First released in May 1999 and revised in 2004, the OECD Principles are one of the 12 key standards for international financial stability of the Financial Stability Board and form the basis for the corporate governance component of the Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes of the World Bank Group.
Text of the Principles
The Principles were last updated in 2004. This booklet contains the text of the 2004 revision of the Principles. Download the different language versions in PDF file format:
Paper copies can be ordered from the OECD Online Bookshop
Implementing the Principles
The preamble to the OECD Principles states that they “are evolutionary in nature and should be reviewed in light of significant changes in circumstances”. It is also recognises that, “To remain competitive in a changing world, corporations must innovate and adapt their corporate governance practices so that they can meet new demands and grasp new opportunities”.
In 2006, OECD published the Methodology for Assessing Implementation of the OECD Principles on Corporate Governance which underpins the dialogue on implementation of the Principles in a jurisdiction and provides a framework for policy discussions.
The financial crisis revealed severe shortcomings in corporate governance. When most needed, existing standards failed to provide the checks and balances that companies need in order to cultivate sound business practices. In 2010, the OECD published a set of ambitious action plan for improvements in priority areas such as remuneration, risk management, board practices and the exercise of shareholder rights. These recommendations also address how the implementation of already-agreed standards can be improved.
2004 Revision of the Principles
In 2002, OECD Ministers called for a review of the OECD Principles of Corporate Governance. After more than a year of extensive and open consultations, including an opportunity for public comment via the website, the revised Principles were released in April 2004.
The work on reviewing the Principles was supported by a survey (paper copies) of corporate governance developments in OECD countries, which was carried out in 2002-2003, and a similar synthesis of experiences gained from the Regional Corporate Governance Roundtables.
During the review process, the OECD Steering Group on Corporate Governance, charged with the assessment, asked for public comment on the draft text of the revised Principles. Comments were received from more than 70 individuals, national and international organisations, including, amongst others, the International Corporate Governance Network, Standard and Poors, the International Federation of Accountants, Institutes of Internal Auditors.
Permanent url: www.oecd.org/daf/corporateaffairs/principles/text