Raising the Bar – the OECD Principles Deserve Better Than an ‘Update’
TUAC Consultation with the OECD Committee on Corporate Governance



TUAC welcomes the opportunity to comment on the documents that are for discussion at the 23rd Meeting of the Corporate Governance Committee. We note with interest the items on the agenda of the meeting and will comment on them during the consultation. Our primary message to the Committee for this consultation relates to an issue which unfortunately is not on the agenda: the review of the 2004 Principles of Corporate Governance (the “Principles”).

TUAC understands that the decision whether or not to review the Principles has not been finalized. However, we understood that the Committee currently only plans to ‘update’ the text based on the 2010 “Conclusions and emerging good practices” . Although the findings of the 2010 report provide useful guidance, the Principles themselves are almost ten years old.

TUAC believes that the Committee should raise the bar for companies subject to the Principles. Public trust in the governance of private corporations was seriously damaged with the recent financial crisis. Rather than aiming at the lowest common denominator between all OECD jurisdictions, the Principles should become truly aspirational and help guide positive change, be it in regulation, at the annual general meeting (“AGM”), or inside the boardroom.

To raise the bar for companies subject to the Principles, we believe the OECD should be guided by the following objectives. ...