Ending Corporate Secrecy through Transparency
Follow the Money
- 2016 December 9 15:15
- 50 min
- Eiffel (Iéna) [fr/en/es]
- French / English / Spanish
Transparency, accountability and fight against corruption
Multinational companies and governments to make concrete commitments and steps to improve corporate transparency such as beneficial ownership disclosure and country by country reporting. This forum also seeks to get champions from some multinational companies that will spear-head transparency commitments in their companies and in countries they operate.
The London Anti-corruption Summit set the stage for a global transparency agenda which saw countries making commitments to end corruption, money laundering and illicit financial flows. These commitments made in London are in support with other global initiatives such as the EU, US and Canada Anti-money-laundering, G8 and G20 to bring better corporate transparency, and are particularly relevant in the wake of the LuxLeaks and Panama Papers scandals which brought light to how individuals and companies use offshore and anonymous entities to dodge tax and hide assets. Every year, a trillion dollars is siphoned out of developing countries through a web of shady, secret and corrupt activities that involve anonymous shell companies, and illegal tax evasion. Instead of being invested to help people, it fuels inequality and instability, keeping millions of people in developing countries trapped in the cycle of poverty.
Multinational corporations have a legal and ethical obligations to conduct their business honestly and perform appropriate due diligence to discover the true owners of companies with which they do business. The hidden ownership structures of potential partners or clients should not enable multinational corporations to avoid culpability for doing deals with shady actors. Secondly many individuals and firms living and doing business in developing countries avoid taxes, either illegally or through sophisticated manipulations of their company accounts that shift profits to other parts of the world. Requiring companies to publicly disclose key financial information in each country in which they operate would help tax officials to spot when international trade is being used to shift money out of a country.
Multinational companies are also hugely involved in procurement and contracting which is the world’s number one risk for corruption and fraud: the OECD, EC, WEF and UNODC all agree. Some 57% of foreign bribery cases prosecuted under the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention involved bribes to obtain public contracts.
The Concept: The OGP Summit provides a platform for multinational companies and governments to make concrete commitments and steps to improve corporate transparency such as beneficial ownership disclosure and country by country reporting.
Roundtable Forum in Paris
The roundtable forum will be in partnership with the Open Government Partnership which will bring together multinational companies, governments and CSOs to discuss ways to better improve transparency in business transactions. This forum also seeks to get champions from some multinational companies that will spear-head transparency commitments in their companies and in countries they operate.
MO IBRAHIM (OGP Ambassador and Founder of The Mo Ibrahim Foundation), ROSIE DONACHIE (Director of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, Europe at BHP Billiton), ADRIAN LOVETT (Chief Executive Officer (interim) at The ONE Campaign)