The International Standards Organization has resolved to develop an ISO standard on organisational governance. The scope of the proposed standard is:
Standardization of organizational governance, including aspects of accountability, direction and control – which may include principles of governance, anti-bribery, conflict of interest, due diligence, whistleblowing, compliance, remuneration structures and external reporting, amongst others.
A Technical Committee has been established to undertake the development.
The new ISO standard would join a relatively crowded stable of existing pronouncements on corporate governance. Its introduction raises the possibility that corporate governance standard-setting may well eventually move out of the hands local regulators and professional bodies, to be led by an international standard-setter. A parallel can be seen in the accounting profession and financial reporting in New Zealand, with local standards now mirroring International Financial Reporting Standards.
The existing stable of corporate governance pronouncements includes:
- Institute of Directors in New Zealand: The Four Pillars of Governance Best Practice
- New Zealand Exchange Limited: Corporate Governance Code 2017 (under Appendix 16 of the NZX Listing Rules)
- Financial Markets Authority: Corporate Governance in New Zealand: Principles and Guidelines
- New Zealand Shareholders Association: Policy Statements
- New Zealand Corporate Governance Forum: Guidelines
- Reserve Bank of New Zealand: Corporate Governance Policy (for New Zealand registered banks)
- … plus the standards of corporate governance that are codified into legislation for the various types of corporate entity: Companies Act 1993, Crown Entities Act 2004, State-Owned Enterprises Act 1986, Unit Titles Act 2010, Incorporated Societies Act 1908, etc., along with ancillary legislation, such as the Financial Reporting Act 2013.
- US CEOs and Asset Managers: Commonsense Corporate Governance Principles
- US Investor Stewardship Group: Stewardship Principles for Institutional Investors and Corporate Governance Principles for US Listed Companies
- Business Roundtable: Principles of Corporate Governance
- G20/OECD: Principles of Corporate Governance and other publications, reports and working papers on related topics
- UK Financial Reporting Council: UK Corporate Governance Code
- British Standards Institution: BS 13500 Code of practice for delivering effective governance
- Authoritative pronouncements in other comparable jurisdictions, such as Australia (see ASIC, AICD & GIA) and South Africa (King Code of Governance).
- See also the detailed list of international codes maintained by the European Corporate Governance Institute.