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Publish What You Pay 

Email Update April 4th 2012

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Write to your MEP

Over the past couple of months we have been calling on you to write to your MEP, asking them to support strong transparency rules at the EU level. Tearfund’s Unearth the Truth widget, which we’ve been directing you to, sent an email to the MEPs in your country. Tearfund’s action has been very successful, with over 2000 letters sent and MEPs remarking on the amount of constituency attention this issue has received.

But we haven’t won the battle yet and so we’re asking you to keep active and write some more letters, this time to a smaller group of MEPs that are on the specific committees dealing with the legislation. ONE has created an online tool to facilitate this process, which you can reach here. It will only take a few minutes. Although many of you will have already written letters to your MEPs, these letters really do help to keep the pressure on legislators to do the right thing, so we urge you to spend another couple minutes of your time to help ensure that the EU passes strong transparency legislation. 


ONE and Cordaid hand in petition to Dutch government calling for transparency for oil, gas and mining companies


This post originally appeared on ONE’s blog.

This week ONE and our friends at Cordaid handed in the Trillion Dollar Scandal petition to the Dutch parliament. Over 89,000 European ONE members signed the petition, asking European leaders to pass strong laws on transparency for oil, mining and logging companies.
Last October, the EU proposed legislation to oblige European extractive companies to publish the payments they make to governments where they operate. The Dutch government has stated its support for transparency measures, but it has not specified how strong these measures should be. However, the devil is in the detail of this kind of legislation, and there is huge pressure from the oil and mining industry to weaken the proposed law.
ONE and Cordaid handed the petition over during an official Dutch Parliament session, asking them to ensure the government supports strong measures when the Council of the EU, bringing together the 27 EU Member States, decides on this matter.

Secretary Clinton calls for strong disclosure rules from the SEC

Speaking at Transparency International-USA's Annual Integrity Award Dinner, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton emphasised the need for the SEC to swiftly publish strong rules to govern section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which will oblige listed oil, gas and mining companies to publish what they pay in each country where they operate.

Although President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Act in July 2010 the SEC has yet to publish the rules for this law to come into effect. In the meantime, the oil lobby has ramped up its lobbying against this provision, also known as the Cardin-Lugar amendment.

Secretary Clinton did not shy away from this controversial topic: “the Cardin-Lugar Amendment requires extractive industry companies registered with the SEC to disclose, project by project, how much they pay foreign governments. Now I know this has been a difficult issue, and the SEC is still working on the regulations, but we do think it will have a very profound effect on our ability to try to help manage some of the worst practices that we see in the extractive industry and in the relationships with governments at local and national levels around the world.”

You can read more about Secretary Clinton’s remarks here and here.

This wasn’t the first time that Secretary Clinton came out in public support of these rules, you can watch her speaking on the subject in February 2012 at the Foreign Relations Committee.  


PWYP Uganda members participate in shaping the country’s natural resource legislation 

In February 2012 the Ugandan government tabled three Petroleum bills, sending them to be reviewed by the Committee on Natural Resources and opening them to comments from the public. PWYP Uganda has seized the opportunity to participate in shaping Uganda’s natural resource legislation and has been heavily involved in efforts over the last two months to analyse the bills.

The International Senior Lawyers Project helped the coalition to gain access to legal experts from Skadden, a global firm with experience in extractive legislation. The Revenue Watch Institute also worked with Skadden to analyse and comment on the bills.

On 22 March 2012, 50 CSO representatives gathered to discuss the analysis of the oil bills. Experts from Skadden, RWI and ACODE facilitated the sessions. Participants identified certain gaps and weaknesses of the legislation: for example the lack of reference to Uganda joining the EITI or following EITI principles and certain provisions regarding confidentiality of information. Several PWYP Uganda members, including Global Rights Alert and IRCU, are working on a Memorandum to submit to the Natural Resource Committee stipulating the changes that ought to be made to the bill.

A consultative meeting with Uganda’s religious leaders was also organised on 22 March to discuss their views of the bill. As well as working with members of civil society and Uganda’s religious leaders, members of PWYP-Uganda have been consulting Members of Parliament, engaging with representatives of the Natural Resource Committee at a meeting on March 23rd.

