History of the U.S. OECD NCP Reform Effort

In September 2009, Accountability Counsel began direct dialogue with the State Department, urging transparency of their current practices related to the U.S. NCP office, to better understand and advocate for reforms that are needed in the NCP process. As a direct result of our efforts, the State Department committed to making public for the first time the process used for addressing complaints through the U.S. NCP. The day before a meeting with Accountability Counsel on 22 April, 2010, the State Department published a brochure regarding how the NCP processes complaints. This was a positive step toward the mechanism’s transparency.

In October 2009, we led a coalition of groups to submit a letter to Secretary of State Clinton urging reform of the U.S. NCP. Along with the letter, we submitted a memo regarding key reforms required of the U.S. NCP to make it a more effective mechanism.

On 15 April, 2010 as part of the United Nations Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review, Accountability Counsel submitted a report describing the urgency of reforming the OECD National Contact Points.

In September 2010, the State Department launched a public comment period for review of the U.S. NCP. On 12 October, 2010, Accountability Counsel submitted comments to the US Department of State as part of the public comment period regarding reform of the U.S. NCP. Our comments were referenced and endorsed in comments submitted by EarthRights International, the Center for American Progress, Human Rights Advocates, and Amazon Watch, among others.

We also authored and submitted joint civil society comments on 5 November, 2010 that were joined by 14 organizations and individuals.

Also in September 2010, Accountability Counsel was appointed to the Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy (ACIEP), subcommittee on investment. This subcommittee advised the State Department on reform of the U.S. NCP through a 12 January, 2011 report.