Sunday, June 27, 2010

OECD must stop touting its info exchange standard

We would have thought by now that the OECD would be toning down its rhetoric about its woefully inadequate, fig-leaf information exchange standards, given the sheer weight of evidence and analysis that is stacked against it. We are distressed to see that in a June 23 report, entitled Promoting transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes, that it says:

"The standard of information exchange on request, including bank and fiduciary information, is now universally endorsed."

Apologies for the undiplomatic statement here, but we are quite justified, and quite correct, in saying that the OECD is lying. The OECD standard is not universally endorsed, and the OECD is very well aware of the fact. We certainly don't endorse it and we never have, nor has any real civil society organisation. Those that are engaged on the issue oppose it, actively and strongly.

BP recently showed a contemptuous attitude about the "small people" and the OECD, it seems, is similarly minded to take the Leona Helmsley approach.

We have demonstrated beyond doubt that automatic information exchange, which is the way to go, is the emerging standard (see here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here, just for example); and we have demonstrated clearly why the OECD's standard is absolutely and utterly inadequate (see here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here, just for example).

The OECD's standard is worse than useless, because while we do accept that it has promoted some change on the margins, its main effect has been to allow business as usual, while giving the appearance of real change. Hardly a surprise for an organisation whose members include the world's most important secrecy jurisdictions. The OECD puffs its record up blatantly, as the latest report notes:

"The OECD Secretary General stated “what we are witnessing is nothing short of a revolution. By addressing the challenges posed by the dark side of the tax world, the campaign for global tax transparency is in full flow. We have equipped ourselves with the institutional means to continue the campaign."

The OECD must not be allowed to get away with this deception. For more on information exchange, click here.

P.S. the picture in this blog is of Captain Yossarian, who would have understood the OECD's information exchange standard very clearly indeed.

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