2014 National Contact Point (NCP) Annual Report
OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises: Canada’s NCP Report to the OECD 2014
National Contact Points must report annually to the OECD Investment Committee on the nature and results of their activities to further the effectiveness of the Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, including implementation activities in specific instances.
A Common Reporting Framework, based on the Implementation Procedures of the Guidelines, assists NCPs to prepare these reports. This information is the basis for the Chair’s Annual Report to the OECD Council.
Common Reporting Framework
Table of Contents
- A. Institutional arrangements
- B. Information and promotion
- C. Proactive Agenda
- D. Co-operation and Peer Learning
- E. Specific instances
- F. Useful Experiences and Future Work
- NCP Contact Information
Common framework for annual reporting by National Contact Points
The role of National Contact Points is to further the effectiveness of the Guidelines by undertaking promotional activities, handling enquiries and contributing to the resolution of issues that arise relating to the implementation of the Guidelines in specific instances. NCPs will operate in accordance with core criteria of visibility, accessibility, transparency and accountability.
A. Institutional Arrangements
1. Governmental location of the NCP
Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
125 Sussex Drive
2. Structure of the NCP
Interagency: Canada's NCP is a seven-member interdepartmental committee chaired by a senior representative of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) and co-chaired by the Department of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), with participation by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada; Environment Canada; Employment and Social Development Canada/Labour Program; Finance Canada; and Industry Canada. Canada's NCP works with the Canadian Office of the Corporate Social Responsibility Counsellor for the Extractive Sector to support the implementation of the OECD Guidelines by Canadian business.
3. Does the NCP have an advisory body?
4. Does the NCP have an oversight body?
5. Was the NCP structure modified in the reporting period?
The membership of Canada's NCP was adjusted to account for the amalgamation of the Department of Foreign and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) and Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) into the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD). Expertise from each the respective streams of DFATD, trade, political and human rights, remain as part of Canada's NCP Committee.
6. How does this structure enable the NCP to operate effectively?
Each of the seven member departments that comprise the NCP has a specific expertise in their respective and mandated areas of responsibility, and thus are able to provide informed views and advice to the Chair on the broad range of issues covered by the Guidelines, and at the same time maintain the required level of accountability to Canada's domestic legal, regulatory, and administrative requirements.
7. Does the NCP have an allocated budget?
DFATD allocates the human and financial resources required for the Secretariat support to Canada's NCP Committee administration, as well as the requirements for furthering the implementation and promotion of the Guidelines. These activities include, inter alia, assuming the costs of non-judicial dispute resolution among parties on issues raised in a request for review; outreach and engagement to build awareness among stakeholder groups; and supporting the OECD and its Secretariat to further the effectiveness of the Guidelines within the Proactive Agenda workplan initiatives, including liaising, peer learning and capacity-building among the global NCP network.
8. Does the NCP have dedicated staff?
One full-time resource in DFATD is dedicated to the management of the Secretariat function as described above.
9. Are changes in the structure or resources available to the NCP contemplated in the near future?
An additional department, Justice Canada, is assessing their potential involvement. Additional government resources are being explored for assistance with mediation.
10. Does the NCP report within the Government on its activities?
The NCP provides regular status reports, updates and briefings to the Office of the Minister of International Trade and other member Departments' Ministers, as required.
B. Information and Promotion
11. Does the NCP have a dedicated website or dedicated webpages?
12. Are the 2011 Guidelines available online?
Direct links are provided from Canada's NCP website to both English and French language versions available on the OECD website.
13. Are the 2011 Guidelines available in print?
In outreach conducted in the reporting period, nearly 100 copies of the 2011 Guidelines were made available to participating stakeholders. Upon request, printed copies can be provided to interested individuals.
14. Did you develop other products to raise awareness of the Guidelines?
Presentations on the 2011 Guidelines, Canada's National Contact Point, and Government of Canada expectations of Canadian Companies vis-a-vis the OECD Guidelines were prepared for information sessions, and made available on Canada's NCP website. Pamphlets on Canada's National Contact Point and the OECD Guidelines are under development.
