Publish What You Pay 

Email Update October 20th 2011



PWYP new strategy and an introduction from our International Director

“When you stand out from the crowd it is because you are carried on their shoulders,” I heard former Archbishop Desmond Tutu say during a TV interview to celebrate his 80th birthday in early October.  And I couldn’t help but immediately relate that to the 650 PWYP members around the world and felt a sense of pride and belonging. Your commitment, passion and, in quite a few instances, sacrifices demonstrate a leadership and willingness to stick your neck out from the crowd because you know that your actions have implications for a greater good: the communities whose voices and needs you represent.  After only two months in the job I feel very privileged and a huge responsibility to ensure that the work of the International Secretariat is anchored around the voices and needs of the 35 coalitions and 650 members around the world.  This will ensure that I can be carried on your shoulders (don’t worry only figuratively!).   

This brings me to PWYP’s strategy development. As you know, my main mandate for the first year is to lead the coalition towards adopting a new global strategy including a revised governance structure.  Hence I spent my first weeks listening to you, meeting members when possible in the UK, Belgium, USA, Ghana and Albania, reading as much as I could and reflecting on same of the lessons learnt from doing a similar strategic exercise for the transport network I led.  This Update will be devoted to sharing the strategy development process which is a result of consultations with and endorsements by the International Management Committee, the US coalition, the Africa Steering Committee and the Eurasia networking meeting.  The process is titled the Coalition is King, one of the key lessons learned from a new publication entitled Campaigning for International Justice in which PWYP is described as one of the most successful coalitions of the last decade. I chose that quote to illustrate that it is our collective force which has gotten us thus far and which is crucial for this strategic process and our future.  The core principle of the strategy development process is that all coalition members and/or partners will have an opportunity to express their opinions and participate in developing the strategy through the various tools and methodologies.  

I would strongly encourage you to read the new strategy development page on our site  to fully understand the process as well as the opportunities for our members to be involved. In the coming weeks I will contact all national coordinators and other selected members and partners to set up interviews and gather your views and thoughts. Finally, may I also encourage you to contact me if you are interested in joining the Strategy Development Advisory Committee? This committee will consist of a maximum of three members (one from Africa, Asia and US/EU) and will be called upon for guidance at appropriate times throughout the process. If you have experience in strategic planning processes, institutional knowledge of PWYP and are an active member please contact me (  before October 31st.
I am looking forward to working with you the coming months to help take the coalition onwards and upwards!

Uganda - Amid allegations of bribery, new transparency legislation emerges 

On Friday 14th October, following allegations of bribery and corruption, the Ugandan Parliament voted to suspend all deals in the oil sector.  Tullow Oil – according to documents tabled by MP Gerald Karuhanga – was alleged to have bribed the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister and the Energy Minister to the tune of almost $100 million. The three ministers have resigned until the ad-hoc committee concludes its investigation into the bribery allegations.

The suspension of oil deals is just one part of a resolution intending to bring transparency to Uganda’s oil sector. The resolution calls for the government to join the EITI and demands revenue and expenditure accounts relating to the oil sector from the government. It also asks the government to make all Production Sharing Agreements public and specifies that the moratorium will hold until the government passes the long awaited oil policy bills. The legislation followed weeks of Ugandan MPs calling to end parliamentary recess and debate oil agreements, condemning the secrecy that surrounds these.

Tullow Oil flatly denies any claims of bribery, stating that they arise from a “misunderstanding on how the gas and oil industry work”.  If this is indeed true, then contract secrecy has done Tullow Oil no favours, fostering as it did a sense of suspicion and mistrust.

