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Working Paper 03/2008: Using the OECD Guidelines to Tackle Corporate Corruption

The Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, adopted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), are a set of social, labour, environmental and anti- corruption standards developed for transnational companies. A total of 40 nations — 30 OECD governments and 10 non- member states — have endorsed them as a basic component of responsible corporate conduct for multinational enterprises (MNEs) that are based in or operating from their territories. While the Guidelines are voluntary for companies, they have been useful for promoting corporate accountability. Adhering governments are bound by inter-governmental agreement to respond to complaints arising from alleged violations. Civil society has effectively used the Guidelines to draw attention to such irresponsible behaviour and trigger corrective actions.