15. Is your Annual Report available online?
16. Is your Annual Report available in print?
The document is accessible for download and printing on demand from our web site. Upon request, printed copies can be provided to interested individuals.
17. Does the NCP coordinate with other government activities on responsible business conduct?
Members of the NCP Committee are also involved in numerous related activities and initiatives at the federal and sub-national levels of government related to encouraging the use of standards and principles of responsible business conduct (RBC). Opportunities for cross-over in sharing information, training of government personnel to respond to RBC issues, developing guidance, collaboration on outreach initiatives, and other capacity building efforts to improve implementation of the Guidelines are identified and leveraged where possible.
The Government of Canada takes a whole-of-government approach to promoting responsible business conduct among Canadian companies and companies operating in Canada, and the NCP actively participates in related initiatives. Canada has a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Strategy targeted at promoting CSR by Canadian extractive companies working abroad, established in 2009 and currently under its five year review. The CSR Strategy covers a range of activities by the federal government including promoting the use of the OECD Guidelines as a key standard. The CSR Strategy also includes a complimentary dialogue-facilitation mechanism to the NCP, focused on the extractive sector, the Office of the CSR Counsellor. The NCP coordinates closely with this Office to ensure the maximum coverage of the OECD Guidelines.
Given the broad reach of the OECD Guidelines, the NCP also coordinates with relevant departments on other sectors. In this reporting period, a notable development is the interdepartmental work on the textile, ready-made-garment sector, and their supply chains. These efforts are in response to the joint NCP Statement on Bangladesh issued in June 2013, calling for greater action and promotion of the OECD Guidelines and relevant standards in this sector. An NCP working group with participants from several federal departments was formed to coordinate initiatives and share information.
Further initiatives are described below.
18. Does the NCP, together with appropriate state entities (export credits agency, investment state-owned enterprises, overseas investment guarantee and inward investment promotion programs...), inform prospective investors about the Guidelines and their implementation?
The NCP routinely liaises with Export Development Canada (EDC), the export credit agency of Canada, regarding policies and other matters with respect to responsible business conduct. Promotion and use of the OECD Guidelines is included in EDC’s annual Statement of Priorities and Accountabilities.
The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), a crown corporation part of Industry Canada's portfolio, also promotes the OECD Guidelines. It provides environmentally responsible lending guided by leading international corporate social responsibility guidelines, including the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. Applicants must answer a questionnaire guided by the Guidelines and this is used to inform decision-making on eligibility for financing.
Canada, including the NCP, promote the use of the OECD Guidelines in Canadian companies' international business operations through the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, which makes use of Canada's broad network of embassies, high commissions and other offices (both domestic and international), in these efforts. These activities include training, outreach, and response to stakeholders' queries regarding the OECD Guidelines, and the NCP’s role in encouraging their promotion and effective implementation.
Canada continues to include voluntary provisions for corporate social responsibility in its free trade agreements (FTAs) and foreign investment promotion and protection agreements (PIPAs) with other countries, such as those recently concluded with Colombia, Peru and Panama, as a foundation for bilateral dialogue and follow-up on standards and principles of responsible and predictable investment practices, such as the OECD Guidelines.
Canada supports several multilateral and multi-stakeholder initiatives that are aimed at promoting governance, CSR and responsible business conduct. As one example, Canada is a core supporter of the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development, which convenes high-level representatives from resource-rich developing countries, donors, civil society and the private sector to discuss and advance issues of mutual concern. The Forum advances dialogue and influences policy change in areas important to developing countries, such as international standards and best practices in mining management and governance. Other initiatives are listed in Question 24.
