NCP capacity building
NCPs are governed by the principle of ‘functional equivalence’, meaning that, regardless of their organisational set-up, they must function with an equivalent degree of effectiveness. There are four criteria for functional equivalence: visibility, accessibility, transparency and accountability. Moreover, when handling specific instances, NCPs must operate in a way that is impartial, predictable, equitable and compatible with the Guidelines. To achieve functional equivalence and to adapt to the fast-moving RBC context, NCPs constantly need to build capacity.
In June 2017, the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting (MCM) made the following commitments with regards to NCPs: “We commit to having fully functioning and adequately resourced National Contact Points and to undertake peer learning, capacity building exercise or a peer review by 2021, with the aim of having all countries peer-reviewed by 2023."
ACTION PLANS TO STRENGTHEN NCPs
In November 2021, adherent countries approved the third Action Plan to Strengthen National Contact Points for Responsible Business Conduct which will cover the period 2022-2024. The Action Plan sets out concrete ways to assist countries in setting up strong and well-functioning NCPs.
The Action Plan contains four overarching objectives, which are each tied to specific actions, timelines, and progress indicators:
As a transversal action to help NCPs build further capacity, the Action Plan will support the creation and strengthening of Regional Networks of NCPs. These networks will enable NCPs from the same region to address together issues of joint interest, and assist each other where needed.
The previous Action Plan to Strengthen NCPs, covering the period 2019-2021, is available here.
One way for NCPs to assess and improve the way they achieve functional equivalence is through peer reviews. Peer reviews serve to highlight the achievements of individual NCPs, and can also provide support for improvement. Peer reviews also constitute a beneficial learning process for all NCPs involved in the peer review.
Peer review procedure
The procedure for conducting peer reviews is governed by the Revised Core Template for Voluntary Peer Reviews of NCPs (2019).
Planned peer reviews
SUBSTANTIATED SUBMISSIONS: The Guidelines provide for a mechanism whereby the OECD Investment Committee may review whether NCPs have fulfilled their responsibilities in the handling of a specific instance, and make corresponding recommendations. This mechanism is launched by way of ‘substantiated submission’ from an adherent country to the OECD Guidelines, BIAC, TUAC or OECD Watch.
See below the Committee’s responses to substantiated submissions:
- Response by the Investment Committee to the Substantiated Submission by OECD Watch regarding the Canadian National Contact Point for Responsible Business Conduct