All governments adhering to the OECD Guidelines have established a National Contact Point (NCP).
An NCP has two main tasks:
- raising awareness of the OECD Guidelines with businesses, trade unions and non-governmental organisations; and
- contributing to the resolution of issues that arise from the alleged non-observance of the Guidelines in specific instances.
The Netherlands NCP performs these tasks by developing promotional material on the OECD Guidelines, by (co-)organising events and by answering questions from the business community, NGOs or others about the implementation of the OECD Guidelines.
Mediation by the NCP
When the implementation of the Guidelines leads to a difference of opinion between stakeholders, or when stakeholders believe that a company is not adhering to the Guidelines, this can be brought to the NCP for resolution. The NCP can assist the involved parties to find a solution in order to avoid further escalation or reputational damage. This can be done in an informal process, or it may be a formal notification of a specific instance.
This second task also contributes to furthering the implementation of the OECD Guidelines: not just by the company involved in a specific instance, but the result of a specific instance can have a broader impact on an industry or sector when it comes to putting responsible business conduct in practice. The OECD Guidelines are also the only international framework for responsible business conduct with a built-in grievance mechanism.
Independent and advisory members
The Netherlands' NCP operates independently from the Dutch government and consists of four independent members and four advisory members from different ministries. The Secretariat of the NCP is based at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Revised Government decree, June 2014
For the Netherlands NCP to continue to carry out its work solidly and in view of future developments, a revised government decree on the establishment of the NCP has been published in June 2014 by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The new decree conforms with current developments and has resulted in a number of changes, for example concerning dialogue and consultation.
The organisation of the Dutch NCP was originally formalized by government decree in 2007, and extended in 2011.