Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs

Governments need to be better owners of state-owned enterprises, says OECD

 

28/04/2005 - The OECD has approved new Guidelines on Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises to give concrete advice to countries on how to manage more effectively their responsibilities as company owners.

The Guidelines aim to help make state-owned enterprises more competitive, efficient and transparent.

In many OECD countries the state remains an important owner of large firms operating in key sectors, including energy, utilities and infrastructure. But a recent OECD study reveals the challenges facing such firms, including conflicting corporate objectives, unclear board responsibilities and opaque appointment procedures.

To address these issues, the Guidelines call on governments to:

Ensure a level-playing field for state-owned enterprises competing with the private sector by

  • Clearly separating the state’s ownership role from its regulatory role
  • Allowing more flexibility in capital structures while making sure that state-owned enterprises face competitive access to finance

Become more informed and active shareholders by

  • Simplifying the chain of accountability through centralising or more effectively coordinating shareholding responsibilities within the state administration
  • Reducing political interference in day-to-day management
  • Introducing a transparent nomination process for boards, based on competence and skills

Empower boards by

  • Clarifying their mandates and respecting their independence
  • Separating the role of Chairman and CEO and giving boards the power to appoint CEOs
    Systematically monitoring the board’s performance

Improve transparency by

  • Strengthening internal controls
  • Carrying out independent, external audits based on international standards
  • Disclosing any financial assistance from the state
  • Producing aggregate performance reports

These Guidelines are based on and complementary to the OECD’s Principles of Corporate Governance, created in 1999 and revised in 2004, that are the benchmark for national codes of governance in members as well as non-member countries.

The OECD expects that the Guidelines will be used as a reference by its members in improving the governance of their state-owned enterprises, including in situations where they wish eventually to privatise. The OECD will also use the Guidelines in discussions with many non-member countries which are looking for advice on how to better manage the state-owned enterprises that often dominate their economies.

For further information, journalists are invited to contact Spencer Wilson at the OECD’s Media Relations Division (tel. + 33 1 45 24 81 18).

 

 

 

Countries list

  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Andorra
  • Angola
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bermuda
  • Bhutan
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Bulgaria
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Cape Verde
  • Cayman Islands
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Chile
  • China (People’s Republic of)
  • Chinese Taipei
  • Colombia
  • Comoros
  • Congo
  • Cook Islands
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Côte d'Ivoire
  • Democratic People's Republic of Korea
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Denmark
  • Djibouti
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Estonia
  • Ethiopia
  • European Union
  • Faeroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Guernsey
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong, China
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Jersey
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Korea
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Latvia
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macao (China)
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mali
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia (Federated States of)
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Montserrat
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • Nepal
  • Netherlands
  • Netherlands Antilles
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Niue
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palau
  • Palestinian Administered Areas
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russian Federation
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Helena
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Serbia and Montenegro (pre-June 2006)
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Swaziland
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Togo
  • Tokelau
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • United States Virgin Islands
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam
  • Virgin Islands (UK)
  • Wallis and Futuna Islands
  • Western Sahara
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
  • Topics list