Resources: Corporate accountability

27 results
Saturday, 1st November 2014, in London

1 November 2014

The People vs PFI conference will bring together those disturbed by the implications of the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) to brainstorm political and practical solutions; share stories of working for a PFI-run public service, or of living in or near one; and help build effective grassroots opposition to PFI across the UK.

Shadow Bankers in London
Nicholas Hildyard

1 October 2012

In June 2010, the London Mining Network and The Corner House organized a "Hedge Fund Tour" through London's tony Mayfair district, home of many of the private financial institutions at the heart of the wave of dispossessions that followed in the wake of the 2008 crisis. 

Strategic Reflections on Climate Change and the "Green Economy"
Larry Lohmann

2 September 2012

This discussion paper sets out some lessons for political strategy suggested by the experience of climate change campaigning over the past 15 years. It outlines the dangers faced by advocacy NGOs of becoming "patzers" (blunderers) and clients of more sophisticated political actors. Comments on this work in progress, a shorter version of which was published in Development Dialogue No. 61 (September 2012), are welcome.

Infrastructure as Asset Class: A Critical Look at Private Equity Infrastructure Funds
Nicholas Hildyard

1 September 2012

Public, state and taxpayers' money is now being channelled the world over toward private equity funds seeking turbo-charged profits from the construction of substantial new infrastructure. The adverse political and economic consequences for the public good are profound and urgently need challenging.

A Submission to the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on International Corporate Responsibility
The Corner House

22 June 2012

A UK Treasury-financed, off-balance-sheet vehicle may be hiding the extent of the financial liabilities of UK Export Finance (formerly the Export Credit Guarantee Department) and may also be concealing its use of taxpayer funds to cover operational expenses.

In addition, UK Export Finance has failed to put in place procedures that would enable it to comply with its legally-binding obligations (notably with respect to human rights) under Article 21 of the Lisbon Treaty.

These are among the conclusions of a recent Corner House submission to a UK Parliamentary group, one part of a broader questioning by civil society groups of the human rights and sustainability practices of Britain's official export subsidy apparatus.

Ruling places BP in breach of its loan agreements, say campaigners

9 March 2011

A BP-led consortium is breaking international rules governing the human rights responsibilities of multinational companies in its operations on the controversial Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, the UK Government ruled today.

ECGD destroyed records that would confirm one way or the other

5 November 2010

Under the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, commercial confidentiality cannot be used by corporations as a reason for refusing to supply the names of their agents when requested by competent authorities. This ruling by the UK government was issued in November 2010, six years after The Corner House first submitted a Complaint against BAE, Rolls Royce and Airbus.

Talking Climate in Public Space
NESPON, NFFPFW and Nagarik Mancha

1 September 2009

Here is the long-awaited latest issue of a magazine aimed at returning the dialogue about climate change and its solutions to the "public space." Featured are pathbreaking articles uncovering the reality of UN-sanctioned "carbon saving" projects in the metals, hydroelectric, wind power, chemicals, waste management and electricity generating sectors, as well as analyses of the political economy of the scientific controversies over the monsoon and over Asia's so-called "brown cloud" of pollution.

Frontline

7 April 2009

The US public television's flagship public affairs programme, Frontline, produced a 60-minute documentary on "black money" -- the secret payments that make up the shadowy world of international bribery. It reveals how multinational companies create slush funds and set up front companies to obtain business and contracts. In describing the crackdown on these practices, the documentary focuses on BAE Systems and allegations about its billion dollar bribes. It includes an interview with former Serious Fraud Office (SFO) Director Robert Wardle, who describes as "blackmail" the Saudi threat to withdraw intelligence cooperation with the UK if the SFO's BAE-Saudi investigation continued.

Mark Thomas

18 March 2009

At the beginning of 2009, activist comedian Mark Thomas decided to do a weekly show about the meltdown of the world's economy. "It's The Economy Stupid" combines stand up comedy with interviews with invited guests -- economists, academics, MPs, trade unionists, journalists (and members of The Corner House) -- on stage to explain what happened, find out what is going on, and explore what we can do about it.

Why major reform is vital
The Corner House

18 March 2009

On 12-13 March 2009, development, environment and human rights groups from Belgium, France, Italy, Ireland, Switzerland and the UK, and local residents of the island of Jersey organised a seminar to discuss the necessity for tax haven reform and to exchange views on how governments and civil society can work towards achieving a "just transition" for tax havens that would not impact on poorer residents.

Environmental, Social and Governance Issues in the Context of the Financial Crisis
Stephanie Fried

1 November 2008

Environmentally- and socially-destructive development projects are increasingly being funded by hedge funds, private equity and sovereign wealth funds (instead of by public or private banks) that are not subject to transparency, governance or reporting requirements. Public financial institutions are also investing in these alternative vehicles, which are often based in offshore tax havens. Basic information about these vehicles is not routinely made public. But in the midst of the financial crisis, the Asian Development Bank is pushing for even less transparency for such risky investments. Regulatory authorities should instead focus on much stronger transparency and accountability requirements and address the use by public financial institutions of "secrecy jurisdictions".

