In order to ensure the effective implementation of the international standards in transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes the Global Forum conducts rigorous peer reviews, issuing recommendations where issues are identified, and provides technical assistance to support its members in implementing the standards.
The Global Forum plenary, which includes all members, is the sole decision-making body of the Global Forum. Each member’s voice counts equally and each decision requires consensus (minus one, in some cases) amongst members. The Chair of the Global Forum is Mr Gaël Perraud, from France.
In order to facilitate its work, the Global Forum has established three subsidiary groups focusing on different aspects of the Global Forum’s work, all of which report back to the Global Forum including with any proposals for adoption by the Global Forum.
The Steering Group prepares and guides the future work of the Global Forum. The Steering Group is composed of the Chair (France) and the Vice-Chairs (Italy, Japan and Kenya), along with 16 other members. The Steering Group also includes the Chair of the Peer Review Group and the Chair of the Automatic Exchange of Information Peer Review Group.
The Peer Review Group (PRG) oversees the Global Forum’s peer reviews in relation to the EOIR Standard. It consists of 30 Global Forum members. The PRG is currently chaired by Belgium, assisted by four Vice-Chairs (Cayman Islands, India, Sweden and the United States). The PRG meets three to four times a year to discuss and approve the peer review reports and proposals on other matters related to the review of the EOIR Standard, which are then submitted for adoption by the Global Forum.
The Automatic Exchange of Information Peer Review Group (APRG) was recently established to take forward the work on peer reviews against the AEOI standard previously carried out by the AEOI Group. Its main tasks include drawing conclusions on the legal frameworks of the Global Forum members that have committed to implement the standard with a specific date and put domestic legislations in place (AEOI Peers), and assessing their effective implementation in practice.
The APRG is comprised of 30 members from the AEOI Peers and three additional members (Georgia, Uganda and the United States) involved in its work to the extent it relates to confidentiality and data safeguards. The APRG is chaired by India, assisted by two Vice-Chairs (New Zealand and Switzerland). It has a mandate running to the end of 2025 when the second round of AEOI peer reviews are due to be completed. The APRG meets three to four times a year to discuss and approve peer review reports, which are then submitted to the AEOI Peers for adoption.
The Global Forum created the Peer Review Group (PRG) and the Automatic Exchange of Information Peer Review Group (APRG) to take forward its technical work to ensure the effective implementation of its standards. The main work of the PRG and the APRG is to oversee the peer reviews in relation to the tax transparency standards.
The review process consists of assessment teams (which include two assessors from member jurisdictions supported by the Secretariat) conducting a detailed review of the legal framework each jurisdiction has in place to facilitate EOIR as well the effectiveness of the operation of the EOIR standard in practice. This includes the analysis of input from each jurisdiction’s exchange partners and information obtained during an on-site visit. The assessment team then prepares a report including recommendations with respect to areas requiring improvement. The report is submitted to the PRG for approval, where the assessment team and the assessed jurisdiction can present their positions, and, once approved, the report is submitted to the Global Forum for adoption.
The Global Forum has conducted both the AEOI legal frameworks assessments and initial effectiveness reviews. This process has consisted of the Secretariat conducting the analysis, proposing recommendations where any gaps are identified, before the analysis is shared with all jurisdictions implementing the AEOI Standard for comment. The analysis is then submitted to the AEOI Group for approval before being submitted to all jurisdictions implementing the AEOI Standard for endorsement. The Global Forum has moved to a further round of peer reviews (2023-ongoing) ensuring that jurisdictions implement the AEOI Standard effectively on a level-playing field.
The Global Forum also reviews the confidentiality and data safeguards standards in place in each jurisdiction with a particular focus on the policies and systems in place. It has conducted pre-exchange assessments of all jurisdictions to provide comfort for exchanges to commence and has commenced post-exchange reviews to assess the policies and systems in practice. The reviews have been conducted by a group of experts (including legal, operational and cybersecurity experts) from member jurisdictions, supported by the Secretariat. Where issues are identified then exchange partners are no longer expected to send information to the jurisdiction concerned until the issues are successfully addressed.
The technical assistance activities provided by the Global Forum Secretariat and its partners are varied, targeted and adapted to the needs of each member. They mainly consist of: