The objective of the Lithuanian National Coordination Centre is to increase the efficiency of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (hereinafter – the Guidelines) based on the principles of clarity, accessibility, transparency and accountability and to mediate in addressing problems and settling disputes between multinational enterprises and stakeholders as specified in the Guidelines.
The main functions of the Lithuanian National Coordination Centre are the following:
1. The promotion of awareness and accessibility of the Guidelines. The main function of the Lithuanian National Coordination Centre is to develop and maintain contacts with the business community, the employees’ organisations and other interested parties which may contribute to the effective implementation of the Guidelines and help achieve compliance with the requirements of the Guidelines. The Lithuanian National Coordination Centre shall promote cooperation between all interested parties.
2. Mediation in the disputes of multinational enterprises, NGOs, professional unions, business associations and other interested parties. Another function of the Lithuanian National Coordination Centre is to investigate the complaints lodged with regard to alleged violations of the Guidelines in multinational enterprises. The process of the investigation of complaints lodged with regard to the violation of the Guidelines is aimed to settle the suspected infringements by conciliation and mediation, in other words, by promoting an open dialogue between the interested parties. This complaint handling procedure has to be impartial, predictable, fair and in line with the requirements of the Guidelines. Lithuanian National Coordination Centre has aprooved the Procedural Guidance For Assessing The Implementation Of The Guidelines In Specific Instances.
New regulations of the Lithuanian National Coordination Centre were approved by Order No 4-537 of 8 August 2014 of the Minister of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania ‘On the Approval of the Regulations of the Lithuanian National Coordination Centre’ (hereinafter referred to as the Regulations).
The Regulations provide for the following structure of the Lithuanian National Coordination Centre:
• The independent experts (the main body of the Lithuanian National Coordination Centre);
• The Advisory Committee (the advisory body to the Lithuanian National Coordination Centre).
The independent experts shall carry out the functions indicated in the Guidelines and in the Rules of Procedure of the OECD.
The independent experts of the Lithuanian National Coordination Centre are:
Andrius Bambalas (Chairman of the Lithuanian National Coordination Centre);
The Advisory Committee shall provide recommendations to independent experts concerning the execution of the functions indicated in the Guidelines and the Rules of Procedure of the OECD.
The members of the Advisory Committee of the National Coordination Centre of Lithuania are:
Jurga Aleknienė (Chief Official of the Strategic Planning Division of the Economics and International Relations Department of the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania);
Aurelija Giedraitytė (Head of the Division of Legal Assistance of the Legal Institutions’ Department of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania);
Rūta Juršaitė (Adviser of the Labour Law Division of the Labour Department of the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania);
Mindaugas Mažylis (Chief Official of the Tax Law Division of the Tax Policy Department of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania);
Jolita Meškelytė (Head of the Division of Coordination of Information Resources of the Legal Institutions’ Department of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania);
Darius Mickevičius (Head of the Division of Criminal Justice of the Administrative and Criminal Justice Department of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania).
The Ministry of Economy provides technical and economic services to the Lithuanian National Coordination Centre.
Reports on the activities of the Lithuanian National Coordination Centre: the report 2015
Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania
Gedimino ave. 38, LT-01104 Vilnius
Tel: 8 706 64 618, 8 706 64 720,
Fax: 8 706 64 762
Information on the coordination centres of other countries: http://mneguidelines.oecd.org/ncps/.
The Guidelines were adopted in 1976 and they were reviewed and updated in 2011. Based on the assessment of the updated Guidelines the following fields which seek to promote the socially responsible behavior of businesses may be singled out:
• the provision of information,
• human rights,
• labour relations,
• fighting corruption,
• consumer protection,
• Science and technology,
• tax environment.
The Guidelines are mainly intended for multinational enterprises. Chapter 1(4) of the Guidelines provides that no precise definition of a multinational company exists and it is not required. A multinational enterprise should be considered an enterprise which is registered or carries out its activities in more than one country.
The Summary of the Guidelines
I. General Policies
Enterprises should take fully into account established policies in the countries in which they operate, and consider the views of other stakeholders. In this regard:
A. Enterprises should:
1.Contribute to economic, environmental and social progress with a view to achieving sustainable development.
2.Respect the internationally recognised human rights of those affected by their activities.
3.Encourage local capacity building through close co-operation with the local community, including business interests, as well as developing the enterprise’s activities in domestic and foreign markets, consistent with the need for sound commercial practice.
4.Encourage human capital formation, in particular by creating employment opportunities and facilitating training opportunities for employees.
