For more information about corruption in SOEs, see “ State-Owned Enterprises and Corruption: What are the risks and what can be done ”
The more pronounced presence of SOEs in the global marketplace has been marked by certain high-profile scandals and occasional evidence of susceptibility of SOEs to corruption. This raises questions about what might make SOEs susceptible to corruption and how policy makers can act to maximise their productivity by raising their integrity.
SOEs today account for 22% of the world’s largest companies and their role as global competitors is growing as the boundaries of markets increasingly extend beyond geographic borders. They are often concentrated in sectors with strategic importance for the state and society and are increasingly operated like private firms.
State-owned enterprises (SOEs) are a main conduit for states to exercise their roles as economic actors. The benefits of SOE ownership are economic, political and social. So too are the costs when mismanagement or abuse occurs.
Guidelines on Anti-Corruption and Integrity in State-Owned Enterprises
The Recommendation of the Council on Guidelines on Anti-Corruption and Integrity in State-Owned Enterprises is the first international instrument to offer the state, in its role as an enterprise owner, support in fighting corruption and promoting integrity in SOEs. The Guidelines can help states to ensure that owners exemplify integrity in their conduct, that ownership arrangements are conducive to integrity, that SOEs adhere to good practices at the SOE level and that accountability mechanisms are integral to SOE sectors. The Guidelines complement the goals of the OECD Guidelines on Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises. They were adopted by OECD governments at the annual Ministerial Council Meeting on 22-23 May 2019.
Download the legal text of the Recommendation English | French
The Guidelines were developed by the OECD Working Party on State Ownership and Privatisation Practices in co-operation with the Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions and the Working Party of Senior Public Integrity Officials. They have benefited from input received during a public consultation and from business and labour representatives, civil society, partner countries and other interested stakeholders.
The Implementation Guide supports state owners in implementing the provisions of the Recommendation of the Council on Guidelines on Anti-Corruption and Integrity in SOEs (ACI Guidelines). The Implementation Guide covers the four pillars of the ACI Guidelines. Like the Guidelines, the Implementation Guide is addressed to government officials charged with exercising ownership of state enterprises on behalf of the general public, but can be useful for companies and civil society too. It provides answers to common questions about the Guidelines and presents many country examples of the different ways that the Guidelines can be put into practice.