International Monetary Fund pays for all business-related hotel bills of its chief, but incumbent Dominique Strauss Kahn’s stay in a luxury suite of Sofitel here does not qualify for any such reimbursement. It was during his stay at this Sofitel hotel that Kahn, who was appointed IMF Managing Director in 2007 with a salary in excess of USD 5,00,000 per year, was accused of indulging in sexual assault on a chambermaid.
As per the terms of his appointment, IMF reimburses all the hotel expenses incurred by Kahn for his “travel in the interest of the Fund”.
However, after his infamous hotel stay here, IMF clarified that he was staying there on a private business and Sofitel was as such not on the approved list of hotels for stay of the Fund’s staff.
The reported figures for the room rate of Kahn’s Sofitel hotel stay varies between USD 500 to USD 3,000 per night, although the maximum permissible hotel rate for IMF’s staff in New York is much lower at USD 386 a night.
“At present, the maximum hotel rate in New York for staff on official business is USD 386 a night, including tax and service charges,” an IMF statement said.
Reports from the French media have pegged the rate of the luxury suite where Kahn was staying at USD 3,000 per night, while some US reports put the rate at only USD 525 per night.
Sofitel’s website mentions its various room rates in the range of USD 251-395 per night.
“The Sofitel is not on the list of New York hotels, which are generally standard business hotels,” IMF said.
The Washington-based multilateral financial institution said that Kahn was staying in New York on private business and “as such, he pays out of his own pocket for hotels”.
“IMF staff have clear rules for where they may stay and how much they may pay on official travel, with an established system of preferred hotels and set rates, negotiated centrally,” it added.
Kahn was appointed IMF chief for a period of five years in 2007, but the terms of his appointment included a clause, as per which his tenure can be terminated anytime.
At that time, he was given a salary of USD 420,930 per annum and allowances aggregating to USD 75,350 per annum, both net of taxes and eligible for inflation-linked hike every year.
In addition, he was promised reimbursement for “reasonable expenses actually incurred for entertainment directly related to the business of the Fund” and also all his business-related hotel expenses and travel and hotel expenses of his spouse in certain cases. Besides, he was also given various retirement-related benefits