5.Refrain from seeking or accepting exemptions not contemplated in the statutory or regulatory framework related to human rights, environmental, health, safety, labour, taxation, financial incentives, or other issues.
6.Support and uphold good corporate governance principles and develop and apply good corporate governance practices, including throughout enterprise groups.
7.Develop and apply effective self-regulatory practices and management systems that foster a relationship of confidence and mutual trust between enterprises and the societies in which they operate.
8.Promote awareness of and compliance by workers employed by multinational enterprises with respect to company policies through appropriate dissemination of these policies, including through training programmes.
9.Refrain from discriminatory or disciplinary action against workers who make bona fide
reports to management or, as appropriate, to the competent public authorities, on practices that contravene the law, the Guidelines or the enterprise’s policies.
10. Carry out risk-based due diligence, for example by incorporating it into their enterprise risk management systems, to identify, prevent and mitigate actual and potential adverse impacts as described in paragraphs 11 and 12, and account for how these impacts are addressed. The nature and extent of due diligence depend on the circumstances of a particular
11. Avoid causing or contributing to adverse impacts on matters covered by the
Guidelines, through their own activities, and address such impacts when they occur.
12. Seek to prevent or mitigate an adverse impact where they have not contributed to that impact, when the impact is nevertheless directly linked to their operations, products or services by a business relationship. This is not intended to shift responsibility from the entity
causing an adverse impact to the enterprise with which it has a business relationship.
13. In addition to addressing adverse impacts in relation to matters covered by the
Guidelines, encourage, where practicable, business partners, including suppliers and sub-contractors, to apply principles of responsible business conduct compatible with the
14. Engage with relevant stakeholders in order to provide meaningful opportunities for their views to be taken into account in relation to planning and decision making for projects or other activities that may significantly impact local communities.
15. Abstain from any improper involvement in local political activities.
B. Enterprises are encouraged to:
1.Support, as appropriate to their circumstances, cooperative efforts in the appropriate fora to promote Internet Freedom through respect of freedom of expression, assembly and association online.
2.Engage in or support, where appropriate, private or multi-stakeholder initiatives and social dialogue on responsible supply chain management while ensuring that these initiatives take due account of their social and economic effects on developing countries and of existing internationally recognised standards.
1.Enterprises should ensure that timely and accurate information is disclosed on all material matters regarding their activities, structure, financial situation, performance, ownership and governance. This information should be disclosed for the enterprise as a whole, and, where appropriate, along business lines or geographic areas. Disclosure policies of enterprises should be tailored to the nature, size and location of the enterprise, with due regard taken ofcosts, business confidentiality and other competitive concerns.
2.Disclosure policies of enterprises should include, but not be limited to, material information on:
a) the financial and operating results of the enterprise;
c) major share ownership and voting rights, including the structure of a group of enterprises and intra-group relations, as well as control enhancing mechanisms;
d) remuneration policy for members of the board and key executives, and information about board members, including qualifications, the selection process, other enterprise directorships and whether each board member is regarded as independent by the board;
e) related party transactions;
f) foreseeable risk factors;
g) issues regarding workers and other stakeholders;
h) governance structures and policies, in particular, the content of any
corporate governance code or policy and its implementation process.
3.Enterprises are encouraged to communicate additional information that
a) value statements or statements of business conduct intended for public disclosure including, depending on its relevance for the enterprise’s activities, information on the enterprise’s policies relating to matters covered by the Guidelines;
b) policies and other codes of conduct to which the enterprise subscribes, their date of adoption and the countries and entities to which such statements apply;
c) its performance in relation to these statements and codes;
d) information on internal audit, risk management and legal compliance systems;
e) information on relationships with workers and other stakeholders.
4.Enterprises should apply high quality standards for accounting, and financial as well as non-financial disclosure, including environmental and social reporting where they exist. The standards or policies under which information is compiled and published should be reported. An annual audit should be conducted by an independent, competent and qualified auditor in order to provide an external and objective assurance to the board and shareholders that the financial statements fairly represent the financial position and performance of the enterprise in all material respects.
IV. Human Rights
States have the duty to protect human rights. Enterprises should, within the framework of internationally recognised human rights, the international human rights obligations of the countries in which they operate as well as relevant domestic laws and regulations:
1.Respect human rights, which means theyshould avoid infringing on the human rights of others and should address adverse human rights impacts with which they are involved.
2.Within the context of their own activities, avoid causing or contributing to adverse human rights impacts and address such impacts when they occur.
3.Seek ways to prevent or mitigate adverse human rights impacts that are directly linked to their business operations, products or services by a business relationship, even if they do not contribute to those impacts.