Canada's approach to extractives and sustainable development in developing countries includes support for building resource governance capacity, improving local economic growth and business development, and enabling communities and hose countries to maximize the benefits from the extractive sector. Canada's international development assistance also supports the implementation of international standards and guidelines for leading practice, applying to both firms and countries, including the OECD Guidelines. Canada provides support (CAD 1,000,000 over 2012-2014) to the OECD Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct to further the implementation of the OECD Guidelines by building the capacity of NCPs, to create a User Guide on Due Diligence in Stakeholder Engagement in the Extractive Sector, and to support the implementation of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas. These are designed to help promote CSR and responsible business conduct, and the use of the OECD Guidelines.
The Government of Canada's support to the Canadian International Institute for Extractive Industries and Development (CIIEID) will leverage Canadian and international expertise to help resource-rich developing countries improve their capacity to implement responsible policies and regulations, such as those recommended in the OECD Guidelines.
19. If the NCP conducted surveys or collected data documenting enterprises' awareness and use of the Guidelines, such as references in corporate codes of conduct, provide details.
While the NCP has not conducted such a survey, DFAID unit responsible for Canada's policies and strategy for CSR has conducted a second survey of extractive sector companies in 2013 to gauge their awareness and implementation of international standards and principles related to CSR in the extractive sector, which includes coverage of the OECD Guidelines for MNEs. While the survey showed a need for continued outreach on the OECD Guidelines, it did show an increasing awareness of the OECD Guidelines. Another NCP departmental committee member, NRCan, conducted research on the CSR reporting of Canadian mining companies working abroad to Securities between 2004 and 2011. The OECD Guidelines were one of the key words searched for the study.
20.Does the NCP have a promotional plan on the Guidelines?
Officials of the seven departments and agencies that comprise Canada's NCP Committee identify and coordinate their participation in a variety of promotional activities and outreach initiatives in various fora where reference to the OECD Guidelines and the NCP's role are relevant to the discussion:
- The third annual multi-stakeholder information session hosted by the NCP on April 7, 2014 (more on this below);
- Workshop sessions and information provided at the annual Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada International Convention in March 2014;
- Approximately 60 regional and country initiatives, totaling around CAD 275,000, through DFATD's Corporate Social Responsibility Fund, which enables the pursuit of CSR initiatives such as workshops and information sessions scheduled around the world, aimed at stimulating discussion and dialogue on integrating CSR into business activities, including the OECD Guidelines;
- Various speaking engagements in international and domestic fora.
The NCP provides input to CSR-related articles in DFATD publications, such as the CanadExport, a newsletter designed for Canadian exporters, and the CSR E-Bulletin, intended for a broad external multi-stakeholder audience, and regularly updates its website.
21. Did the NCP organise any event to promote the Guidelines and their implementation procedures?
Title: Information Session on the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
Date: 17 April 2014
Place: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Further Details: As part of the Government of Canada's efforts to promote responsible business practice, the NCP held an information session on the OECD Guidelines, bringing together approximately 70 stakeholders from industry, civil society, industry associations and Government of Canada representatives. This half-day event featured an overview of the OECD Guidelines and Canada's NCP, an update on the OECD RBC Proactive Agenda, and a panel discussion on a key agenda item for the OECD RBC – Bangladesh, the textile and ready-made garment (RMG) industries, and their supply chains. Five panelists were invited to present on their recent efforts in this sector: a representative from DFATD, who presented on how Canada is responding to the issues highlighted by the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh; the French NCP, who presented on their report and key recommendations for the sector, Loblaw Companies Limited, who were directly affected by the Rana Plaza collapse, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and their Better Work Program, and the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), one of Canada's NCP Social Partners.
22. Did the NCP participate in any event organised by stakeholders or other entities to promote the Guidelines and their implementation procedures?
