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Publish What You Pay 

Email Update September 21st 2011



US joins EITI

President­­ Barack Obama has announced that the USA will join EITI. Speaking at the launch of the Open Government Partnership in New York on Tuesday, the President stated this commitment will build on previous legislation (the Cardin-Lugar amendment) enhancing transparency in the extractive sector.

Indeed, US membership of EITI will strengthen and be strengthened by the existing Cardin-Lugar amendment (which became Dodd-Frank section 1504), which requires all US listed companies to publish what they pay in the countries in which they operate on a project by project basis. Together, these two complementary measures will promote extractives transparency, ensuring that citizens around the world can have a say in the management of their natural resources. On a domestic level these initiatives will also ensure that Americans, “receive every dollar they’re due from the extraction of [their] natural resources,” which – considering the US’ place as the world’s largest natural gas producer and third in oil production – is no mean feat.

This move enhances the EITI’s credibility as a truly global initiative and will put pressure on other resource-rich G20 countries to join. 

European Parliament endorses publish what you pay rules

On September 13th, the European Parliament adopted a report on an effective raw materials strategy for Europe which called on the European Commission to “establish legally binding requirements for extractive companies to publish their revenue payments for each project and country they invest in,following the example of the US Dodd-Frank bill .”

This endorsement sends a clear signal to the European Commission – who is expected to release proposals for country and project level reporting standards  for extractive companies – that the European Parliament expects these measures to be strong. 

Read PWYP's press release in full 

US decision puts pressure on Canada

The US’ decision to implement EITI has put added pressure on Canada to become a member. Although Canada has been a supporting country of EITI, it has yet to make the transition to membership. As a very resource-rich country itself, EITI implementation could benefit all Canadian citizens.  Journalists have also pointed out that with the number of Canadian companies operating around the globe, the country risks damaging its reputation if it does not vigorously pursue extractive transparency.

Civil society has not taken a back seat in their bid to drive Canada to EITI membership. Just a few weeks ago PWYP Canada held a roundtable – which was attended by EITI Chair Clare Short – discussing Canadian engagement in EITI.

Canada has rejected the idea of EITI membership on the grounds that the initiative is a tool for developing countries. Yet OECD country Norway has been a member since 2009 and, as Ms. Clare Short remarked, the adherence of resource-rich countries to EITI adds credibility when developing countries are being asked to join. Finally now that the US has joined EITI, the argument that the initiative is for developing countries alone is quite simply no longer valid. 
The US’ decision to join EITI was announced as part of its commitments to the Open Government Partnership, launched yesterday in New York. Canada has since stated that it will also join the Open Government Partnership. When, in a few months’ time, Prime Minister Stephen Harper presents Canada’s own commitments dare we hope for a similar EITI announcement? 

Read PWYP Canada's press release 

.... and Australia! 

Press Release from PWYP Australia - Australia and EITI 

President Obama’s announcement has put pressure on other developed resource rich nations to join EITI. PWYP Australia, a growing coalition with 17 member organisations, has also been lobbying hard for the government to join EITI. As well as enhancing the initiative’s global credibility, EITI would benefit Australian citizens as a whole in ensuring that local communities benefit from the extractive activities happening in their back yard.  Indeed, it is hoped the Australian government will soon announce its intentions in this respect. With mining governance on the agenda of the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Governments and Australia’s neighbours all signing up to EITI , it seems hard to imagine a better time for Australia to become an EITI member.
To find out more about Australia and EITI, read the press release PWYP Australia issued hours after President Obama’s announcement. 

PWYP Canada hosts roundtable on EITI

In an effort to promote greater awareness of the importance of EITI, as well as to discuss Canadian engagement, Publish What You Pay Canada co-organized a roundtable event on September 7th featuring Chair of the EITI International Board Rt. Hon. Clare Short.  The event was entitled EITI: Achievements, Challenges and the Way Forward, and featured discussants from the Canadian government, the private sector, civil society and academia.

The event hosted over 70 participants from various stakeholder groups, who engaged in a discussion that addressed a variety of issues related to the EITI, with particular emphasis on the Canadian context.  The discussion clearly demonstrated that Canadian stakeholders are very interested in the EITI, as well as broader transparency issues related to the extractive sector, and that continued engagement on this issue is necessary to foster meaningful debate and dialogue.  This is especially important in terms of continuing to advocate for the implementation of the EITI by the Government of Canada. The possibility of having some provinces, Quebec in particular, implement the EITI was also discussed.

Kady Seguin

What would you do with your oil money?