This is a summary of a longer article by Winnie Ngabiirwe, PWYP Uganda’s chairman, on PWYP Uganda’s recent activities. You can view the whole article here.

For more on the role of the Revenue Watch Institute in this process visit their site. 

Dispute over local-national government revenue distribution in Indonesia 

On 28 February 2012, local PWYP-Indonesia member, Mr. Carolus Tuah travelled from his home town in East Kalimantan, to attend a constitutional court hearing of a lawsuit filed by local groups against the Republic of Indonesia’s Law No. 33 of Year 2004, regarding the Fiscal Balance between Central Government and Regional Governments.

This was the ninth in a series of court hearings since the case was first filed in October 2011 by a group calling itself the Assembly of East Kalimantan United People (MRKTB). Subsequently, four senators from the region (Anggota DPD) also submitted a constitutional complaint, together with two other farmers as plaintiffs.

The MRKTB argues that the revenue sharing  clauses of Law 33/2004 effectively serves to hamper local developments and does not award local people their fair share of the revenues generated by the natural resources in their locale.

Specifically, the MRKTB demands a justification for the oil and natural gas revenue allocations: "84.5% to 15.5% for the government and the district" (oil), and "69.5% to 30.5% for the government and the district" (for natural gas)  in the provisions of Article 14 letters e and f of Law 33 in 2004. Local communities argue that the article is not fair, not consistent and discriminatory, as it confers Aceh and Puas a higher share of the revenues due to their special autonomous status. Furthermore, they feel it does not fairly reflect the proportion of natural resources with which the East Kalimantan region is endowed. the rest of the article on our website


More news from Indonesia

On 29-31 March 2012,the ASEAN Civil Society Conference was held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and attended by civil society groups from Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, Burma, and the Philippines (including many PWYP members). Extractive industry transparency was high up on the agenda and  the CSOs called on ASEAN to “urgently establish a framework as a standard in managing natural resources in a transparent and accountable manner”.

Indeed, while most of the countries in Southeast Asia are rich in natural resources, poor management and corruption has meant that many citizens have yet to benefit from this resources wealth. Of the several recommendations the CSOs put to ASEAN regarding natural resource management, one was to encourage more nations to join the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative.

For more information on the workshop and the topic of natural resources and transparency in South-East Asia click here.


A response to “Focusing on corruption” – PWYP UK sets the record straight

The Oil & Gas Journal published this letter from our UK Coordinator/Consultant Miles Litvinoff, in response to the article "Focusing on corruption".

The recent article Focusing on corruption in the Oil & Gas Journal argues that the fight against corruption ‘is too important to be allowed to serve as cover for other political agendas’. The article names Publish What You Pay and several of its US member groups as ‘obstructionist’ organizations that ‘consistently resist oil and gas development’.

According to the article, ‘Two approaches to transparency collide … In one, payments should be disclosed in order to hold governments accountable for use of the money. The other approach makes companies the targets of accountability.’

Oil & Gas Journal seems unwilling to accept that these two approaches are fully compatible and both necessary (if insufficient in themselves) to ensure that duty bearers in government and in business are publicly accountable. Citizens and civil society in resource-rich countries need to hold to account both the governments that manage their country’s natural resources on their behalf and the companies that are entrusted with the task of developing the resources for the public good.

Read the rest of the letter here...


