The framework of a report should be formed by the principles of transparency, inclusiveness and auditability. The information in the report should be complete according to the reporting boundaries and time frame and relevant to the decision-making needs of stakeholders. Quality and reliability of the report content are guided by the principles of neutrality, comparability and accuracy. The principles of clarity and timeliness govern the access and availability of reports (Global Reporting Initiative 2002).
2. Reporting Principles
· Transparency: The principle of transparancy requires that regardless of the format and content of the reports, users are fully informed of the processes, procedures and assumptions embodied in the reported information.
· Inclusiveness: The reporting organisation should systematically engage its stakeholders to help focus and continually enhance the quality of its reports.
· Auditability: Reported data should be recorded, compiled, analysed and disclosed in a way that would enable auditors or assurance providers to attest its reliability.
· Completeness: All information in the report should be consistent with the declared boundaries, scope and time period.
· Relevance: Ideally, reports should contain information that is useful and relevant to both the reporting organisation and the report users.
· Sustainability: The reporting organisations should consider their performance in the contexts of economic, environmental and social sustainability.
· Accuracy: Report users should be able to make decisions with a high degree of confidence.
· Neutrality: Under the neutrality principle the overall report content must present an unbiased picture of the reporting organisation's performance.
· Comparability: Reports on economic, enviornmental and social performance should support comparison against the organisation's earlier performance as well as the performance of other organisations.
· Clarity: The clarity principle considers the extent to which information is understandable and usable by diverse user groups.
· Timeliness: Timeliness ensures maximum uptake and utility of the information, enabling users to effectively integrate it in their decision making.
Global Reporting Initiative