Washington: After Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s resignation as IMF chief, the United States has called for an open process to appoint the next chief.

Kahn resigned to fight sex charges in New York.

"We want to see an open process that leads to a prompt succession for the Fund's new Managing Director," US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said.

"As Acting Managing Director, John Lipsky will provide able and experienced leadership to the Fund at this critical time for the global economy," Geithner said in a statement.

The IMF's governing board on Thursday night said John Lipsky would remain acting managing director until someone is elected to serve the final three years of Strauss-Kahn's term.

Lipsky is an American banker who had previously worked as vice chairman of JPMorgan Investment Bank.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday called Strauss-Kahn's resignation "inevitable" and called for an "open and transparent selection process" for Strauss-Kahn's replacement.

But China, Brazil and South Africa are making an effort to install someone from the developing world.

While South Africa called for a candidate from a developing country to be named as Strauss-Kahn's successor, Brazil called for establishing criteria and conducting a thorough search.

Meanwhile, the IMF Executive Board has started the selection process of a new Managing Director.

"The Dean of the IMF Executive Board is initiating contacts with his colleagues today about the selection process for the Managing Director," said William Murray, an IMF spokesman.

"I deeply regret the circumstances that have made it necessary for me to substitute for the Fund's Managing Director," Lipsky said in his remarks to the IMF Annual Meeting of the Bretton Woods Committee.

62-year-old Strauss-Kahn is accused of groping and mauling a Guinean maid in his room at Sofitel hotel in Times Square and forcibly tried to have oral sex with her.

IMF drafts new code of conduct

Meanwhile, IMF issued a strict warning and new code of conduct for its employees, both management and staff, and said disciplinary action would be taken it there was any violation of the code.

In a statement, IMF on Thursday said that the revised code of conduct in making for past two years was approved on May 6, but gave no explanation as to why it was made public, days after its Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested in New York on rape charges.

"Under the Fund's new standards of staff conduct, approved on May 6 and which applies to both staff and management, a close personal relationship between a supervisor and subordinate presents a potential conflict of interest and must be reported and resolved, usually by reassignment of one of the individuals to a different work unit," said IMF spokesman William Murray.

Failure to report and then resolve the potential conflict of interest constitutes misconduct and is liable for disciplinary action, he said.

IMF policies on personal relationships are strong and consistent with best practice, including in the United States, he added.

The main enhancements to the standards of conduct include a new policy on close personal relationships in the workplace, which requires that a supervisor who has an intimate personal relationship with a subordinate inform the management about the same.

"The IMF's ethics framework is consistent with best practice and compares well with that of other organisations," said Virginia Canter, a former Associate Counsel to the US President who has served as Ethics Advisor since early 2010.

(Agencies)