|Corporate Sector Authority|
|Form of Government||Corporate Conglomerate|
|Official language||Galactic Basic Standard|
|Head of State||ExO|
|Legislative Branch||Direx Board|
|Currency||Authority Cash Voucher|
Originally an Old Republic experiment in corporate-controlled space, the Corporate Sector is a remote territory located at the end of the Hydian Way hyperspace route. Encompassing approximately 30,000 stars at the rimward edge of the Tingel Arm, this region of space is now controlled exclusively by the Corporate Sector Authority. The CSA is not a political state in the traditional sense; rather, it is an independent corporation dedicated to exploiting the resources of the Sector for the profit of its members and shareholders without the interference of governmental restriction.
Chartered under the rule of Palpatine, the Authority's self-determination comes at a significant price. In exchange for its autonomy, the CSA is required to contribute a percentage of its profits and products directly to the New Order, thus fueling the Imperial war machine. This support of the Empire along with a history of valuing their profit margin above all else has created much friction between the CSA and other high-minded organizations like the New Republic. However, despite any distaste they may hold for the CSA's practices, the galactic powers that be still rely on the Corporate Sector as a driving force in the interstellar economy.
Old Republic Edit
The engines of commerce and industry have always been powerful forces in the galaxy, fueling the development of star systems and expanding the reach of civilization. In the Old Republic, despite their positive progressive effects, the interstellar megacorporations did not always coexist peacefully with governments. As the corporations of millenia past grew, they faltered beneath numerous levels of governmental restriction and bureauacracy or, worse yet, used their vast resources to circumvent the law entirely.
In an effort to free Republic lawmakers and corporate moneymakers from their differences, the Expansionist Region, a vast expanse of unclaimed space beyond the Colony Worlds and Inner Rim, came to be a bold social experiment. Entire systems were made available for purchase and given over to direct corporate control. Freed from the interference of local governments and with corporate activities overseen directly by the Republic Senate, it was believed that prosperity would follow quickly, and, to the outside observer, it did.
The Expansionist Region generated huge profits for the companies that invested there; however, the common citizens of those worlds and the planets they dwelled upon suffered terribly. Without local governments to protect the people and preserve planetary resources, corporations burned through both at an alarming rate in their single-minded pursuit of profit. Entire planets were strip-mined, their fragile ecosytems forever devasted. Laborers toiled away under deplorable working conditions, crushed beneath their employers' bottom line. By clamping down on the flow of information out of the region and a generous application of lucractive bribes, the corporations were able to keep the Senate's attention focused elsewhere.
Eventually, information regarding the Expansionist Region's secret plight got out and the Senate stepped in. Two centuries before the rise of the Empire, planetary governments were established in the region and control was handed over to them.
To placate the corporate interests, several hundred systems were set aside and designated to be a new area of corporate controlled space. Carefully selected for their remoteness and lack of native sentients, these systems became known as the Corporate Sector and now form the core of the modern territory.
In order to avoid repeating the mistakes made in the Expansionist Region, the Republic established a military presence in the area. The official mandate of the Republic's Corporate Sector fleet was to maintain order within the fief. Unofficially, it was also responsible for monitoring corporate activities and guarding the planets and their populaces against abuse.
Despite the more restrictive climate and the costs of relocating, most large companies did move their operations to the new free enterprise zone and enjoyed great profit.
Rise of the Empire Edit
When Palpatine rose to power, the opportunity presented itself for even greater corporate advancement.
A group of wealthy plutocrats, representing the largest and most powerful galactic corporations, struck a deal with the new Emperor. In exchange for a percentage of the profits and materials generated within the region, a new Corporate Sector Authority would be founded. Controlled by representatives of the sponsoring corporations, the CSA would be given domain over an expanded Corporate Sector totalling approximately thirty thousand systems and granted almost complete autonomy. It would be empowered to act as the exclusive land lord, employer, and military of the region, managing and exploiting the Sector's resources without interference (so long as the Empire received its payments on time).
Of course, this arrangement did not sit well with all Imperials, mostly the Moffs denied their slice of the valuable systems, but, the large and steady flow of credits into the Imperial treasury ensured that their objections had little effect.
A Universe Divided Edit
The death of Palpatine and the decline of its Imperial allies has shaken the Corporate Sector's hold on galactic commerce. Some CSA sponsors have drifted from the Sector, moving their operations into the New Republic or other territories. A number of independent businesses have sprung up, claiming portions of markets both new and old. The Authority goes on, expending as much effort on enticing these new and old corporations into the Corporate Sector as it does attempting to bankrupt those that refuse. Regardless of the changes to the galaxy's political landscape, the Corporate Sector remains an important cornerstone of the interstellar economy. The engines of commerce and industry continue to churn away.
At the pinnacle of the corporate hierarchy is the Direx Board, while these were once the representatives from the sponsoring corporations that set overall policy for the Sector, the members are now elected directly by the shareholders. Overseeing the majority of CSA activity is the ExO, the CSA's chief executive and arguably the most powerful individual in the Corporate Sector. The ExO reports only to the Direx Board. Reporting directly to the ExO is a pool of Executive Viceprexes. Each one supervises the day-to-day operation of a specific division of the Authority. From the near military structure of the Security division to the middle-managers and functionaries of the Resources division, the structure within each specific division can vary dramatically.
