Ministers adopt a Recommendation of the Council on Guidelines on Anti-Corruption and Integrity in State-owned Enterprises
23/05/2019 - State-owned enterprises (SOEs) are a main conduit for states to exercise their roles as economic actors. The benefits of SOE ownership are economic, political and social. So too are the costs when mismanagement or abuse occurs.
SOEs today account for 22% of the world’s largest companies and their role as global competitors is growing as the boundaries of markets increasingly extend beyond geographic borders. They are often concentrated in sectors with strategic importance for the state and society and are increasingly operated like private firms.
The more pronounced presence of SOEs in the global marketplace has been marked by certain high-profile scandals and occasional evidence of a susceptibility of SOEs to corruption. This raises questions about what might make SOEs susceptible to corruption and how policy makers can act to maximise their productivity by raising their integrity.
The Recommendation of the Council on Guidelines on Anti-Corruption and Integrity in State-Owned Enterprises are the first international instrument to offer the state, in its role as an enterprise owner, support in fighting corruption and promoting integrity in SOEs. The Guidelines can help states to ensure that owners exemplify integrity in their conduct, that ownership arrangements are conducive to integrity, that SOEs adhere to good practices at the SOE level and that accountability mechanisms are integral to SOE sectors. The Guidelines complement the goals of the OECD Guidelines on Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises. They were adopted by OECD governments at the annual Ministerial Council Meeting on 22-23 May 2019.
The Guidelines were developed by the OECD Working Party on State Ownership and Privatisation Practices in co-operation with other OECD bodies. They have benefited from input received during a public consultation and from business and labour representatives, civil society, partner countries and other interested stakeholders.
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Alison McMeekin ([email protected])