4.Have a policy commitment to respect human rights.
5.Carry out human rights due diligence as appropriate to their size, the nature and context of operations and the severity of the risks of adverse human rights impacts.
6.Provide for or co-operate through legitimate processes in the remediation of adverse human rights impacts where they identify that they have caused or contributed to these impacts.
V. Employment and Industrial Relations
Enterprises should, within the framework of applicable law, regulations and prevailing labour relations and employment practices and applicable international labour standards:
1. a) Respect the right of workers employed by the multinational enterprise to establish or join trade unions and representative organisations of their own choosing.
b) Respect the right of workers employed by the multinational enterprise to have trade unions and representative organisations of their own choosing recognised for the purpose of collective bargaining, and engage in constructive negotiations, either individually or through employers' associations, with such representatives with a view to reaching agreements on terms and conditions of employment.
c) Contribute to the effective abolition of child labour, and take immediate and effective measures to secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour as a matter of urgency.
d) Contribute to the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour and take adequate steps to ensure that forced or compulsory labour does not exist in their operations.
e) Be guided throughout their operations by the principle of equality of opportunity and treatment in employment and not discriminate against their workers with respect to
employment or occupation on such grounds as race, colour, sex, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin, or other status, unless selectivity concerning worker characteristics furthers established governmental policies which specifically promote greater equality of employment opportunity or relates to the inherent requirements of a job.
2.a) Provide such facilities to workers’ representatives as may be necessary to assist in the development of effective collective agreements.
b) Provide information to workers’ representatives which is needed for meaningful negotiations on conditions of employment.
c) Provide information to workers and their representatives which enables them to obtain a true and fair view of the performance of the entity or, where appropriate, the enterprise as a whole.
3.Promote consultation and co-operation between employers and workers and their representatives on matters of mutual concern.
4.a) Observe standards of employment and industrial relations not less favourable than those observed by comparable employers in the host country.
b) When multinational enterprises operate in developing countries, where comparable employers may not exist, provide the best possible wages, benefits and conditions of work, within the framework of government policies. These should be related to the economic position of the enterprise, but should be at least adequate to satisfy the basic needs of the workers and their families.
c) Take adequate steps to ensure occupational health and safety in their operations.
5.In their operations, to the greatest extent practicable, employ local workers and provide training with a view to improving skill levels, in co-operation with worker representatives and, where appropriate, relevant governmental authorities.
6.In considering changes in their operations which would have major
employment effects, in particular in the case of the closure of an entity involving collective lay-offs or dismissals, provide reasonable notice of such changes to representatives of the workers in their employment and their organisations, and, where appropriate,to the relevant governmental authorities, and co-operate with the worker representatives and appropriate governmental authorities so as to mitigate to the maximum extent practicable adverse effects. In light of the specific circumstances of each case, it would be appropriate if management were able to give such notice prior to the final decision being taken. Other means may also be employed to provide meaningful co-operation to mitigate the
effects of such decisions.
7.In the context of bona fide negotiations with workers’ representatives on
conditions of employment, or while workers are exercising a right to
organise, not threaten to transfer the whole or part of an operating unit from the country concerned nor transfer workers from the enterprises' component entities in other countries in order to influence unfairly those negotiations or to hinder the exercise of a right to organise.
8.Enable authorised representatives of the workers in their employment to negotiate on collective bargaining or labour-management relations issues and allow the parties to consult on matters of mutual concern with representatives of management who are authorised to take decisions on these matters
Enterprises should, within the framework of laws, regulations and administrative practices in the countries in which they operate, and in consideration of relevant international
agreements, principles, objectives, and standards, take due account of the need to protect the environment, public health and safety, and generally to conduct their activities in a
manner contributing to the wider goal of sustainable development. In particular, enterprises should:
1.Establish and maintain a system of environmental management appropriate to the enterprise, including:
a) collection and evaluation of adequate and timely information regarding the environmental, health, and safety impacts of their activities;
b) establishment of measurable objectives and, where appropriate,
targets for improved environmental performance and resource utilisation, including periodically reviewing the continuing relevance of these objectives; where appropriate, targets should be consistent with relevant national policies and international environmental commitments; and
c) regularmonitoring and verification of progress toward environmental, health, and safety objectives or targets.
2.Taking into account concerns about cost, business confidentiality, and the protection of intellectual property rights:
a) provide the public and workers with adequate, measureable and verifiable (where applicable) and timely information on the potential environment, health and safety impacts of the activities of the enterprise, which could include reporting on progress in
improving environmental performance; and
b) engage in adequate and timely communication and consultation with the communities directly affected by the environmental, health and safety policies of the enterprise and by their implementation.
3.Assess, and address in decision-making, the foreseeable environmental, health, and safety-related impacts associated with the processes, goods and services of the enterprise over their full life cycle with a view to avoiding or, when unavoidable, mitigating them. Where these proposed activities may have significant environmental, health, or safety impacts, and where they are subject to a decision of a competent authority, prepare an appropriateenvironmental impact assessment.
4.Consistent with the scientific and technical understanding of the risks, where there are threats of serious damage to the environment, taking also into account human health and safety, not use the lack of full scientific certainty as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent or minimise such damage.
5. Maintain contingency plans for preventing, mitigating, and controlling serious environmental and health damage from their operations, including accidents and emergencies; and mechanisms for immediate reporting to the competent authorities.
6. Continually seek to improve corporate environmental performance, at the level of the enterprise and, where appropriate, of its supply chain, by encouraging such activities as:
a) adoption of technologies and operating procedures in all parts of the enterprise that reflect standards concerning environmental performance in the best performing part of the enterprise;
b) development and provision of products or services that have no undue environmental impacts; are safe in their intended use; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; are efficient
in their consumption of energy and natural resources; can be reused, recycled, or disposed
c) promoting higher levels of awareness among customers of the environmental implications of using the products and services of the enterprise, including, by providing accurate information on their products (for example, on greenhouse gas emissions,
biodiversity, resource efficiency, or other environmental issues); and
d) exploring and assessing ways of improving the environmental performance of the enterprise over the longer term, for instance by developing strategies for emission reduction, efficient resource utilisation and recycling, substitution or reduction of use of toxic
substances, or strategies on biodiversity.
7. Provide adequate education and training to workers in environmental health and safety matters, including the handling of hazardous materials and the prevention of environmental accidents, as well as more general environmental management areas, such as environmental impact assessment procedures, public relations, and environmental technologies.
8. Contribute to the development of environmentally meaningful and economically efficient public policy, for example, by means of partnerships or initiatives that will enhance environmental awareness and protection.
IV. Combating Bribery, Bribe Solicitation and Extortion
Enterprises should not, directly or indirectly, offer, promise, give, or demand a bribe or other undue advantage to obtain or retain business or other improper advantage. Enterprises should also resist the solicitation of bribes and extortion. In particular, enterprises should:
1.Not offer, promise or give undue pecuniary or other advantage to public officials or the employees of business partners. Likewise, enterprises should not request, agree to or accept undue pecuniary or other advantage from public officials or the employees of business partners. Enterprises should not use third parties such as agents and other intermediaries, consultants, representatives, distributors, consortia, contractors and suppliers and joint venture partners for channelling undue pecuniary or other advantages to public officials, or to employees of their business partners or to their relatives or business associates.
2. Develop and adopt adequate internalcontrols, ethics and compliance
programmes or measures for preventing and detecting bribery, developed on the basis of a risk assessment addressing the individual circumstances of an enterprise, in particular the bribery risks facing the enterprise (such as its geographical and industrial sector of operation). These internal controls, ethics and compliance programmes or measures
should include a system of financial and accounting procedures, including a system of intern
al controls, reasonably designed to ensure the maintenance of fair and accurate books, records, and accounts, to ensure that they cannot be used for the purpose of bribing or hiding bribery. Such individual circumstances and bribery risks should be regularly monitored and re-assessed as necessary to ensure the enterprise’s internal controls, ethics and compliance programme or measures are adapted and continue to be effective, and to mitigate the risk of enterprises becoming complicit in bribery, bribe solicitation and extortion.
3.Prohibit or discourage, in internalcompany controls, ethics and compliance programmes or measures, the use of small facilitation payments, which are generally illegal in the countries where they are made, and, when such payments are made, accurately record these in books and financial records.
4.Ensure, taking into account the particular bribery risks facing the enterprise, properly documented due diligence pertaining to the hiring, as well as the appropriate and regular
oversight of agents, and that remuneration of agents is appropriate and for legitimate services only. Where relevant, a list of agents engaged in connection with transactions
with public bodies and State-owned enterprises should be kept and made available to competent authorities, in accordance with applicable public disclosure requirements.
5.Enhance the transparency of their activities in the fight against bribery,
bribe solicitation and extortion. Measures could include making public commitments against bribery, bribe solicitation and extortion, and disclosing the management systems and the internal controls, ethics and compliance programmes or measures adopted by enterprises in order to honour these commitments. Enterprises should also foster openness and dialogue with the public so as to promote its awareness of and co-operation with the fight against bribery, bribe solicitation and extortion.
