
“I disagree with the implications for my role, and let me put it very simply to you: Not true,” she said, according to a transcript of her remarks, nytimes.com reported.
On Thursday, an internal World Bank investigation concluded that Georgieva was among a group of senior World Bank officials who pressured the team that conducts the annual Doing Business survey to inflate China’s standing in its 2018 report.
The findings have raised questions about Georgieva, who was the World Bank’s chief executive at the time, and have led to a review by the ethics committee of the IMF.
The meeting, which was held mostly virtually, had been previously scheduled to prepare the staff of the IMF for its annual meeting held jointly with the World Bank.
Georgieva addressed the controversy at the outset of the meeting, reiterating her public statement that she “fundamentally disagrees” with the characterizations in the report and insisting that the inquiry would not be a distraction.
She did not litigate the details of the allegations, but she said that asking staff to double-check something was not the same as pressuring it to change data, methodology or an outcome.
“Neither in this case nor before or after have I put pressure on staff to manipulate data. I would ask staff to please check, double-check, triple-check, but never change, never manipulate what the data tells us,” she said. “Why? Because I believe so strongly in the value of credible data and analysis that leads to policy recommendations for the benefit of our members. For the benefit of people.”
Georgieva expressed remorse that the inquiry had caused an uproar, but she insisted that it would not be a distraction.
“It is my responsibility that this does not interfere with the incredibly important work we do,” she said. “So let’s focus on that work, and that is what the focus of the discussion we will have today is all about.”