From OpenCongress Wiki
Approaches to Corporate Accountability
This page is an attempt to break down different types of corporate accountability work into specific approaches, by Matt Rumsey, Adeeb Sahar, Daniel Schuman, and John Wonderlich of the Sunlight Foundation. The overall approaches are listed in the table of contents above, and in each section heading below.
General Corporate Watchdogging
- Corporate Accountability International "we have been waging and winning bold campaigns that safeguard public health, human rights, and the environment form corporate abuse."
- Sierra Club Corporate Accountability Committee - "Facilitates the [Sierra] Club's respoinse to the corporate abuse of power," and advocates for enforceable measures for corporate accountability. Specifically in the areas of the environment, communities, and public health.
- CorpWatch - a Non-profit that engages in "investigative research and journalism to expose corporate malfeasance and to advocate for multinational corporate accountability and transparency."
- International Corporate Accountability Rountable - A forum to boost communication between organizations involved in international corporate accountability and human rights. Work with members to pursue enhanced corporate accountability.
- Corporate Ethics International - Launched campaigns against corporate abuses by various companies, founded the Business Ethics Network.
- Business Ethics Network- A project of Corporate Ethics Internatilonal. Works to build capacity of NGOs engaged in corporate accountability and shareholder activism. Facilitate collaboration, provide education and consultation, and outreach to funding community.
- Corporate Campaign Inc - Founded in 1981, Corporate Campaign Inc. help labor unions, human rights and environmental groups, and others in their corporate accountability campaigns. They provide research, organizational, and other consulting services.
- http://www.responsiblepractice.com/ - a publication exploring the world of corporate social responsibility.
Money in Politics/Lobbying
Sunlight and many of our peers focus heavily on public accountability through a focus on money in politics; the projects below are a brief listing of some money in politics groups that focus particularly on corporate accountability.
- The Center for Political Accountability A non-profit, non-partisan organization created to bring transparency and accountability to corporate political spending.
- Common Cause: Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest
- Coalition for Accountability in Political Spending - a bi-partisan coalition of public officials that push corporations to strengthen their political spending policies through a variety of means, including direct engagement, legislation, and contracting reform.
- http://www.politicalaccountability.net/ - corporate political disclosure
- CREW - Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington - a non-profit dedicated to promoting ethics and accountability in public life. While their main focus is on government officials, they report and expose corporate abuses when they relate to government or public corruption.
- The Sustainable Investments Institute - The Sustainable Investments Institute is a non-profit that creates reports on organized efforts to influence corporate behavior on social and environmental issues. They provide impartial information and aim to help academic researchers and the public accurately assess corporate behavior.
- The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility - The ICCR is a coalition of active shareowners who use the management of their investments to promote justice and sustainability.
- http://theshareholderactivist.com/ - Is a website dedicated to helping investors become activist. It provides information, tools, and news.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate Social Responsibility is a field of largely self-applied accountability policies aimed at improving corporate behavior. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_social_responsibility
- As You Sow Is promotes corporate social responsibility using a variety of means including shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and legal action.
- CSR Wire Features news, reports, event listings, and other information about corporate social responsibility.
- American Sustainable Business Council Advances public policy that acknowledges and encourages sustainable and socially responsible businesses and social enterprises.
- Business and Investors Against Tax Haven Abuse
- The National Whistleblowers Center A non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting whistleblowers.
- http://www.whistleblowerlaws.com/- A source for whistleblowers, press, policy makers.
- http://www.whistleblowerprotection.com/ - Law firm DowLohnes whistleblower protection practice area.
Much of the corporate accountability movement has as its roots specific activism aimed at protecting consumers.
- National Consumers League http://www.nclnet.org/
- Consumer Reports http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/index.htm
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is a U.S. law concerning the bribing of foreign officials.
Technology/Reporting Standards (XBRL)
XBRL, or eXtensible Business Reporting Language, is a free, open, global standard for business and financial reporting. It is an XML based language. It's early adopters included the U.S. FDIC and the Committee of European Banking Supervisors. Late in 2008 the US Securities and Exchange Commission adopted rules requiring certain non-US companies to provide them with financial information in the XBRL format. Regulators in the UK and Singapore also require companies to use the standard.
- xbrl.us - National consortium for XML business reporting standards.
- xbrl.org - XBRL International - non-profit consortium of 600 companies working to build XBRL and support its adoption.
- xbrl.sec.gov - The United States government's portal for information about XBRL.
- Global Reporting - XBRL Taxonomy - The Global Reporting Initiative, in conjunction with Deloitte, created one of the first XBRL taxonomies for sustainability reporting.
Illicit Funds Tracking/Global Financial Integrity
- Global Financial Integrity - Global Financial Integrity "promotes national and multilateral policies, safeguards, and agreements aimed at curtailing the cross-border flow of illegal money."
- Financial Accountability & Corporate Transparency Coalition (FACT) - A coalition of groups working towards financial accountability and transparency in financial institutions, corporations, and government. Started by GFI.
- Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development - The Task Force on Financial Integrity & International Development is made up of governments, research and advocacy organizations. It works for greater transparency in the global financial system, specifically with an eye towards helping developing countries.
Corporate Governance Reform
- Global Corporate Governance Forum - Knowledge and capacity building platform dedicated to corporate governance reform in emerging markets and developing countries. Part of the International Finance Corporation's Corporate Governance Group.
- Corporate Reform Coalition
- http://www.group30.org/workprogram.shtml - The Group of 30, a non-profit composed of senior representatives from the private, public, and academic sectors, works to increase understanding of international economic and financial issues, explore the repercussions of decision making, and examine choices available to public and private sectors. They recently completed a study on Financial Governance Reform
- Asian Corporate Governance Association - Non-profit membership organization that works with investors, companies, and regulators to implement effective corporate governance practices throughout Asia.
The Evironmental Movement
An obvious and leading influence in holding corporations accountable comes from the growing environmental movement.
A list of organizations active in the environmental movement can be found here.
Pursuing government regulation and new laws is also clearly defined approach to creating corporate accountability.
International and national labor unions are a primary force in defining how corporations can act.