In the context of the consultations with stakeholders on the draft Terms of Reference (ToR) for the review of the OECD Guidelines, OECD Watch has identified a number of critical elements that must be part of the review and has provided a number of specific suggestions for amendments to the text of the ToR.
In the context of the consultations with stakeholders on the draft ToR to be held on 24 March, OECD Watch would like to take this opportunity to reiterate a number of critical elements that must be part of the review and provide a number of specific suggestions for amendments to the text of the ToR. OECD Watch looks forward to a continued inclusive review process that involves all relevant stakeholders in all working groups and expert meetings.
There are some critical elements for the update of the Guidelines. There is broad agreement that the scope of the Guidelines must be broadened and that the outdated concept of the “investment nexus,” must be updated. Another element is improvement in National Contact Point (NCP) performance, as a prerequisite for a more credible, coherent, and effective grievance mechanism. Consequences for breaches is critical to enhance the authority and credibility of NCPs and to enable them to function more effectively. It is absolutely necessary that when a NCP determines that there have been breaches of the Guidelines or when companies refuse to constructively engage in the Specific Instance procedure that this have implications for the company in question. Furthermore, in order to enable the secretariat to facilitate a thorough and efficient update of the Guidelines, it is fundamental that the secretariat has the necessary resources to properly prepare documents, consult stakeholders and provide participants with updates of necessary information. OECD Watch calls on the OECD Council, member states, and adhering countries to meet the Secretariat’s requests for voluntary contributions.
A few of the specific suggestions for the amendment of the text of the ToR include beyond promotion of responsible business to reforming the Guidelines as a tool that aims to ensure responsible business conduct. Some other suggestions include amendments around additional disclosure provisions being called for with respect to supply chains, including access to information, and transparency in the reporting of profits, tax payments, and other financial information. Other suggestions include broadening the arena of anti-corruption issue and the implementation of specific instances.