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Bureau of International Labor Affairs
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A Toolkit for Responsible Businesses
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The Reporting Team

Planning for report production depends to some extent on how often you report and in what form.  A formal annual report requires somewhat different skills from those required for periodic web-based data updates, but both require substantial investments of time and resources.

The social compliance team should designate a person to lead the reporting process, with other team members assigned to assist.  That person will coordinate with the team but also with the other business units throughout the company.  Points of contact throughout the company should be assigned to provide input and review the report so that it reflects the integration of social compliance throughout the company.

Other companies contract with an external service provider to develop the report. Information is provided to the service provider from relevant units within the company.  The risk of this approach is whether it will produce the same quality and depth of collaboration during the development of the report.

Some companies have external stakeholders who serve as advisors to the team or as members of the team itself.  In this case, these should be individuals with experience and expertise in social compliance, but who come from a different background or perspective from that of the other team members.  In addition, it can be useful to have external readers provide comments and feedback as the reporting is developed; in the spirit of openness and transparency, some companies have invited representatives of labor groups, NGOs and other stakeholders to have excerpts of their comments included in the published report itself, even where those may be critical of some of the company’s program.