The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises are a set of recommendations on responsible business conduct addressed by governments to multinational enterprises (MNEs) operating in or from adhering countries. The Guidelines are the only existing multilaterally agreed corporate responsibility instrument that adhering Governments are committed to promoting.
The Guidelines are designed to assist MNEs ensure that their operations are in harmony with Government policies, to provide an open and transparent environment for international investment and to encourage the positive contribution MNEs can make to sustainable development. Observance of the Guidelines by MNEs is voluntary.
Areas covered by the Guidelines include employment, industrial relations, human rights, environment, anti-corruption, information disclosure, taxation, and science and technology. They are supported by a set of implementation procedures, and all adhering Governments have established a National Contact Point to promote the Guidelines, handle enquiries and assist in the resolution of issues that arise from the alleged non-observance of the Guidelines. The Australian National Contact Point is the General Manager of Treasury’s Foreign Investment Policy Division.
While the Guidelines have been endorsed within the OECD international forum, they are not a substitute for, nor do they override, Australian law. They represent standards of behaviour supplemental to Australian law and, as such, do not create conflicting requirements.
For more information, visit the Australian National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.