Some Frequently Asked Questions
Kavaljit Singh

8 October 2008

38. The current protectionist backlash against state-owned sovereign wealth funds (SWFs), particularly from the Middle East and China, stems from Western policy makers' fears that SWFs follow strategic political objectives rather than commercial interests, investing in Western companies and banks to secure control of strategically important industries such as telecommunications, energy and banking. This paper examines these fears in order to understand the potential impact and implications of sovereign wealth funds in a rapidly-changing global political economy.

Zembla (The Netherlands)

1 August 2008

Exploring both ends of the carbon market through research and interviews in Uganda and The Netherlands, this video (available in Portuguese and English versions) brings new clarity to the debate over climate change solutions.

in Defence of Community Land and Religion against the Trans Thai-Malaysian Pipeline and Industrial Project (TTM) 2002-2008
Chana activists and others

1 August 2008

For many years, Southern Thai Muslim communities have been fighting a destructive gas development backed by Barclays and other foreign banks that has violated their human, religious, environmental and land rights alike. In words and pictures, this book (now in an updated and revised edition) recounts their struggle.

Sarah Sexton

18 June 2008

The Woolf Report entitled Ethical business conduct in BAE Systems plc -- the way forward was published on 6 May 2008. This presentation explores how BAE has used the report from a critical public relations perspective. 

A Decade of Resistance in Southern Thailand
Larry Lohmann

30 May 2008

Slowing and halting new fossil fuel developments has moved to the top of the global climate change agenda. But what are the obstacles to, and resources for, such a project? The 10-year struggle against a gas development project in one corner of Southeast Asia, described in this forthcoming article for the journal Race & Class, offers lessons in some of the complexities.

The case of Merowe Dam
Nicholas Hildyard

30 April 2008

The Merowe/Hamadab Dam on the River Nile in Sudan, which was completed in 2009, is the largest hydroproject in Africa. The major contracts were awarded to three European companies: Lahmeyer International, Alstom and ABB. Implementation to date has been characterised by human rights abuses, forced resettlement, illegality and a failure to abide by international standards. The companies consistently failed to use their influence to halt the dam's implementation until issues surrounding its impacts were resolved.

The Political Economy of International Investments
Kavaljit Singh

18 April 2007

This book details the central role of transnational corporations in determining foreign direct investment (FDI) patterns. Using case-studies, statistical data and cogent analysis, it makes a critical appraisal of contemporary investment issues as it maps investment flows, trends and regulatory frameworks. It shows how FDI can lead not to economic growth but to an outflow of capital instead of an inflow, prompting a growing backlash against foreign investments in many Latin American and Asian countries, and Russia.

Its comments and recommendations on public procurement and bribery of foreign officials
Susan Hawley

28 February 2006

The OECD Working Group on Bribery's reviews of how countries are implementing the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention are an invaluable source of information about practice in different countries in combating bribery. This paper pulls together all the Group's comments and recommendations about public procurement, and summarises the procedures countries have developed to exclude companies convicted of bribery from public procurement.

Response to the Stakeholder Consultation
The Corner House and RAID

12 January 2006

The OECD "Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises" are a set of voluntary principles and standards to which multinationals are expected to adhere. Since 2000, NGOs and others can submit complaints against OECD-based companies to OECD government offices set up to promote adherence to the Guidelines. This document is a submission to the UK Government's assessment of the Guidelines' implementation in the UK.

Litigation and Standards
Nicholas Hildyard

3 December 2005

International finance institutions promise that the projects they back will comply with international environmental and social standards -- but these standards are frequently flouted. NGOs can document such violations so as to bring concerns to decision-makers, the wider public and the courts.

Corruption and the UK Export Credits Guarantee Department
Dr Susan Hawley

1 June 2003

Institutional practices within the taxpayer-funded UK Export Credits Guarantee Department have exacerbated bribery and corruption by Western companies.

TNC Regulation in an Era of Dialogues and Partnerships
Judith Richter

28 February 2002

26. As corporations have expanded beyond their national borders, it has become harder for individual countries to protect public interests through national regulation alone. Industry self regulation or co-regulation is often considered the best way to set global rules. Drawing on a case study of the infant food industry, this briefing paper raises crucial questions about making TNCs publicly accountable at a time when dialogues and partnerships are portrayed as the best way to interact with them.

A New Political Space for Activists
Mark Mansley and Nicholas Hildyard

30 January 2002

25. Lobbying financial markets has become a major way of halting or lessening the impact of environmentally-damaging and socially-inequitable projects. This briefing provides several case studies, traces the rise of ethical shareholding, and explores the limits and potential pitfalls of financial market activism.

Corporate strategy for dealing with NGOs

1 January 2002

The "divide and rule" corporate public relations strategy for dealing with NGOs raising issues about the BTC oil pipeline is made explicit in this presentation on the project's Environmental & Social Impact Assessment, released under FOIA.

Effective Lobbying of Companies and Financial Institutions
Nicholas Hildyard and Mark Mansley

31 July 2001

The Guide includes a comprehensive directory of the best web sites and library resources for researching companies and the sectors in which they operate.