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IMF stresses ethics to its new chief

Having been dragged through the gutters with Dominique Strauss-Kahn, needlessly as it now transpires, the IMF is laying new rules for his successor, insisting on the highest standard of behaviour and a squeaky clean image.

world Updated: Jul 06, 2011 01:56 IST
Yashwant Raj

Having been dragged through the gutters with Dominique Strauss-Kahn, needlessly as it now transpires, the IMF is laying new rules for his successor, insisting on the highest standard of behaviour and a squeaky clean image.

"As managing director, you are expected to observe the highest standards of ethical conduct, consistent with the values of integrity, impartiality and discretion," said Christine Lagarde's terms of employment released on Tuesday.

Lagarde, a French politician, is taking over from Strauss-Kahn, another French politician, as head of the IMF after a Manhattan hotel housekeeper accused him of sexually assaulting her in his suite.

That case, however, is now falling apart as prosecutors find inconsistencies in the housekeeper's account. He might be acquitted.

The Fund is now laying down the rules very clearly for Lagarde, who as a French politician and former finance minister has had a few of her own problems, though none of the kind dogging Strauss-Kahn.

"You shall strive to avoid even the appearance of impropriety in your conduct," said Lagarde's terms of employment.

The insistence on integrity, ethics and honesty is new. The terms of employment given to Strauss-Kahn in 2007 enjoined upon him standards of conduct applicable to any other staff member.

She will also have to participate in the ethics training program like everyone else at the Fund. Strauss-Kahn didn't have this written into his terms.

Lagarde will also have to participate - another new job requirement - in a "confidential and informal feedback process" between her and the executive board.

Something like a performance assessment.