Accountability and Transparency: A Guide for State Ownership

image of Accountability and Transparency: A Guide for State Ownership

Using this Guide will facilitate the practical implementation of the OECD Guidelines on Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises in the areas of transparency and accountability. It provides viable policy options and a step-by-step road map on how to address typical difficulties, risks and hurdles that may be encountered. It also provides concrete examples of good practices that can serve as a reference and inspiration. The Guide will help governments, their ownership entities and other stakeholders to evaluate existing practices and support reforms.

In most countries, improving transparency and accountability in state-owned enterprises entails a number of complex challenges. Addressing these, with the help of this Guide, is an important step in the process of establishing well-governed and economically sound state-owned enterprises

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Setting Objectives

Accountability requires benchmarking performance against clearly defined objectives. The fist step is thus to define objectives at different levels: firstly, for the state as an owner, with the “ownership policy” for high-level and long-term objectives and then specific yearly targets; secondly, for the SOEs themselves, with their high-level mandates, then their yearly objectives with specific performance indicators. This chapter will cover how to develop an ownership policy for the state as an owner, then how to develop specific yearly targets for the state ownership entity(ies). It will also describe how to define and review SOEs’ mandates, i.e. simple and brief descriptions of the high-level objectives and missions of the individual SOEs in the long run. It will then discuss how to identify SOEs’ public services and other special obligations, decide on their relevance, evaluate their cost and fund them transparently, which is a fundamental prerequisite to decide on SOEs’ objectives and targets. Finally, it will review how to develop an objective documents and specific performance indicators for individual SOEs.

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