In 2019, Boston Common filed for the third time a resolution with Oracle requesting greater disclosure of the company’s direct and indirect lobbying expenses and calling for transparency and accountability in the spending of shareholder resources. We have withdrawn the lobbying resolution with Oracle given their substantive implementation of the resolution ask.
Transparency and accountability in corporate spending is in the best interest of Oracle shareholders, especially when spending is used to influence public policy. Corporations contribute millions to trade associations that lobby indirectly on their behalf without specific disclosure or accountability. Absent a system of accountability, company assets could be used for objectives contrary to Oracle’s long-term interests.
We first filed a lobbying disclosure resolution with Oracle in 2015 and continued to re-file year after year given Oracle’s laggard practices as compared to its peers including Cisco, Intel and Microsoft.
We are delighted to see this year Oracle’s commitment to a number of our proposal asks including:
- A description of the process and oversight political expenditures are subject to
- Disclosure regarding Oracle’s industry and trade group memberships, as well as a list of Oracle’s industry and trade group memberships, categorized by the dollar amount of annual membership dues paid
- More detailed disclosure regarding the policy issues Oracle focuses on
- Disclosure regarding, and a link to, Oracle’s Code of Ethics, which provides detailed guidance to employees regarding engaging with government sector employees and officials
Given Oracle’s steps and their commitment to revised disclosure in January 2020, Boston Common has withdrawn the lobbying disclosure resolution.
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