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Ministry of Interior of the Slovak republic   Today is 23. April 2024, Tuesday
 

4. OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (herein the "Guidelines") constitute an international code of ethical principles directed at governments and recommend that they are adhered to by multinational corporations both within their territory and abroad.

The exceptionality of the Guidelines is that they are the only set of international principles that governments have pledged to promote in the pursuit of standards of responsibility, morality, culture and integrity of multinational companies in the system of international business transactions.

As of 1 September 2017, 48 countries adhered to the Guidelines: 36 OECD member states and 12 non-member countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Egypt, Jordan,, Morocco, Peru, Romania, Tunisia and Ukraine.

Countries that have adhered to the Guidelines also have committed to establish a National Contact Point for OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises as an avenue handling enquiries and contributing to the resolution of issues that arise relating to the implementation of the Guidelines in specific instances.

What is the purpose of implementing the Guidelines?

The Guidelines serve as a reference framework providing basic principles, standards and recommendations for responsible business conduct in a global context consistent with applicable laws and internationally recognised standards.  The Guidelines are designed to allow some flexibility in the implementation of programmes and recommendations, particularly with regard to company size, sectorial differences and cultural habits.

Despite a title covering multinational companies, the Guidelines may be transposed to all multinational and domestic companies, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises, for which it is recommended that they be guided to the maximum extent by the Guidelines.

The establishment of voluntary principles, recommendations and good practice principles for responsible business conduct through the Guidelines affects many aspects of society, such as transparency, employment relationships, environment, fight against corruption, taxation, and others. The Guidelines are non-legally binding: they are advisory in nature, and in case of their violation, the companies cannot be sanctioned or apply for compensation.

Chapter VII Fight against bribery, bribe solicitation and extortion

Within this chapter, recommendations are formulated for the responsible business conduct of multinational companies in relation to potential risks of corruption and related proposals for preventive measures, internal control mechanisms, transparency, compliance with ethical principles, as well as support for the awareness of employees and the general public.

In practice, multinational and domestic companies are encouraged to implement the following recommendations in their ethics and compliance programmes as outlined in Chapter VII of the Guidelines:

  • Not offer, promise or give undue pecuniary or other advantage to public officials or the employees of business partners and  enterprises should not request, agree to or accept undue pecuniary or other advantage from public officials or the employees of business partners.;
  • on the basis of a risk assessment, develop and adopt adequate internal controls, ethics and compliance programmes or measures, including a system of financial and accounting procedures to prevent their potential abuse for bribery or its coverage;
  • regularly monitor and re-assess identified risks, adjust anti-corruption measures and ensure the prevention of bribery;
  • record all financial transactions, prohibit or discourage small facilitation payments,  and, when such payments are made, accurately record these in books and financial records;
  • take measures to ensure appropriate and regular oversight of agents, and that remuneration of agents is appropriate and for legitimate services only.;
  • Enhance transparency of their activities in the fight against bribery, bribe solicitation and extortion, Measures may include accountability mechanisms of management systems and making public commitments against bribery and strengthening openness and dialogue with the public in order to promote awareness and cooperation in the fight against bribery;
  • promote employee awareness of and compliance with anti-corruption policies, ethics and compliance programs or measures against bribery, bribe solicitation and extortion through training programs and disciplinary procedures;
  • include the financing of political parties, political organizations or individual politicians in regulatory provisions and ensure compliance with disclosure requirements and transparent reporting.

How are the Guidelines implemented in the conditions of the Slovak Republic?

The Slovak Republic has set up a National Contact Point for OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises at the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic for the practical implementation of the Guidelines. Its members are representatives from designated ministries, the National Bank of Slovakia, the Export-Import Bank of the Slovak Republic, the Republic Employers' Union, Confederation of Trade Unions and Friends of the Earth CEPA.

The Ministry of the Interior of the Slovak Republic is also a member of the National Contact Point for Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises to follow the preventive anti-corruption initiatives and practical implications of Chapter VII of the Guidelines.

The main sources of information on the National Contact Point for OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, as well as the full text of the Guidelines in the Slovak language are published on the website of the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic:

http://www.economy.gov.sk/obchod/multilateralne-obchodne-vztahy/oecd/narodne-kontaktne-miesto-pre-smernice-oecd-pre-nadnarodne-spolocnosti

The English version of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises is published on the OECD’s web site:  http://www.oecd.org/daf/inv/mne/oecdguidelinesformultinationalenterprises.htm

Remember

  • The Guidelines aim to promote standards of accountability, ethics and compliance culture in multinational companies in the global context of international business transactions.
  • The Guidelines, despite their name linked to multinational companies, are adapted to the needs of all companies, both multinational and domestic, and are applicable even in small and medium-sized enterprises.
  • The Guidelines are non-legally binding: they are advisory in nature, and in case of their violation, the companies cannot be sanctioned or apply for compensation.
  • Chapter VII Fight against bribery, bribe solicitation and extortion calls for the implementation of recommendations on responsible business conduct of multinational companies confronted with potential risks of corruption.
  • The Slovak Republic has set up a National Contact Point for OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises at the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic for the practical implementation of the Guidelines.

 

 

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