Title: CSR Presentation to the Canada Norway Business Association in Norway
Date: 17 October 2013
Place: Oslo, Norway
Further Details: Canada's NCP Secretariat Director gave a key note presentation to the Canada Norway Business Association (CNBA), hosted at the Oslo Chamber of Commerce and organised by the Canadian Embassy. The goal of the meeting was to explain the Canadian approach to CSR, including the importance of the OECD Guidelines and National Contact Points, as both Norway and Canada are adherents to the OECD Guidelines.
Title: Norway Peer Review
Date: 21 October 2013
Place: Oslo, Norway
Further Details: Canada chaired the Voluntary Peer Review of the Norway NCP which unfolded over the June 2013 to February 2014 period, concluding with the Peer Review submitting its report to the Norway NCP in February 2014. The Oslo visit of the Peer Review Team took place October 20 to 23, and consisted of detailed discussions with stakeholder groups on the general functioning of the Norway NCP and focused case-specific sessions. Not only did this provide an opportunity for the Norway NCP to learn from the review process, but it also promoted the relevance of the NCP system to stakeholders, and was an opportunity for the NCPs to learn from the Norway NCP and each other.
Title: Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights
Date: 2 December 2013
Place: Geneva, Switzerland
Further Details: The Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights took place December 2-4, 2013. The OECD Guidelines and the National Contact Points figured prominently in the sessions of the 2013 Annual Forum, given the synergies between the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Guidelines, and the relevance of the NCP system within the “Remedy” pillar of the Guiding Principles.
Title: CSR Workshop hosted by the Canadian Embassy in Turkey
Date: 25 March 2014
Place: Ankara, Turkey
Further Details: Canada's NCP Secretariat was asked to be the key note speaker for the Government of Canada at a workshop organised by the Canadian Embassy to Turkey on Canada's Corporate Social Responsibility efforts and expectations for Canadian extractive sector companies operating in Turkey. This full day workshop promoted both the OECD Guidelines and the use of National Contact Points to Canadian companies and other stakeholders. Both Canada and Turkey are adherents to the OECD Guidelines.
Title: Where to from Here: A Canadian Strategy for the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
Date: 7 May 2014
Place: Toronto, Canada
Further Details: Canada's NCP Chair participated as a key note speaker in the full-day event "Where to from Here: A Canadian Strategy for the UN Principles on Business and Human Rights?", hosted by the Ryerson University Institute for the Study of Corporate Social Responsibility in Toronto, Canada. The goal of the meeting was to discuss how to further the Guiding Principles in the Canadian context. The meeting included multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder participation to explore directions for the Canadian response to the UN Guiding Principles.
23. What use has been made of embassies, notably in emerging markets and other non¬-adhering countries, for raising awareness and promoting the Guidelines?
As the NCP Secretariat is housed in DFATD, Canada has integrated extensive use of Canada's international platform abroad to promote and enhance awareness of the Guidelines. As part of their outreach to companies operating abroad, and regular interactions with other stakeholder groups, our Trade Commissioner Service, and other embassy officials, are actively promoting key CSR standards including the OECD Guidelines, and the use of the dialogue-facilitation mechanisms including local NCPs and Canada's NCP. This includes the funding of mission-led CSR initiatives through DFATD's Corporate Social Responsibility Fund, such as workshops and information sessions aimed at stimulating discussion and dialogue on integrating CSR into business activities. General relations and development officers at our missions around the world are also engaged in working in areas that intersect with CSR and responsible business conduct. They play a convening role for local stakeholders where they can promote and help with the operationalisation of CSR standards, and in the development context, through private sector partnership opportunities, they leverage the expertise of the private sector in support of poverty alleviation. Foreign Affairs officers, who manage the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), have implemented a number of CSR initiatives through the CFLI. For example, the CFLI provided financing to the book published by the High Commission of Canada to Bangladesh on implementing ISO 26000, which contributed to Canada's broader efforts to support the joint OECD NCP statement of June 2013, further described in Question 28.
24.Does the NCP have a direct relationship with OECD partner organisations and/or other leading responsible business conduct instruments:
UN Global Compact and its local networks?
UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights?
National Institution for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights?
Global Reporting Initiative?
Through its seven-member interdepartmental Committee and its Social Partners, the NCP maintains a relationship to the institutions listed above as well as the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals and Metals, the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, and the Kimberley Process for Certification Scheme.
25. Does the NCP or another government agency promote the OECD Risk Awareness Tool for Multinational Enterprises in Weak Governance Zones?
The NCP is situated within the unit at DFATD responsible for CSR, and works closely with related divisions responsible for both policy development and transfer payment (grants and contributions) programming in weak governance zones. Knowledge and promotion of the Risk Awareness Tool is promulgated through these channels; through outreach and information exchange with embassies and offices abroad; through direct links from the NCP website to the Tool; and in presentations by the NCP Chair and its interdepartmental Committee members to interested stakeholders.
26. Does the NCP or another government agency promote the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High Risk Areas?
The NCP works as appropriate with the Natural Resource Governance Division of DFATD, which now leads the coordination of Canada's contribution to this initiative (it was previously with the Human Rights and Governance Policy Division), as well as co-facilitated the Working Group on Gold's drafting committee process on the Gold Supplement. During the reporting period, Canada remained active within the 3Ts Working Group to create global consensus on responsible mining and sourcing practices in the tin, tantalum, and tungsten sectors.
27. Were enquiries received on the Guidelines and their implementation procedures?
From the NCPs?
From the business community?
From labour organisations?
From non-governmental organisations?
From governments of non-adhering countries?
C. Proactive Agenda
In accordance with the Investment Committee's proactive agenda, NCPs should maintain regular contact including meetings, with social partners and other stakeholders in order to: a) consider new developments and emerging practices concerning responsible business conduct; b) support the positive contributions enterprises can make to identify and respond to risks of adverse impacts associated with particular products, regions, sectors or industries.
28. Did the NCP identify new emerging challenges for enterprises, or engage in any related activities?
Following the joint National Contact Point statement of June 2013, on the issues regarding Bangladesh, the ready-made garment sector, textiles and their supply chains, a Government of Canada Interdepartmental Working Group (IDWG) was created to ensure collaboration and cooperation on efforts related to the challenges ofthe RMG industry. The IDWG consists ofDFATD (with representation from trade, foreign affairs and development), Industry Canada (IC), Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), National Research Council Canada, and Public Works and Government Services Canada. The Government of Canada is undertaking a proactive role, and is working with a wide variety of stakeholders, to address the challenges that the RMG sector is facing internationally, with its attention currently focussed primarily on Bangladesh. Canada's NCP hosted a session on April 7, 2014, and held a dedicated panel discussion on this subject.
Canada and Norway also continued efforts to advance the Proactive Agenda project to develop a User's Guide for extractive companies and relevant stakeholders in exercising due diligence in stakeholder engagement to avoid harm or adverse impacts of operations to the countries and communities in which they operate. Several NCPs are part of the Advisory Group that was formed in Spring 2013 to help with the development ofthe User Guide. In the fall of 2013, the OECD undertook a contracting process, which resulted in the Center for Social Responsibility in Nlining (CSRM), housed in Queensland University, Australia, being awarded the contract. CSRM began to draft the User Guide, and the AG has reviewed and contributed to an outline of the User Guide. Drafting will continue beyond this reporting period
D. Co-operation and Peer Learning
In addition to contributing to the Committee's work to enhance the effectiveness of the Guidelines, NCPs will engage in joint peer learning activities. In particular, they are encouraged to engage in horizontal, thematic peer reviews and voluntary NCP peer evaluations. Such peer learning can be carried out through meetings at the OECD or through direct co-operation between NCPs.
