Publish What You Pay 

Email Update May 2nd 2012





Activists tell SEC to stop monkeying around and publish rules

On the 17th April 2012 the SEC was a full year late in publishing the rules governing Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which would oblige US listed extractive companies to publish what they pay in each country where they operate.

To drive this point home, and urge the SEC to publish the rules as soon as possible, activists dressed up in suits and monkey masks and posed outside the SEC building in Washington D.C., much to the interest (and possibly amusement) of passing press and staff inside the building.

The SEC’s delay in publishing the rules – which puts it in violation of the law - allows the industry to continue in their lobby to weaken the provision. It also pushes back the date when the financial information will be available, meaning that citizens in resource rich countries will have to wait that much longer for the tools to help them hold their governments to account.

Yet the US Government, which adopted the law in June 2010, is committed to transparency in the extractive sector. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has on several occasions voiced her support for strong rules for this provision, calling on the SEC last February to issue and “ go as far as possible” with these rules.  

Indeed, while activists were highlighting the SEC’s one year violation of the law, US representatives were being lauded at the Open Government Partnership conference in Brasilia for their work on natural resource transparency (because of the US commitment to joining EITI). Naturally the decision by the United States to join EITI is to be congratulated. However, the most effective thing that could happen in the US for transparency right now, and an act which would truly deserve praise, would be the swift publication and implementation of Dodd-Frank 1504. 

Read PWYP USA and Oxfam America's press releases on the matter

European Parliament hears case for transparency

The European Union is currently considering transparency measures which would oblige extractive companies to publish what they pay to the governments where they operate. During this legislative process, the European Parliament organised two hearings (for the Foreign Affairs and Legal committees) on the benefits and implications of such transparency rules.

PWYP member Steve Manteaw, also chair of the Africa Steering Committee, testified in support of strong transparency rules at the Legal committee hearing. On project by project reporting he stated that, “project by project reporting will give community people a fair idea of how much revenue is generated from their communities and guide them in their demand for equitable share of development”. He emphasised the importance of a low materiality threshold by listing the various budgets of local administrations in Ghana, illustrating the fact that a threshold of 1,000,000 euros (currently being proposed by the companies), would render financial information ineffective and unhelpful at the local level. He also stated that including exemptions would be “retrogressive and counterproductive to the whole purpose of the law.”

In the Foreign Affairs hearing representatives of BP publicly admitted that "costs (related to the technical implementation of the accounting directive) are not an issue". (Indeed, when we consider that Shell made 2 million dollars an hour last year it is easy to see how compliance to these transparency rules is a “Drop in the ocean for big oil”. )

The European Parliament is currently working on its negotiating   position, and is expected to go into an informal ‘trialogue’ process with the EU member states in early May. We’ll keep you up to date on the progress of the European campaign.

Meanwhile, you can sign ONE’s petition calling on the European Parliament to stand up to corporate lobbying and pass strong transparency measures!   You can also read ONE’s blog on the hearing.

You can watch the Legal and Foreign Affairs hearing online. 


PWYP activist arrested in Azerbaijan

Mr. Ogtay Gulaliyev, member of the Coalition of NGOs for “Improving Transparency in Extractive Industries” has been arbritarily detained since 8 April 2012.

Mr. Gulaliyev was meeting with local residents of the Sabirabad region, discussing their recent protest actions, when he was arrested by local policemen. Having served a 12 day administrative sentence for allegedly having sworn in public (minor hooliganism) he was then charged with “active resistance to authorities’ legal orders” and “incitement to mass riots and to violence against citizens”, which carries a three year sentence. According to a statement prepared by the Coalition for Improving Transparency in Extractive Industries, Mr. Gulaliyev’s trial was held in secret and he was not provided with a lawyer of his choice.

Furthermore, the coalition argues that the arrest is linked to Mr. Gulaliyev’s role as an anti-corruption activist, who has been seeking to increase transparency of oil revenues in Azerbaijan. The coalition considers the arrest of Ogtay Gulaliyev illegal and calls for his immediate release.