Our national coordinator in Uganda, Winnie Ngabiwirie, reacted to these developments :

“PWYP-Uganda is greatly impressed with our parliamentary debates and resolutions, aimed at cleaning and strengthening our Oil and Gas sector. This is a positive step towards ensuring accountability and transparency. Uganda cannot afford to lose one more dollar to corruption because it has cost us a lot in terms of poor service delivery and loss of lives. I am particularly impressed that the debate was bi partisan and we hope that this unity in discussing issues of national importance will be maintained

These corruption claims must be investigated fully and independently and if found true, the culprits must be punished. Tullow should be investigated too and reports made public. Unfortunately, the president is already saying that the bribery claims are false!  PWYP-U will be issuing another press statement next week, stating our positions on the different issues that have come up this the oil debates started.”


Tearfund hands UK Treasury 10,000 postcards asking for stronger publish what you pay rules in Europe

On 11 October Tearfund handed the UK Treasury thousands of postcards sent in by citizens/christians urging for strong disclosure rules for extractive companies at the European level. This action was part of Tearfund’s Unearth the Truth campaign, which also included an online petition to Chancellor George Osborne, calling for the UK to champion disclosure rules in Europe. You can sign the petition here. Tearfund is a Christian relief and development agency and member of PWYP-UK. You can find out more about their work here and more about their campaign unearth the truth here


Africa Steering Committee holds its first meeting

On October 4-5 2011 the PWYP Africa steering committee held its first meeting. Part of the focus of the meeting was on establishing a protection mechanism for civil society activists, an initiative which began at the Kinshasa Africa regional meeting in May 2011. Indeed, this mechanism is more important than ever following recent news that activists in Central African Republic were detained for 6 days in September and in Equatorial Guinea the Minister of the Interior suspended a civil society training workshop.

The committee also outlined elements of governance. The committee is to have a rotating chair and vice-chair, held by a francophone and Anglophone committee member, for six months at a time. The current chair is Steve Manteaw, Representative of Anglophone West Africa and vice-chair is Gilbert Maoundonodji, Representative of Central Africa.
In a press conference, the PWYP Africa steering committee also called for Ghana to expand beyond the demands of EITI and move towards contract disclosure. PWYP Africa also made recommendations on the EITI which it will be bringing to the EITI board meeting next week in Jakarta.

To read more about the press conference click here  and here.

To read the Africa Steering Committee’s declaration please click here.

To read the Africa Steering Committee’s statement on the protection of civil society activists please click here

98 of the FTSE 100 use tax havens, reveals ActionAid report 


ActionAid’s report Addicted to tax havens found that after the banking sector “oil and mining companies comprise the other big group of tax haven users. BP and Shell have almost 1,000 tax haven companies between them, including more than 100 in the Caribbean (hardly a major source of oil). The extractive industries often operate in developing countries, where natural resources play a central economic role.”  

Interestingly although BP and Shell use so many tax havens, Mexican-based Fresnillo, one of the world’s largest silver and gold miners, was one of only 2 companies in the FTSE 100 found not to use tax havens.
This is an excellent piece of work on companies involved in all sectors on the FTSE 100 and builds upon PWYP Norway’s Piping Profits report on oil, gas and mining companies. ActionAid used a definition of a tax haven put forward by the Government Accountability Office of the United States Congress of “Jurisdictions Listed as Tax Havens or Financial Privacy Jurisdictions” in addition to Delaware in the US and the Netherlands.

ActionAid is calling on the British government to urgently rethink its current proposals to relax UK anti-tax haven rules and is urging the UK to ensure the G20 takes the decisive action it promised on tax havens at the London summit in 2009.

An additional recommendation is for the EU, OECD and G20 – especially at the Cannes summit in November 2011– to create global accounting standards that require companies to break down their accounts on a country-by-country basis.

Check out their FTSE 100 tax haven tracker map which lets you sort by country, sector and name of company.


We regret to inform you that Modibo Keita, who worked for FOE and PWYP Mali, passed away on 4 October 2011. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family and friends.


Nous regrettons de vous informer que Modibo Keita, chargé de projets au FOE et membre de PCQVP au Mali, est décédé le 4 octobre 2011. Nos sincères condoléances à ses amis et à sa famille.