7. State-Owned Enterprises
Government-appointed civil servants manage Gabonese state-owned enterprises (SOEs), which work primarily in energy, extractive industries, and public utilities. SOEs generally follow OECD guidelines on corporate governance. Corporate governance of SOEs usually consists of a board of directors under the authority of the related ministry. Each ministry chooses the members of the board. The ministry does not allocate board seats specifically to government officials and may choose members from the general public. The SOEs often consult with their ministry before undertaking any important business decisions. The corresponding ministry in each sector prepares and submits the budget of each SOE each year. Independent auditors examine the activities of SOEs each year, conducting the audit according to international standards. Auditors do not publish their reports, but rather, submit them to the relevant ministry. There is no published list of SOEs.
There are no specific laws or rules that offer preferential treatment to SOEs. However, although private enterprises may compete with public enterprises under open market access conditions, SOEs often have a competitive advantage in the industries in which they operate.