Transforming Compliance Procedures
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) helps US business invest in developing countries, complementing the private sector in managing risks associated with investments needed for economic development. OPIC project proposals often, by definition, involve poorer communities where environmental and social impacts are the subject of significant public concern. In 2003, OPIC sought to enhance its mechanisms for social and environmental project review, as well as its practices for engaging US stakeholders and locally-affected communities, in ways that would maximize the agency’s effectiveness as measured by statutory criteria.
We worked with OPIC senior management to review current policies and practices, and finalize recommendations for reform, including examining emerging best practices on accountability and project review at other US and international financial institutions, structuring a targeted series of stakeholder meetings on key issues (with representatives from business, labor, and environmental communities), and extensive coordination with OPIC senior legal and project staff.
OPIC enhanced its procedures for ensuring adherence to international standards on transparency and accountability, the environment and workers and human rights, without compromising OPIC’s core mission to help US business to invest and compete in developing regions. OPIC leadership was widely credited by stakeholders for a transparent process of reviewing and reforming its policies and practices.