PWYP International is monitoring the situation.

You can read more about this on FIDH's website and and read the full statement of the Coalition for Improving Transparency in Extractive Industries.  


 Photo credit: Witness               


Global Witness stages protest against transparency exemptions

What were a posthumous Gaddafi, a posthumous Hussein and their corrupt dictator friends doing marching down to the European Commission last Tuesday?

They were there to thank the EU for including exemptions in the upcoming extractive transparency rules. Because the only people who will benefit from these exemptions will be corrupt rulers wanting to keep deals secrets.

These rules, originally proposed in October 2011 as amendments to the Transparency and Accountability initiative, would oblige gas, oil and mining companies to publish their payments to every government where they operate. However, in the draft of these rules the European Commission created a space for exemptions: if a host country has a law prohibiting publication, then a company will not have to publish its payments. Companies argued for these exemptions, purporting that certain governments had such confidentiality rules already in place. The evidence for this, however, has been less than forthcoming.
These exemptions do not answer to any situation on the ground and have the potential of undermining the whole legislation. They create an incentive for governments to create laws prohibiting companies to publish their payments. In fact, not only do these exemptions undermine the rules' ambitions, but they could mean a "race to the bottom" in terms of transparency for several governments.

The EU's decision to introduce these rules last October was widely, and rightly, applauded. These rules have the potential to change millions of lives, create a responsible and sustainable business environment and enable citizens from dozens of countries hold their governments to account. It would be a travesty to allow one clause to undo all of this.

Visit Global Witness' Dictators' Charter to find out more.

Updates from Mozambique!

-          Next week, from 8-11 May, PWYP Mozambique will be hosting the PWYP Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Meeting. During this workshop participants will feed into PWYP’s ongoing strategy development process; PWYP’s new strategy will be unveiled next September. Other topics of the meeting include EITI, regional advocacy opportunities and various training workshops. We’ll have more on this event in a future issue.

-          On 30 March 2012, Mozambique published its second EITI report. Mozambique is an EITI candidate country and has until 15 February 2013 to reach complaint status.

-          CIP (the Centro de Integridade Publica) published a report on collusion between technical managers in the extractive sector and politicians in Mozambique. Read the report in English or em Português

-          Visit PWYP Mozambique’s web page

In Brief


  • On 20 April 2012 the PWYP coalition in Guinea held its general assembly. There were three main items on the agenda:                             

Guinea’s fiscal regime and comparison with other countries


Guinea’s EITI implementation (Guinea has until 28 August 2012 to reach compliant status)

and the election of PWYP Guinea’s coordination office.

For more information visit  PWYP Guinea’s page on our site, or read the closing speech of the meeting  (in French).

  • The Iraqi Transparency Alliance for Extractive Industries (ITAEI) held its 6th annual meeting. Visit our site for more information.


Job opportunities

PWYP Canada – Director

Partnership Africa Canada is currently recruiting for a Director to service and coordinate the PWYP NGO coalition in Canada and act as the focal point of information on the Canadian PWYP campaign.    The Director will facilitate strategy development and assist in the implementation of coalition activities in collaboration with Canadian NGO members and the International PWYP Secretariat. The Director will liaise with the global PWYP coalition and represent the Canadian coalition at the international level.

Location: Partnership Africa Canada, Ottawa

Applications deadline:  Friday May 11, 2012

For more information

Candidate must have permission to work in Canada
Global Witness - Senior Forest Campaigner

Global Witness is seeking a Senior Forest Campaigner to join our growing Environmental Governance campaign.  You will have extensive experience of carrying out high-level advocacy with European governments, institutions and the EU with demonstrated impact, and be able to speak more than one European language.

You will be developing and leading Global Witness’ campaign to ensure significant European trade, investment and aid policies support and do not undermine tropical natural forest ecosystems.  You will identify and work on the most significant levers for change.  You will be able to draw on Global Witness’ significant investigation evidence and our links with activists around the world to present compelling analysis to a wide range of policy makers in the EU, governments and private sector.

Deadline: 8 May 2012

Visit the site for more information