Corporates lag behind on accountability

The top corporates have a lot of work to do to improve their accountability, according to a new report...

The ‘Global Accountability Report’ from the One World Trust, a governance think tank, ranks 30 of the world’s most powerful corporates, governmental bodies and NGOs – and the corporates put in a fairly lamentable showing. Only one of the ten companies studied made it into the top ten – mining giant BHP Billiton in 9th – and just two more managed to rack up over 50%. Given that the think tank reckons 80% is the benchmark for anyone who’s introduced ‘reforms beyond the basic minimum’, that’s not terribly impressive. And after the events of the last year, operating behind a veil of secrecy may no longer be an option…

To be fair, none of the 30 organisations under consideration exactly covered themselves in glory. The International Foundation for Organic Agriculture (who?) came out on top, and that only managed a score of 71% - closely followed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (which we’ve at least heard of) with 70%. And they were the top performers – at the other end of the scale,  NATO and the International Olympic Committee managed a frankly dismal 36% and 32% respectively…

Rather alarmingly, corporates got the lowest average scores in all four of the study’s major indicators: transparency, participation, evaluation and ‘complaint and response mechanisms’. They performed relatively well in the latter, suggesting they’re at least making an effort to get feedback – but by all accounts, they don’t seem to be doing much about it…

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