The new and independent Norwegian complaint mechanism for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) was established on March 1st, 2011.

The OECD Guidelines for MNEs seek to promote respect for human rights, decent working conditions, environmental protection and combating bribery in the private sector.

The Guidelines provide recommendations to multinational companies regarding responsible business conduct. As an OECD-country, Norway is required to establish a National Conact Point (NCP), which, among other things, receives complaints regarding alleged breaches of the OECD Guidelines for MNEs.

The NCP is not a legal body, but seeks to solve disputes that arise in dialogue with the involved parties. If it is not possible to reach an agreement between the parties, the NCP issues a statement with recommendations to the company on how it should alter its practices.

The Norwegian NCP was established in 2000. In line with the White Paper to the Parliament (2008-2009) on Corporate Social Responsibility in a Global Economy, the new NCP is more independent of the Government as of March 1, 2011. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs retains administrative aspects of the NCP.

The members of the new NCP are:

  • Hans Petter Graver, dean, Faculty of Law, University of Oslo (Chair)
  • Elin M. Myrmel-Johansen, Executive Director, Storebrand
  • Gro Granden, special advisor to the Confederation of Norwegian Trade Unions
  • Jan-Erisk Korssjøen, former Executive Director of the Kongsberg Group

The members are appointed based on their individual capacities, and not on their affiliation with a specific organization or office. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Trade and Industry together appoint the members of the NCP, based on nominations by the Confederation of Norwegian Trade Unions, the Confederation of Norwegian Industries, and the Forum for Environment and Development (ForUM).

In addition to dealing with complaints, the NCP is mandated to:

  • Spread information about the OECD Guidelines
  • Report annually to the OECD Investment Committee
  • Discuss cases with involved NCPs in other countries

The Norwegian NCP has a secretariat with two full-time employees. The secretariat assesses complaints, and works to share information about the Guidelines. The secretariat reports administratively to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has a separate budget, and shares premises with the Ethical Council for the Government Pension Fund – Global.