29. Did the NCP engage in direct co-operation with other NCPs?
As previously noted, Canada chaired the Voluntary Peer Review of the Norway NCP which took place over the June 2013-February 2014 period, with a review visit in October 2013. The members of the Voluntary Peer Review were from the Belgium NCP, Colombia NCP, Netherlands NCP, UK NCP, and included the OECD Secretariat, Hungary NCP and Mexico NCP as observers. This process involved significant coordination between the NCPs, in particular the Norway NCP who provided continuous support for every step of the Voluntary Peer Review process. The Terms of Reference for the Voluntary Peer Review set out two broad objectives: (1) to strengthen the performance and functioning of the Norway NCP, and (2) to contribute to strengthening the NCP system as a whole. Canada's NCP feels that both of these were met. The lessons learned, good practices, and challenges shared during this process has strengthened our collective understanding of National Contact Point systems, and has provided excellent material for the discussions surrounding functional equivalence of NCPs. The NCPs who participated continue to build on this cooperation at the time of drafting this report, as the NGO Shift, contracted by the Norway NCP to support the process, develops a good-practice and template for future Voluntary Peer Reviews.
Canada's NCP drew on France's NCP report on the textiles, garments and their supply chains to design outreach within Canada. France's NCP was invited to be the key note speaker to Canada's NCP Information Session on the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises held on April 7, 2014, and their contribution highlighted key information that companies trying to follow the OECD Guidelines in this sector should consider.
In August 2013, Canada's NCP cooperated with the UK NCP as they concluded an initial assessment which had links to a Canadian company
30. Is the NCP interested in volunteering for a peer evaluation?
Canada would consider a peer evaluation to begin at a time to be determined after 2015.
31. Is the NCP interested in being part of the team conducting a voluntary peer evaluation?
Canada would be willing to be part of teams conducting future Voluntary Peer Reviews.
E. Specific Instances
32. Did the NCP develop procedures for handling specific instances?
Are they available online?
In which language?
English and French
Do procedures take into account the 2011 Procedural Guidance?
33. How many new specific instances did the NCP receive in the reporting period?
Title: Copper Mining, Ecuador
Leading NCP: Canada
Supporting NCP: -
Description: Submission from a group of NGOs on behalf of several affected individuals regarding inadequate stakeholder engagement with indigenous communities, violation of indigenous rights, property rights and forced displacement, involvement in state repression of social protests violence, risks to biodiversity and ecological integrity, contributing to poor working conditions.
- Concepts and Principles
- II. General Policies
- IV. Human Rights
- VI. Environment
Date specific instance received: 25 July 2013
Host countries: Ecuador
Industry sector: Mining and quarrying
Status: In progress
Summary: The request for review centers on a copper mine project in Ecuador under development by an Ecuadorian company which is a subsidiary of a Canadian registered company, which is itself wholly owned by a Chinese company. It alleges that the Company was not observing sections of the Guidelines related to human rights; meaningful consultation, due diligence and local policies, and environmental impacts with regards to the issues: Inadequate stakeholder engagement with indigenous communities; violation of indigenous rights, property rights and forced displacement; involvement in state repression of social protests violence; risks to biodiversity and ecological integrity; and, contributing to poor working conditions. Canada's NCP has engaged with both parties and expects the Initial Assessment to be released in June, 2014. The process was delayed to accommodate translations throughout the process.
Initial assessment - From: 25 July 2013
Title: Gold Mining, China
Leading NCP: Canada
Supporting NCP: -
Description: Submission from the Canada Tibet Committee regarding China Gold International Resources's operation of the Gyama Copper-Polymetallic Mine in China's Tibet Autonomous Region related to human rights, environment and disclosure violations.
- I. Concepts and Principles
- II. General Policies
- III. Disclosure
- IV. Human Rights
- V. Employment and Industrial Relations
- VI. Environment
Date specific instance received: 28 January 2014
Host countries: China
Industry sector: Mining and quarrying
Status: In progress
Summary: The Request for Review alleges the company has not adequately conducted environmental due diligence which has led to environmental degradation and loss of life, and other health and safety issues; not respected human rights through discriminatory hiring practices, forced evictions, expropriation of land, violations of freedom of expression and information, and the inability to obtain remedy, and; failure to disclose accurate information on the environmental, health and safety risks to local communities. Canada's NCP has engaged with the parties, and expects to issue its initial assessment in June, 2014.
