The standard of governance

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:

New Zealand