The National Committee for Corporate Governance (NCCG), which was established in September 2001 has been mandated to promote principles of good corporate governance (accountability, transparency, responsibility, fair treatment, meritocracy, management disciplines, and fight against corruption) amongst public and private sector organisations.
It is in 2004 that the NCCG published the first Code of Corporate Governance for Mauritius assisted by the expert services of Mr. Mervyn King. In 2010 the World Bank carried out a Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) on Corporate Governance in Mauritius which scored very well in the ROSC and its corporate governance was judged to have a similar standard with countries such as India, Malaysia and Thailand.
Further, Mauritius still remains in first place in the overall governance in Africa for the ninth consecutive year according to the Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) 2015, followed by Cape Verde and Botswana at the second and third positions respectively.
As such, Mauritius wishes to maintain its reputation as being a leader in the field of Corporate Governance and so the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development decided to revise the Code. Professor Chris Pierce CEO of Global Governance Services Ltd, an independent specialist in corporate governance based in London, UK, was appointed to lead a consultation process and initiate revisions to the Code along with NCCG which managed and supported the revision process.
A draft of the revised Code has been circulated to stakeholders in 2015, and on 7 April 2016 at a consultative meeting with stakeholders it was announced that after taking into consideration input and comments from stakeholders, the final version of the Code will be issued by mid-May of this year.
The revised code applies to Public Interest Entities as defined by the Financial Reporting Act 2004, Public Sector organisations including state-owned enterprises, statutory corporations and parastatal bodies. Nevertheless other companies are also encouraged to take the Code into account, as far as the principles are applicable to their entity. The Code is resumed in only 8 principles and some examples of its main objectives is to encourage more independent directors on boards, gender variation, continuous professional development of the directors, development of ethic codes which would promote ethical and sustainable business cultures.
The Code aims at making stakeholders understand the philosophy behind corporate governance which relates more to intellectual morality of stakeholders than mere procedures to be followed and as such it must be understood that corporate governance remains flexible and differs from rules, regulations and legislations which nevertheless remain supreme to it.
The revised Code places emphasis on transparency in a company, which commonly demonstrates good governance and allows the standard of management/ internal control of the company to be appreciated by investors and external partners in general.
Since the introduction of the Code in 2004, emphasis strongly continues to be placed on good governance, and the new government elected in 2014 further set up a Ministry of Financial Services, Good Governance and Institutional Reforms which demonstrates the rise that good governance has taken in Mauritius.
Should you require further information then please contact:
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