The Global Forum has been the multilateral framework within which work in the area of transparency and exchange of information has been carried out by both OECD and non-OECD economies since 2000.
The Global Forum’s main achievements have been the development of the standards of transparency and exchange of information through the publication of the Model Agreement on Exchange of Information on Tax Purposes in 2002 and the issuance of a paper setting out the standards for the maintenance of accounting records Enabling Effective Exchange of Information: Availability Standard and Reliability Standard developed by the Joint Ad Hoc Group on Accounts in 2005.
Since 2006, the Global Forum has produced an annual assessment of the legal and administrative framework for transparency and exchange of information in over 80 jurisdictions.
The Standards of Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes have been endorsed by all [members](http://www.oecd.org/document/35/0,3343,en_21571361_43854757_44313251_1_1_1_1,00.html) of the Global Forum. These Standards require:
* Existence of mechanisms for exchange of information upon request.
* Availability of reliable information (in particular bank, ownership,identity and accounting information) and powers to obtain and provide such information in response to a specific request in a timely manner.
* Respect for safeguards and limitations and strict confidentiality rules for information exchanged.
The OECD has acknowledged that it does not have power to impose sanctions on countries that do not implement the standards. Individual countries whether OECD or non‐OECD will decide for themselves what actions they consider necessary to ensure the effective enforcement of their tax laws. The G20 has produced a list of potential measures based upon an analysis provided by the OECD. The OECD will continue to provide a forum where countries can discuss how to make these measures more effective.
##The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes -Mexico 2009##
The Global Forum called together 178 delegates from 70 jurisdictions and international organisations on 1-2 September in Mexico to discuss progress made in implementing the international standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes, and how to respond to international calls to strengthen the work of the Global Forum. In the context of the need of governments to protect their tax bases from non compliance with their tax laws, the main objectives for the meeting were to:
* Agree on restructuring the OECD Global Forum to expand its membership and ensure its members participate on an equal footing;
* Agree on how to establish an in-depth peer review process to monitor and review progress made towards full and effective exchange of information; and
* Identify mechanisms to speed-up the negotiation and conclusion of agreements to exchange information and to enable developing countries to benefit from the new more cooperative tax environment.
The restructured Global Forum moved quickly to put in place a peer review process. The ultimate goal of the Global Forum is to ensure that international standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes are not only put in place, but that they operate effectively.
It was agreed in Mexico that the Global Forum would be assisted by a Steering Group which will prepare and guide its future work. The composition of the Steering is made up of the Chair and Vice-Chairs of the Global Forum, which are currently Australia (Chair) and China, Germany and Bermuda (Vice-Chairs), along with the Chair and Vice-Chairs of the Peer Review Group, and five other members.
The second meeting of the Steering Group of the Global Forum will take place on 11 & 12 February 2010 in New Delhi, India.
**Peer Review Group**
In order to carry out an in-depth monitoring and peer review of the implementation of the standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes, the Global Forum agreed on the setting up of a Peer Review Group (PRG) to develop the methodology and detailed terms of reference for a robust, transparent and accelerated process.
The PRG is chaired by France (M. Francois D’Aubert), assisted by four Vice-Chairs – India, Japan, Jersey and Singapore.
Other members of the Peer Review Group are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, China, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Korea, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, St. Kitts and Nevis,, Samoa, South Africa, Switzerland, The Bahamas, The Netherlands United Kingdom and the United States.
A Global Forum Division has been created within the OECD to service the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes It is headed by Mr. Pascal Saint-Amans who previously served as Head of the International Cooperation and Tax Competition Division in the Centre for Tax Policy and Administration (CTPA). He was responsible for the OECD’s work on harmful tax practices, money laundering and tax crimes, the tax aspects of countering bribery of foreign officials and administrative cooperation between tax authorities. He played a key role in the advancement of the OECD tax transparency agenda in the context of the G20.