WASHINGTON — In remarks to staff on Friday, Kristalina Georgieva, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, denied allegations that she pressured staff to manipulate a report to placate China when she was a top World Bank official and said she cares deeply about the integrity of data and analysis, according to people familiar with the meeting.
“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.
A day earlier, an internal World Bank investigation concluded that Ms. 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 Ms. Georgieva, who was the World Bank’s chief executive at the time, and have led to a review by the ethics committee of the I.M.F.
The meeting on Friday, which was held mostly virtually, had been previously scheduled to prepare the staff of the I.M.F. for its annual meeting held jointly with the World Bank.
Ms. 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,
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