Outside the scope of the ExO's authority are two noteworthy positions, the Prex and the Auditor General. The Prex is a Direx member. Originally randomly selected for a fixed term to serve in what is mainly a figurehead capacity officiating over Direx meetings, after the reorganization of 46 ISY, the Prex is directly elected and typically represents the CSA to the Empire. The Prex's only real power above and beyond that of representing the Direx board as a whole is the oversight of the Auditor General. The Office of the Auditor General exists to investigate anti-corporate activities such as violation of Direx policies, major crimes, or external threats to the Authority.
- Direx Board -- Originally representatives from the sponsoring corporations that set overall policy for the Sector. The board members are now directly elected by the CSA shareholders -- most of whom are the original corporations.
- ExO -- Chief Executive and arguably the most powerful individual in the Corporate Sector.
- Finance -- Executives charged with monitoring the Authority's banking interests and financial affairs.
- Legal -- Lawyers and other experts versed in navigating the bureaucracies and courts of every major government and corporation in the galaxy.
- Media -- Demagogues, spin doctors, and other image savvy executives well versed in the manipulation of public opinion.
- OMM -- Technical experts and counter-slicers that secure and maintain the Authority's vast computer network.
- Production -- The largest division in the Authority, in charge of deciding how best to exploit every planet, moon, and asteroid in the Sector.
- Research -- Scientists and engineers focused on developing cutting-edge technology into next generation products.
- Resources -- A general support division charged with finding, procuring, and dispersing all the the things that keep the wheels of commerce turning.
- Security -- Enforcers of the Authority's laws and policies.
- Territory -- Planners and administrators responsible for developing general policies into coordinated region-by-region business plans.
- Prex -- A Direx member, originally selected at random, but now elected by the board for a fixed term to officiate over board meetings and oversee the Office of the Auditor General.
- Imperial Advisor -- The handpicked representative of the Empire.
- ExO -- Chief Executive and arguably the most powerful individual in the Corporate Sector.
- Main article: Laws of the CSA
The CSA's legal system is unlike most in the galaxy. The Authority, as a corporation, tries to avoid the appearance of being a government whenever possible. The rights of citizenship are purchased or bestowed as fringe benefits, and few personal freedoms are guaranteed. Ensuring the orderly conduct of business comes first and does require rules, so legal codes and procedures have been established to make sure that business continues on unhindered.
Though disagreements between companies are common, criminal prosecutions are exceedingly rare. Only high-ranking corporate executives can be guaranteed a 'trial' when accused of a legal violation. Most individuals believed to be violating Authority legal codes, if they cannot afford their day in court, are dealt with directly and unilaterally by the Security division.
Trials, when they do occur, often proceed more like mediations than the jury tribunals common to other governments. An arbiter is appointed by the Authority, usually by the Legal division, both sides make their case and then the arbiter decides the outcome. The Corporate Sector tries to remain impartial in these matters to preserve a public image of legitimacy, but, in the end, efficiency is valued much more than fairness.
Smaller, unimportant cases are sometimes remanded to peer tribunals to free the Authority from the burden of dealing with them. The most important cases, usually those involving serious charges against very high level executives or sponsor corporations, are brought directly to and decided by the Direx Board itself.
- Main article: Sponsors of the CSA
Originally, CSA member corporations fall into two distinct categories: voting sponsors and contributing sponsors. Voting sponsors are the most powerful and influential corporations in the Sector, if not the galaxy. Each one has a permanent seat on the CSA's Direx Board and receives the best discounts on Authority raw materials and services. To become a voting sponsor required a significant investment in the Authority. The original voting sponsors each paid over fifty quadrillion credits worth of currency, equipment, facilities, stocks and bonds.
Contributing sponsors were a secondary class of CSA member company. They didn't receive the same privileged discounts as voting sponsors, but do enjoy preferential prices that make for a competitive advantage over non-CSA companies. These companies did not have permanent representation on the Direx Board, limiting their participation in the Authority's decision-making process. Instead of permanent positions, a third of the board's seats were reserved for contributing sponsors and rotated amongst their representatives. This lower level of corporate sponsorship logically required a smaller, though still significant, investment. Each of the Authority's original contributing sponsors bought their status with payments of over fifty trillion credits.
Reorganization of 46 ISY (27 ABY) Edit
After the disappearance of Imperial Representative Aldus Thel, the Corporate Sector Authority underwent a major reorganization. Then Prex Zeak Oppenhiemer spent months in the Imperial court. When he returned, Zeak had a proposal for the new charter, and to sweeten the deal, concessions to administer Imperial facilities and whole worlds throughout the mid and outer rim (such as Bespin and the ship yards at Sullust) for the Emperor. The corporate charter was rewritten to look like most companies, with the shareholders electing the Direx Board directly. The founding families swapped stock in their companies directly for Authority stock, making the Authority the largest shareholder in most of the companies (some companies such as Rendilli and Merr Sonn became subsidiaries). Of the new shareholders, Emperor Vadim holds nearly 25% of the stock (his shares are non-transferable according to the charter), followed by Zeak Oppenhiemer, who owns approximately 20%. No other stock holders own more than 10%.
OOC Info Edit
- SWINFO CSA and related articles.