Corporate governance and corporate finance

Accountability and Transparency: a Guide for State Ownership


Improving corporate governance in state-owned enterprises (SOEs)

Date of publication
10 February 2010


OECD expert Hans Christiansen talks about SOEs and corporate governance

Table of contents (pdf)

Note to the reader (pdf), by Mr. Lars-Johan Cederlund, Chair of the OECD Working Group on Privatisation and Corporate Governance of SOEs


State-owned enterprises (SOEs) play an important role in the ownership landscape and in global markets. How well these state-owned enterprises are governed has a significant impact on their performance and value, as well as on public finances, economic growth and competitiveness.


Transparency and accountability are key to investment, growth and competitiveness. State-owned enterprises which are transparent and accountable are more likely to conform to the rule of law, including respecting shareholder and stakeholder rights. They enjoy higher levels of public trust and have better access to capital at lower cost.


This Guide facilitates the practical implementation of the Corporate governance and corporate finance in the areas of transparency and accountability.  It shows, using specific examples, that improvement is politically feasible, taking into account the complex challenges that governments have to face, providing:

  • a catalogue of viable policy options
  • a step-by-step road map pointing out typical difficulties, risks and hurdles
  • concrete examples of good practices
  • help to governments, their ownership entities and to other stakeholders in evaluating existing practices and support reforms  

Contributors to the guide

This Guide is published under the authority of the OECD Working Group on Privatisation and Corporate Governance of State-Owned Assets. It benefited from discussions with representatives from the Trade Union and Business and Industry Advisory Committees to the OECD and from public consultations with experts, SOE directors and senior executives, policy makers from OECD and non-OECD economies.


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