The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises Recommendations for Responsible Business Conduct in a Global Context, 5 December 2013
TUAC Submission to the Joint Meeting of the Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct and the National Contact Points



  • TUAC-12-5-mt-submission-Finalpdf

Key points:

- Business Relationships and Minority Shareholdings: TUAC supports the OECD’s conclusion that the term “business relationships’’ under the OECD Guidelines cover the relationships of Financial Institutions, including minority shareholdings. It urges the WPRBC to close this discussion, in view of the interpretive guidance provided by the UN and the decisions made by the Dutch and the Norwegian NCPs;

- Interpretation of “impact is…directly linked to their operations, products or services
by a business relationship"
: the Working Party should issue a statement that clarifies that the concepts of “indirect impacts” or being “indirectly linked” do not exist under the OECD Guidelines. TUAC considers that it is the task of the Working Party, not a multi-stakeholder Advisory Group, to solicit and assess authoritative guidance on this issue and is opposed to Phase 1 of the project proposal on the Financial Sector in this regard (see below);

- Sovereign Wealth Funds: TUAC supports the OECD’s conclusions that the Guidelines apply to all groups of investors, whether they are operated or owned by the State or are private investors, which are engaged in activities of a commercial nature (para. 23);

- Central Banks: TUAC considers that the Working Party should not exempt, peremptorily, any organisation from the OECD Guidelines, including Central Banks. It is the role of NCPs to role to assess the eligibility of complaints on a case-by-case basis. Any exemption would risk irreparable damage to both the OECD Guidelines and the UN Guiding Principles as it would open the door for other sectors or business
groups to seek similar exemptions;

- Proposal for Next Phase of Financial Sector Project: TUAC is strongly opposed to the project proposal on the financial sector as currently drafted, in particular Phase 1, which it considers should be carried out by the Working Party. It is the role of governments to reach a decision on the meaning of “impact is…directly linked to their operations, products or services by a business relationship, not the role of a multi-stakeholder group.

TUAC suggests that the WPRBC develops a new proposal working together with NCPs, BIAC, TUAC and OECD Watch. This approach would be in line with the principles of the proactive agenda.

- Proactive Agenda: TUAC urges the Working Party to stop the proliferation of projects under the proactive agenda at the OECD level in order to re-focus on the NCPs, the core activity, and to safeguard quality.