After the numerous market scandals and overvaluation of many companies during the dotcom era, the European Union sought to provide a united standard for organisational governance that would protect the shareholders and key stakeholders in them.
This idea of corporate governance began a process in which organisations started to focus more on how companies are directed, governed, and controlled. It defined relationships between a company’s management, its board of directors, its shareholders and other stakeholders. As Ann Crotty of Business Day explains it: “It is essential that the activities of corporate executives are under constant, vigorous and public scrutiny, because those activities are crucial to the economic well-being of society. If anything, developments both locally and internationally during 2001 have emphasised the need to continuously update and upgrade corporate governance standards.”
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 in the United States was enacted as a preventative measure to the repeat of the many different financial scandals of the time and resulting in a sharp drop in investor confidence. Europe too sought to raise investor confidence via corporate governance laws in the EU Action Plan of 2003, and later Europe 2020, the 10-year strategy of the EU. Essentially, the goal of corporate governance was to make organisations accountable to stakeholders and other key players in the organisation. One of the main methods organisations had to communicate their new accountability would be through the corporate governance section of their websites.
This guide will take you through a list of what must be communicated to have an effective corporate governance section of your website and demonstrate this accountability.