A development on the public briefing. After being turned away, Victoria Ferauge has now been given the green light to attend tomorrow's FATCA/TRACE briefing on behalf of American Citizens Abroad. I am very glad to see this resolution. It worries me when international bodies ostensibly working on behalf of society try to manage which sectors of society count when it comes to policymaking. Access to meetings is the barest form of participation in such matters. I look forward to hearing from Ms. Ferauge regarding what she hears and sees at the meeting, and am glad that she will be able to attend with only one day's notice. (be sure to note if you are asked for your passport to gain entry).
Last Thursday I mentioned that the OECD had advertised a "public meeting" on their website about TRACE and FATCA, and I said:
...you can also attend in person for 100EUR if you are a financial institution, a practioner, or a journalist, according to the information. Though it is not stated, I will simply assume that non-interested observers, such as academics, NGO reps, etc., are also warmly invited.I am sorry to have to report that this is apparently incorrect, at least, when one NGO (American Citizens Abroad) tried to send a rep, she was rebuffed because space is running out and "government and business have priority."
Frankly, this is outrageous. The OECD has been a club for the revolving door crowd for far too long. When I have criticized the absence of NGOs and other disinterested observers at the OECD I am told they are represented by government. If that ever was the case, I think we can safely say it is not the case now. The OECD cannot simply isolate anyone who doesn't stand to benefit from government-big business collusion forever. Eventually it must lose its ability to state with a straight face that it works on behalf of the peoples of its member states.
Message to OECD therefore: do not call it a public meeting if it is not a public meeting, if it is only another forum for government bureaucrats and business leaders, call that what it is: an international lobbying session.
Now, if I am wrong and there is an NGO or any other disinterested, non-business person who is going to be allowed to go to this "public meeting" at which what is going to be discussed by bureaucrats and busienss leaders is how governments will be monitoring and taxing human taxpayers who constitute the peoples represented by the member states, then please, please someone let me know.