Transparency International

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from one of Transparency International’s national chapters. The Anti-Corruption Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International and funded by the European Union

Query

Could you please provide a summary of international best practices, guidelines and recommendations on the transparency of state-owned enterprises? Is there any available research on the topic done by Transparency International or other NGOs?

PURPOSE

We are launching a research and advocacy project on the transparency and disclosure requirements for state-owned enterprises.

CONTENT

1. State-owned Enterprises and their Particular Corruption Challenges
2. International Standards of Corporate Governance for State-owned Enterprises
3. Best Practice from Country Examples
4. Examples of NGO Projects
5. References

SUMMARY

State-owned enterprises (SOEs) compete with private companies and should therefore be subject to the same high standards with regards to accounting, auditing and reporting. In addition to corruption risks facing companies in general, SOEs are also exposed to specific governance challenges due to their proximity to policy makers and market regulators.
The particular position of SOEs, however, requires additional safeguards against market distortion and misuse of public funds. The state’s role as an owner of the company needs to be clearly separated from its role as a regulator and communicated as such. SOEs need to be open about their governance and ownership structures, their relations to other state-owned entities, such as banks and financial institutions, and disclose any received state grants or guarantees. Transparency of SOEs implies integrity and openness from both the state’s and the SOEs’ perspectives.

Authors

Sofia Wickberg, Transparency International, tihelpdesk@transparency.org

Date

15/02/2013

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