The Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB) has launched the first TiME/Pwint Thit Sa report looking at the transparency of Myanmar company websites relating to information on responsible business practices.
The report, which draws on established methodology from Transparency International, analyses how much information company websites provide on anti-corruption, organisational transparency, and human rights, health, safety and the environment (HSE).
The aim of the report, which will be repeated in 2015, is to encourage increased transparency by Myanmar businesses in these areas, the Yangon-based group said.
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.”
She said 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.
Bowman added that 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.”
She encouraged 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.