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Implementing the OECD Guidelines on Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises: Review of Recent Developments

image of Implementing the OECD Guidelines on Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises: Review of Recent Developments

The OECD Guidelines on Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises have provided an internationally agreed benchmark to help governments assess and improve the way they exercise their ownership functions since 2005. This report documents changes in state ownership and SOE governance in both OECD and partner economies and assesses the extent to which the Guidelines have served as a “roadmap for reform” in individual countries since 2015, following the most recent update of the Guidelines. Drawing on practices in up to 31 jurisdictions, it covers organising the state enterprise ownership function; safeguarding a level playing field between SOEs and private businesses; equitable treatment of shareholders and other investors; stakeholder relations and responsible business; transparency and disclosure practices; and professionalising boards of directors. The report supports policy makers by facilitating greater awareness and more effective implementation of the Guidelines.

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Disclosure and transparency

Under the OECD Guidelines on Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises (SOE Guidelines), the general public is the ultimate owner of state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Therefore, government agencies who exercise ownership rights over SOEs are ultimately accountable for the interests of the public. In this sense, high standards of transparency and accountability are needed to allow the public to assure itself that the state exercises its powers in accordance with the public’s best interest. This chapter provides an overview of various mechanisms for ensuring transparency and accountability of the state’s exercise of ownership rights including: developing robust compliance and auditing standards and regular and publicly disclosed aggregate reporting on the SOE sector.

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