I received a fascinating mail from a person I've never met called David Lucas the other day. He said:
The frustration felt because many companies are not paying their rightful tax is eclipsed when it is realised that many of these companies are making their profits from central government, local government, health service and other public body contracts, e.g. A4e.
The government seems to be incapable of doing the bleeding obvious of only giving contracts to companies that pay their tax.
I, a retired agricultural engineer, and some friends are followers of your blog and readers of your book, but are in no way experts. Out of some interesting discussions an idea has emerged which may or may not be novel, which I feel is worth passing on to you.
I believe that companies that bid for government contracts to be in the bidding are required to be ISO9001 accredited. And many well known companies are proud to proclaim their ISO9001 accreditation, Amazon for example.
If the good governance of ISO9001 were extended to include, for example, the payment of tax in the country that produced the profits, would this not solve the problem of off shoring and other tax dodges?
It seems to me, after looking at the International Organisation for Standards (ISO) web site that they are almost there.
Does this idea stand a chance of success and will ISO be persuaded to take it up? Perhaps the OECD could do the persuading.
I think the idea well worth sharing.
Anyone know more about ISO 9001 and how easy this would be to do?
And thanks to David.
Other ideas of this calibre are welcome.