6.Promote employee awareness of and compliance with company policies
and internal controls, ethics and compliance programmes or measures
against bribery, bribe solicitation and extortion through appropriate dissemination of such policies, programmes or measures and through training programmes and disciplinary procedures.
7.Not make illegal contributions to candidates for public office or to political parties or to other political organisations. Political contributions should fully comply with public
disclosure requirements and should be reported to senior management.
V. Consumer Interests
When dealing with consumers, enterprises should act in accordance with fair business, marketing and advertising practices and should take all reasonable steps to ensure the quality and reliability of the goods and services that they provide. In particular, they should:
1.Ensure that the goods and services they provide meet all agreed or legally required standards for consumer health and safety, including those pertaining to health warnings and safety information.
2.Provide accurate, verifiable and clear information that is sufficient to enable consumers to make informed decisions, including information on the prices and, where appropriate, content, safe use, environmental attributes, maintenance, storage and disposal of goods and services. Where feasible this information should be provided in a manner that facilitates consumers’ ability to compare products.
3.Provide consumers with access to fair, easy to use, timely and effective non-judicial dispute resolution and redress mechanisms, without unnecessary cost or burden.
4.Not make representations or omissions, nor engage in any other practices, that are deceptive, misleading, fraudulent or unfair.
5.Support efforts to promote consumer education in areas that relate to their business activities, with the aim of, inter alia, improving the ability of consumers to:
i) make informed decisions involving complex goods, services and markets,
ii) better understand the economic, environmental and social impact of their decisions and
iii) support sustainable consumption.
6.Respect consumer privacy and take reasonable measures to ensure the security of personal data that they collect, store, process or disseminate.
7.Co-operate fully with public authorities to prevent and combat deceptive marketing practices (including misleading advertising and commercial fraud) and to diminish or prevent serious threats to public health and safety or to the environment deriving from the consumption, use or disposal of their goods and services.
8.Take into consideration, in applying the above principles,
i)the needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers and
ii) the specific challenges that e-commerce may pose for consumers.
VI. Science and Technology
1.Endeavour to ensure that their activities are compatible with the science and technology (S&T) policies and plans of the countries in which they operate and as appropriate cont ribute to the development of local and national innovative capacity.
2.Adopt, where practicable in the course of their business activities, practices that permit the transfer and rapid diffusion of technologies and know-how, with due regard to the protection of intellectual property rights.
3.When appropriate, perform science andtechnology development work in host countries to address local market needs, as well as employ host country personnel in an S&T capacity and encourage their training, taking into account commercial needs.
4.When granting licenses for the use of intellectual property rights or when otherwise transferring technology, do so on reasonable terms and conditions and in a manner that contributes to the long term sustainable development prospects of the host country.
5.Where relevant to commercial objectives, develop ties with local universities, public research institutions, and participate in co-operative research projects with local industry or industry associations.
1.Carry out their activities in a manner consistent with all applicable competition laws and regulations, taking into account the competition laws of all jurisdictions in which the activities may have anti-competitive effects.
2.Refrain from entering into or carrying out anti-competitive agreements among competitors, including agreements to:
a) fix prices;
b) make rigged bids (collusive tenders);
c) establish output restrictions or quotas; or
d) share or divide markets by allocating customers, suppliers,
territories or lines of commerce.
2. Co-operate with investigating competition authorities by, among other things and subject to applicable law and appropriate safeguards, providing responses as promptly and completely as practicable to requests for information, and considering the use of available instruments, such as waivers of confidentiality where appropriate, to promote effective and efficient co-operation among investigating authorities.
4.Regularly promote employee awareness of the importance of compliance with all applicable competition laws and regulations, and, in particular, train senior management of the enterprise in relation to competition issues.
1.It is important that enterprises contribute to the public finances of host countries by making timely payment of their tax liabilities. In particular, enterprises should comply with both the letter and spirit of the tax laws and regulations of the countries in which they operate. Complying with the spirit of the law means discerning and following the intention of the
legislature. It does not require an enterprise to make payment in excess of the amount legally required pursuant to such an interpretation. Tax compliance includes such measures as providing to the relevant authorities timely information that is relevant or required by law for purposes of the correct determination of taxes to be assessed in connection with their operations and conforming transfer pricing practices to the arm’s length principle.
2.Enterprises should treat tax governance and tax compliance as important elements of their oversight and broader risk management systems. In particular, corporate boards should adopt tax risk management strategies to ensure that the financial, regulatory and reputational risks associated with taxation are fully identified and evaluated.
Database of specific instances http://mneguidelines.oecd.org/database/.