Last week we launched our first ever twitter campaign! In order to raise awareness of Dodd-Frank 1504 in particular and transparency in the extractive sector in general,  we asked our followers, “What would you do with your oil money?” .

We wanted to highlight that for many people, this is a question they are never asked to answer, despite legitimately owning vast natural resources. Answers ranged from the funny and flippant through to the serious and thoughtful.   Judging from the amount of activity on twitter and the responses we received the campaign was successful in generating discussion around natural resources and the idea that they belong to all.

Indeed, this twitter conversation was the topic of a blog post by Global Financial Integrity, Not Inevitable: Using Twitter To Change The Way We Think About The Resource Curse.

As well as asking people to join in the conversation, we were directing followers towards a new section on our site:  What would you do with your #oilmoney? This page will be continually updated with new articles and blogs specifically relating to the state of the current campaign for legislative changes for transparency in the extractive sector.

Thanks to PWYP USA who worked with us on this and came up with the idea for the campaign and to everyone who tweeted and retweeted us and took part in the conversation!

Our favourite #oilmoney tweet?

 In response to “with my oil money I’d change the name of starbursts back to opal fruits” @geordiewanderer tweeted, “maybe many African countries too would like to see the fruits of their opals?!”.

Piping profits

More than a third of the subsidiaries owned by the world’s most powerful oil, gas and mining companies are based in secrecy jurisdictions, a new Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Norway report reveals.

Secrecy jurisdictions facilitate illicit financial flows, to which the developing world loses US$1 trillion a year. The financial opacity created by the use of secrecy jurisdictions also undermines trust in markets and damages market efficiency.  For more on SJs
 In order to identify and locate all of these companies’ subsidiaries, PWYP Norway examined companies’ annual reports and stock exchange filings. They discovered that:

•             34.5% (2,083 ) of the 6,038 subsidiaries belonging to the 10 of the world’s most powerful Extractive Industry companies are incorporated in secrecy jurisdictions.

•             The global Extractive Industry’s favourite place to incorporate is by far the US state of Delaware with 15.2% of the subsidiaries located there.

•             Chevron is the most opaque EIC major in this study. 62% of Chevron’s 77 subsidiaries are located in Secrecy Jurisdictions.

•             Glencore International AG is the most opaque mining company in the Piping Profits survey with 46% of its 46 subsidiaries incorporated in Secrecy Jurisdictions.

The database created for this project , which includes considerable information on the extractive companies’ and their subsidiaries, will soon be made public, we will have information on our site as soon as it is available. It is designed as a snapshot of the extractive sector and its subsidiaries in 2011.

The report was covered by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph and the Guardian 

Visit PWYP Norway's site

To read the report itself click here (PDF).

Piping profits - l'industrie extractive et les paradis fiscaux

Un nouveau rapport de Publiez ce que vous payez (PCQVP) Norvège révèle que dix des plus puissantes compagnies pétrolières, gazières et minières du monde possèdent 6 038 filiales dont plus d’un tiers  basées dans des paradis fiscaux ; révèle aujourd’hui.
Les paradis fiscaux facilitent un flux financier illicite qui représente les pertes de 1 milliard de dollar par an pour les pays en développement. L’opacité financière créée par l’utilisation des juridictions secrètes réduit également la confiance placée en les marchés et affecte leur efficacité. 

En examinant les rapports annuels et les soumissions des marchés boursiers, PCQVP Norvège a identifié et localisé toutes les filiales de ces compagnies. Le rapport a découvert ce qui suit :

  • 2 083 (34 5 %) des 6 038 filiales appartenant aux 10 compagnies de l’industrie extractive les plus puissantes du monde sont incorporées dans des paradis fiscaux ;

  • Le lieu favori pour incorporer les industries extractives est de loin l’État américain du Delaware où se trouvent 15,2 % de ces filiales.

  • Chevron est la compagnie la plus opaque dans cette étude ; 62 % des 77 filiales de Chevron sont basées dans des paradis fiscaux ;

  • Glencore International AG est la compagnie minière la plus opaque dans l’enquête « Piping Profits » avec 46 % de ses 46 filiales incorporées dans des Paradis fiscaux.

La base de données créer pour ce projet et qui contient des informations sur les compagnies et leurs filiales, sera bientôt disponible en ligne. Nous aurons plus d’informations à ce propos sur notre site ultérieurement.

Lisez le rapport même (en PDF et en anglais)

Vous pouvez lire des articles à propos de ce rapport dans Basta Mag!, le Monde et le Nouvel Obs