PCQVP Afrique finalise la stratégie de protection

Depuis le début de la campagne PCQVP, des activistes ont fait l'objet des menaces à cause de leur travail sur la question de la transparence et de la responsabilité.  En Guinée Équatoriale, l'activiste de PCQVP Marcial Abaga Barril a été interpellé en novembre dernier et a été détenu en prison pour des charges inventées de toutes pièces concernant l’assassinat du cuisinier du Président.  Deux mois auparavant, en septembre, des membres de PCQVP étaient arrêtés en République Centrafricaine alors qu’ils sensibilisaient les populations dans des communautés sur l’impact de l’uranium. Au cours de la dernière décennie, les activistes à travers l’Afrique recevaient différents types de menaces allant des appels téléphoniques, dénoncés sur la radio nationale aux arrestations pures et simples.
À sa deuxième réunion, le Comité de pilotage de PCQVP Afrique a finalisé et adopté formellement un mécanisme de protection visant à garantir la sécurité des activistes. S’inspirant des expériences et leçons apprises au cours de la dernière décennie, la Stratégie de protection sera périodiquement mise à jour par le Comité de pilotage pour l’Afrique. Le document propose des mesures destinées à anticiper les menaces ainsi que la présentation des procédures visant à réagir vite et de manière efficace aux cas de harcèlement. Un baromètre de risque a été mis en place pour contrôler les conditions sécuritaires des activistes en Afrique et des critères et procédures ont été adoptées pour évaluer les risques et les menaces. Des structures de protection permanentes ont été mises en place au niveau régional et dans des pays à haut risque. En outre, un cadre légal sera constitué avec un réseau d'experts juridiques nationaux et internationaux. Le comité a également lancé un fonds de protection par lequel on peut mettre en œuvre toute la stratégie. Pour lire le Mécanisme de protection en entier, visitez notre site Internet.
Le Comité de pilotage de PCQVP pour l’Afrique s’est réunit à N’Djamena au Tchad pour la deuxième réunion du 5 au 7 mars 2012. Cette réunion qui couvrait également les questions de gouvernance a également continué avec la création d'une charte de PCQVP pour l'Afrique et a exploré les opportunités avenir de plaidoirie pour PCQVP Afrique au niveau national et continental. Pour plus de détails sur les conclusions de la réunion, veuillez visiter notre site Internet. PCQVP Tchad a également organisé une journée porte ouverte et un débat sur la gestion des ressources naturelles dans le pays.

PCQVP prend de l’ampleur au MENA

PCQVP a le plaisir d'accueillir une nouvelle addition à l'équipe internationale qui soutiendra notre travail florissant dans la région du Moyen-Orient et en de l’Afrique du Nord (MENA). Mme Diana Kaissy à rejoint l’équipe de PCQVP le 5 mars 2012 comme Coordonatrice PCQVP MENA/Irak et sera surtout chargée de la coordination avec les coalitions de langue arabe de PCQVP dans la région du MENA, l’Irak en particulier avec des responsabilités d’expansion du pays. 
Publiez ce que vous payez compte actuellement deux coalitions nationales affiliées au Moyen-Orient :
La Transparency Coalition and Extractive Industries Watch (TCEIW) est la coalition affiliée de PCQVP au Yémen. La TCEIW a vu le jour en octobre 2009 et est composé de 12 organisations membres. Les membres de TCEIW étaient activement engagés dans le processus de mise en œuvre de l’ITIE au niveau national, jusqu’à la suspension du pays de l'Initiative en juin dernier à cause de la crise politique qui sévit dans le pays. Les membres de TCEIW ont récemment manifesté leur soutien pour la levée de la suspension de l’ITIE du Yémen suite aux élections présidentielles tenues en février 2012 suivie de la formation d'un gouvernement d'union nationale.
En Irak, toutefois, l’Alliance pour la transparence irakienne dans les industries extractives (ITAEI) a rejoint le réseau mondial en janvier 2012 et compte à ce jour plus de 50 membres. Le principal objectif de l’ITAEI est de consolider les efforts de la société civile pour s'engager dans le processus ITIE de l’Irak, afin d’assurer que les informations publiez peuvent être utiles pour la société civile irakienne dans l'ensemble, dans la gouvernance des ressources abondantes du pays.
Diana a travaillé comme Responsable pays pour le Liban chez PACES, une société caritative qui cherche à utiliser les programmes sportifs pour encourager et autonomiser les enfants vivant dans les camps de réfugiés palestiniens pour un avenir meilleur. Vous pouvez contacter Diana directement à l’adresse

Nous avons également crée une page pays pour l’Irak sur notre site Internet.