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Guidelines for Public Debt Management

n order to assist countries in their efforts to reduce financial vulnerability, the Interim Committee (the predecessor of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), requested that the Fund and the World Bank staffs, in cooperation with national debt managers, develop a set of guidelines on public debt management. The Guidelines are designed to assist policy makers in considering reforms to strengthen the quality of their public debt management and reduce their country's vulnerability to international financial shocks. The need for such Guidelines was also highlighted by the Financial Stability Forum as part of efforts to strengthen risk management and governance in the public sector and help reduce external vulnerabilities.
The Guidelines cover both domestic and external public debt and encompass a broad range of financial claims on the government. They seek to identify areas in which there is broad agreement on what generally constitutes sound practices in public debt management. The Guidelines focus on principles applicable to a wide range of countries at different stages of development and with various institutional structures of national debt management. They should not be viewed as a set of binding practices or a rigid prescription, nor suggest that a unique set of sound practices exists, which would apply in all countries in all situations.