Tata Group, easily India's most respected business house, has been named the world's third most accountable and transparent company by Britain's One World Trust although US hotel chain Orient-Express has not found it worthy of an alliance.
According to Rob Lloyd, the report's lead author, the assessment is a measure of the extent to which organisations have the policies and systems in place to enhance consistent and coherent accountability to the people they affect."
The report ranked GE and GlaxoSmithKline number one and two most transparent and accountable companies. Tata Group, was however, considered ahead of Coca-Cola, Petrobras, HSBC Holdings, PriceWaterCooopers International and Google, when measured on the parameters of transparency and accountable leadership among global companies.
The annual Global Accountability Report considered Tata Group at number 10, among the world's 30 most powerful organisations from the inter-governmental, non-governmental and corporate sector, to be accountable to civil society, affected communities and wider public.
Orient-Express Hotels had recently rejected an offer of alliance from Tatas, saying tying up with the "predominantly Indian" hospitality firm will erode the US hospitality chain's brand image. Tata Group's interests range from hotels to steel to salt and software and auto.
One World Trust rated UN Development Programme followed by Asian Development Bank and Christian Aid the most transparent and accountable organisations among world's top 30 organisations.
The report used the Global Accountability Framework to assess policies and systems of organisations according to four widely-accepted dimensions of accountability: transparency, participation, evaluation, complaint and response mechanisms.
The report collected data from publicly available information, documents provided by the organisations themselves, and interviews with their key officials. In addition, stakeholders and experts on each of the organisations are engaged in the data collection and verification stages of the research.
However, Inter-American Development Bank, General Electric and GlaxoSmithKline were ranked number seven, eight and nine, just ahead of Tata Group among the top 30 global organisations.
Following the global effects of the implosion of Enron, the recent leadership crisis at the World Bank, and evidence of the lack of accountability of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the post tsunami reconstruction efforts, the importance of good governance at the global level has been thrown into the spotlight, said One World Trust, while announcing the rankings.