A new appointment with the Global Reporting Initiative

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City, University of London, posted this late last week:

A tax expert from City, University of London is providing expertise to a project that aims to develop new standards for the ways businesses report their payments to governments.

Professor Richard Murphy, of the Department of International Politics, has joined the Technical Committee of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) project.

It is expected that the measures that are developed will be incorporated into the GRI Standards, which aim to offer best practice for businesses when they report their economic, environmental and social impacts.

According to GRI, there is increasing pressure on big organisations to reveal more about their payments to governments.

“Currently, many companies publicly disclose very limited information on their tax structure or taxes paid at a country-by-country level,” the GRI states in the project proposal.

“Greater transparency can be one tool to help ensure public and stakeholder confidence that companies employ fair tax strategies and demonstrate their contributions to society in the regions where they operate.”

GRI is an international independent standards organisation that helps businesses, governments and other organizations understand and communicate their impacts on various issues.

More than 4,000 organisations use GRI’s standards for their sustainability reports.

Professor Murphy said: “GRI has played an active role in improving the voluntary reporting of multinational corporations on many issues considered to be of social importance. It’s now clear that tax falls into this category.

“As a result, many companies will be looking for guidance that goes beyond any new legal rules. This is what I hope the GRI project can deliver and so help to bridge the lack of confidence many have in multinational corporations on this issue.”

Professor Murphy is, in addition to his university role, a UK chartered accountant and honorary fellow of the Association of International Accountants.

He is widely credited as being the creator, in 2003, of country-by-country reporting, which is now being promoted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development OECD to improve tax transparency for multinational corporations and is subject to a proposal for public publication from the European Commission.