The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (“Guidelines”) outline recommendations for responsible business conduct in terms of disclosure, human rights, employment and industrial relations, environment, combating bribery, bribe solicitation and extortation, consumer interests, science and technology, competition, and taxation.
The Guidelines are supported by the implementation mechanism of OECD National Contact Points (“OECD NCPs”), agencies established by adhering governments to promote and implement the Guidelines. OECD NCPs assist enterprises and their stakeholders to take appropriate measures to further the observance of the Guidelines. They provide a mediation and conciliation platform for resolving practical issues that may arise with the implementation of the Guidelines.
How does it work?
The OECD NCP will contribute to the resolution of issues that arise relating to implementation of the Guidelines in specific instances. To do so, the OECD NCP will:
- Make an initial assessment of whether the issues raised merit further examination and respond to the parties involved.
- Where the issues raised merit further examination, offer good offices to help the parties involved to resolve the issue. For this purpose, the OECD NCP will consult with these parties and where relevant:
- seek advice from relevant authorities, and/or representatives of the business community, worker organizations, other NGOs, and relevant experts;
- consult the OECD NCP in the other country or countries concerned;
- seek the guidance of the Investment Committee if it has doubt about the interpretation of the Guidelines in particular circumstances;
- offer, and with the agreement of the parties involved, facilitate access to consensual and non-adversarial means, such as conciliation or mediation, to assist the parties in dealing with the issues.
At the conclusion of the procedures and after consultation with the parties involved, make the results of the procedures publicly available (and to the Investment Committee), taking into account the need to protect sensitive business and other stakeholder information.
If issues arise in non-adhering countries, the OECD NCP must take steps to develop an understanding of the issues involved, and follow these procedures where relevant and practicable.
OECD NCPs in different countries shall cooperate if such need arises, on any matter related to the Guidelines relevant to their activities. As a general procedure, discussions at the national level should be initiated before contacts with other OECD NCPs are undertaken.
Possible outcomes include:
- The OECD NCP may decide that the issues raised do not merit further consideration.
- The parties have reached agreement on the issues raised.
- The parties have reached no agreement or a party is unwilling to participate in the procedures. In this case, the OECD NCP will make recommendations on the implementation of the Guidelines as appropriate.