First Pwint Thit Sa/TiME Report
The Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB) today launched the first TiME/Pwint Thit Sa report looking at the transparency of Myanmar company websites relating to information on responsible business practices.
The ground-breaking report, which draws on established methodology from Transparency International, analyses how much information company websites provide on anti-corruption, organizational transparency, and human rights, health, safety and the environment (HSE). The aim of the report is to encourage increased transparency by Myanmar businesses in these areas.
The report shows that nine of the largest Myanmar companies, led by KBZ, Parami, and Max Myanmar publish a significant amount of information about their policies, standards and practices on these issues. However 25 of the 60 large companies are not at all transparent, having no websites and therefore score zero in the survey. A number of other companies publish only a little information, generally relating to anti-corruption or organisational transparency. Companies scored fewest points in the areas of human rights, including land acquisition, and HSE, where the Centre was seeking evidence both of policy approaches and information about their implementation, given that these issues are of significant concern to the Myanmar people.
Vicky Bowman, Director of the Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business said:
“We congratulate those companies who – despite no current national regulatory requirement to do so - have begun a journey to be more transparent, and upgrade their corporate governance, sustainability practices and public communication in line with international standards. For those companies who have not yet begun this journey, we hope they will do so. Over the coming months, MCRB will be offering further advice to Myanmar companies on best practice on anti-corruption and respect for human rights to enable them to improve their performance.”
“This is a study of what information companies publish, and not an assessment of their actual performance in these areas. Policies and commitments mean nothing unless they are known, understood by all employees and embedded in the company’s day to day business activities. We therefore want to encourage the local media and Myanmar civil society groups to study the public commitments that these companies have made, and hold them to account to deliver on them”.
The survey will be repeated in 2015. MCRB welcomes feedback on how it can be improved.
Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB) is a Yangon-based initiative funded by the UK, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Netherlands and Ireland, based on a collaboration between the UK-based Institute of Human Rights and Business, and the Danish Institute for Human Rights. The Centre was established in 2013 to provide an effective and legitimate platform for the creation of knowledge, capacity and dialogue concerning responsible business in Myanmar, based on local needs and international standards, which results in more responsible business practices. It is a neutral platform working with businesses, civil society and government.
The companies for the research project have been drawn from the list of the Top 100 commercial tax payers and Top 100 income payers published by the Internal Revenue Department. Subsidiaries have been group together under their parent Group. Other large companies have also been added to the list. The list of these companies is available on MCRB’s website.
A list of the questions/issues which have been searched for on company websites is also available in the Annex of the report.
Companies were informed of the study in March and sent draft findings of research on their websites in May/June. They were invited to comment or add further information to their website. Information published on websites up until 30 June was taken into account.
Transparency International’s Transparency in Corporate Reporting study (© Transparency International. All Rights Reserved) assesses companies’ anti-corruption reporting practices, the way they organize company holdings such as subsidiaries and joint ventures, and the level of information they report about each country they operate in. For more information, visit http://www.transparency.org.