Initial assessment - From: 29 January 2014
34. Do you have any updates on specific instances that were reported and not concluded in the previous reporting period?
Update on specific instances from previous reporting period
Title: Mine in Papua New Guinea
Summary: The specific instance concerned in particular Chapter II. General Policies, 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11; Chapter III. Disclosure. 1, 5; Chapter V. Environment. Preamble, 1.a., 2.a., 4 of the 2000 edition of the OECD Guidelines. Following the initial assessment, Canada's NCP offered its “good offices” to facilitate a dialogue between the Parties. The Parties accepted and the NCP engaged with them to set up a mediation process that was agreed to by all Parties. The mediation took place between 5 June, 2012, to 30 June, 2013. Through this mediation process the Parties addressed a number of issues which resulted in an “Agreed Action Items” list, dated 24 May, 2013. This list covered multiple issues, but did not address all of the subjects listed in the Request for Review given that agreement on all of the topics was not reached during mediation. The NCP’s view is that the face-to-face mediation was effective in initiating the trust building needed to achieve resolution of a number of issues identified, but that the Parties should now build on this platform to continue efforts to reach a meaningful resolution of the issues outlined in the Request for Review. The NCP included six recommendations to the Parties in its Final Statement.
F. Useful Experiences and Future Work
35. Provide any other information on the nature and results ofNCP activities during this implementation cycle of the updated Guidelines, including on any useful experiences and/or difficulties encountered in carrying out the duties of the NCP.
In September 2013, Canada's NCP received a note about a potential specific instance concerning a Canadian company operating in Romania. Given that Romania has a National Contact Point, and that most of the information needed to begin an initial assessment was not included in the letter, Canada's NCP reached out to the Notifier to request additional information and their agreement to forward the letter to the Romania NCP (at the time in transition between departments) to determine a Lead NCP. Canada's NCP also reached out to the Romania NCP to inform them of a potential request for review in an effort to promote transparency, balanced with the confidentiality needs of the Notifier. However, the Notifier has not responded to any letters or calls from Canada's NCP. Given most of the information needed to begin an initial assessment was missing from the letter, Canada's NCP is unable to proceed any further until the Notifier responds.
With the conclusion of the request for review in Papua New Guinea, Canada's NCP has reflected on a number of difficulties based on this specific instance. As noted in the previous reporting period, one of the challenges the NCP experienced was organising mediation at distance, and that complexities added to a mediation process when multiple notifiers are involved. In addition, this specific instance also pointed to challenges surrounding:
- parallel initiatives;
- confidentiality of proceedings during mediation;
- mediated agreements between parties that do not cover all the issues outlined in the initial assessment or request for review; and
- balancing the closing of a specific instance with follow-up mechanisms for that specific instance.
Another ongoing challenge for Canada's NCP is how to encourage engagement from companies that are registered in Canada while having no substantial ties to Canada.
36. Based on your recent activities, what issues might deserve particular attention during the 2014-2015 implementation cycles of the OECD Guidelines?
One issue that deserves more attention is that of functional equivalence between NCPs, and how to encourage continuous improvement among and within NCPs and better cooperation. Canada's NCP is pleased at current OECD efforts to map out a strategy and prioritise NCP functional equivalence.
The OECD RBC Proactive Agenda items are also timely and useful, in particular the projects focused on the extractive sector, the financial sector, and NCPs' broader efforts to promote good practices based on the OECD Guidelines in the textile/ready-made-garment and supply chains sectors. Other issues that Canada's NCP would encourage a focus on are how to better conduct outreach to Small to Medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
NCP Contact Information
- Date Modified: