Over the past 50 years, Congress has shown increasing interest in legislating U.S. policies concerning the International Monetary Fund (IMF or the Fund). In 2001, we reported that the United States had 60 legislative mandates prescribing U.S. policy goals at the Fund. These mandates covered a wide range of policies, including human rights, international trade, and weapons proliferation. Because the Fund is an international organization, it is generally exempt from U.S. law. However, Congress can seek to influence IMF policy by directing the Secretary of the Treasury to instruct the U.S. Executive Director of the Board of the Fund to pursue specific policies or vote in a particular way as part of his duties. In 2000, Congress directed us to assess the Department of the Treasury's efforts in advancing U.S. legislative mandates at the Fund. The Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2000 requires us to report annually on the extent to which IMF practices are consistent with U.S. policies as set forth in federal law. In January 2001, we reported that the Treasury instituted a formal process in 1999 to systematically promote congressionally mandated policies at the Fund. We also found that while Treasury had some influence over Fund policies, it was difficult to attribute the adoption of a policy within the Fund solely to the efforts of any one member because the Fund generally makes decisions on the basis of consensus. In this report, we provide an update on (1) the status of the U.S. Treasury's process for advancing congressional mandates at the Fund and (2) the number of U.S. legislative mandates concerning the Fund.
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