In an open letter to UK Prime Minister David Cameron, almost 200 Ugandan activists called on the British government to implement legislation requiring extractive companies to publish what they pay. They explained that Dodd-Frank type legislation in Europe would be needed to instigate change in Uganda as companies operating there, such as Tullow Oil, are listed in Britain rather than the US. The activists argued that relevant mandatory financial reporting would empower Ugandans ‘with the information to hold [their] leaders accountable’
. In a letter to the Financial Times Ugandan MP and Chair of the Ugandan Parliamentary Forum on Oil and Gas, Henry Banyenzaki, wrote that ‘Swift implementation of these reforms, and assurances that payments will be broken down project by project, will give us the best chance possible to avoid the resource curse and allow all Ugandans to benefit from our oil.’
This active call for the EU to follow in the US’ footsteps demonstrates the value producing countries see in Dodd-Frank and in similar legislation across the board. The claims that mandatory financial reporting violate the sovereignty of producing countries have proven false. Indeed, it was partly this issue of sovereignty that impelled Henry Banyenzaki to write another letter, this time to Shell’s CEO Peter Voser. Henry Banyenzaki assured Mr. Voser that – as a Ugandan citizen and representative – mandatory financial regulation did not breach the sovereignty of producer countries, but instead was ‘in keeping with the facilitation of the necessary checks and balances essential to ensuring respect for the sovereignty of producer countries’
. He further added that Ugandans had celebrated the passing of Dodd-Frank, and looked ‘forward to counterpart legislation in the European Union’.
Click here to view Henry Banyenzaki’s letter to the FT, and here for his letter to Peter Voser.
Click here to read Transparency will ensure Ugandans benefit from their oil – by Winnie Ngabiiwe, Chairwoman of PWYP Uganda and Joe Powell, UK Policy Manager for ONE.
Conférence Debat - Le pétrole ne coule pas
pour les pauvres
A l’occasion de la publication en France du rapport, ‘le pétrole ne coule pas pour les pauvres’ une conférence-débat a eu lieu au siège du Secours Catholique le 28 février 2011. Le rapport examine la gestion du pétrole au Congo-Brazzaville, se posant sur les succès et défis de la campagne depuis 2003, quand une première brochure posa la question, ‘pour qui coule l’or noir ? ’. Les intervenants à la conférence étaient : Monseigneur Louis Portella Mbuyu, Brice Mackosso (PCQVP Congo B), Christian Mounzeo (PCQVP Congo B), Xavier Harel (auteur d’ « Afrique, pillage à huis clos »),Michel Roy (PCQVP France) et Gregoire Niaudet
Malgré un bilan assez sévère, les intervenants ont exposé des réussites dans leurs luttes pour la gestion responsable du pétrole au Congo-Brazzaville : par exemple le pétrole, longtemps une question tabou, ne l’est plus. De plus, le gouvernement du Congo-Brazzaville s’est adhéré à l’Initiative de Transparence dans les Industries Extractives. Un intervenant nous rappelle qu’avant 2003 aucuns revenus pétroliers n’allaient dans le trésor public, depuis 2003 au moins une section y part.
Mais les progrès sont limités et les obstacles grands : les sept ans de candidature à l’ITIE ne se sont pas traduit en conformité pour le Congo-Brazzaville et des rapports publiés dévoilent des écarts importants. La gestion est toujours loin d’être responsable, malgré les deux milliards d’euro qui s’ajoutent au budget de l’état grâce au pétrole en 2008, 50% de la population vit sous le seuil de pauvreté.
Cet évènement a touché plusieurs thèmes : comme la légifération des principes de l’ITIE au niveau national, ou bien le rôle de la France en Afrique. Des questions - pertinentes à la campagne de PCQVP en général – ont aussi étaient soulevés : Comment peut-on s’assurer que les données soient accessibles aux populations ? Ou bien, comment peut-on approprier davantage la population dans le processus de la transparence et la responsabilité dans la gestion des ressources naturelles? Les réponses à ces questions sont essentielles pour atteindre l’objectif de la campagne au Congo-Brazzaville : que les revenus pétroliers servent à
assurer les droits économiques et sociaux.
Vous pouvez écouter Michel Roy discuter de l'ITIE et du Congo-Brazzaville sur France Culture .
News from PWYP Timor-Leste
On March 15 Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão launched the Timor-Leste Transparency Portal which will enable real time data in English, Portuguese and Tetun on State expenditure that can be accessed by the public through a website.This innovative Portal will also be strengthened with the launch of the Procurement Portal in Dili, on 25-27 August, at a Regional Conference on the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
Click here to read the Prime Minister's speech.
Signs that the European Union will introduce Publish What You Pay rules
Throughout the EITI Global conference, the intention to introduce mandatory financial reporting legislation at the EU level was repeatedly expressed. Stephen O’Brien- British Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development - reiterated UK Chancellor George Osborne’s previous statement when he affirmed that “we will be seeking new disclosure standards for the extractive industry at the EU level.” Germany joined France and Britain on the issue when Gudrun Kopp, State Secretary from the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, asserted that "We view the Dodd-Frank Act positively and look forward to reaching an EU agreement”.
Klaus Rudischhauser from the European Commission confirmed that "the European Union is currently in the process of assessing the feasibility of introducing a Country-by-country reporting requirement into EU legislation”.
On March 10 the European Council validated these statements as it invited the Commission to come forward with initiatives on the disclosure of financial information for companies. Such a move – coming as it does from all 27 EU member states – bodes well and reflects that transparency in the extractive industry is well and truly on Europe’s legislative agenda.
Civil Society Reception
On March 1 Publish What You Pay members Global Witness, Revenue Watch Institute and ONE hosted a reception at the Meridien Hotel in Paris: Dodd-Frank, Regulation and Transparency in the Extractive Industries. In a speech supporting the need for mandatory financial reporting regulation, Zimbabwean Minister of State Jameson Timba highlighted the discrepancies which result from opacity.
“The President of our country was celebrating his 87th birthday and during the celebration he said that a week before that there had been a public spat between the Minister of Mines and the Minister of Finance. The Minister of Mines told the President that he had given the Minister of Finance 174 million US dollars’ worth of diamond sales but the Minister of Finance said that he had only received $62 million.
Now the President is saying: the Minister of Mines is saying that he has given $174 million and the Minister of Finance says he received $62million. I as President do not know what is happening.
This for me illustrates the importance for all those who are engaged in exploiting minerals to be able to publish what they are paying to governments, to be able to publish what they are paying for social responsibility, to be able to publish what they are paying to other stakeholders who are engaged with that mining endeavour.”
EITI and complementary financial reporting regulations
Dodd-Frank’s provision on reporting requirements for oil, gas and mining companies sparked a spirited discussion at last week’s conference. From the opening plenary to the parallel session devoted to the topic, different opinions emerged as to the compatibility of Dodd-Frank with EITI. That such a debate was possible is testimony to the successful tripartite nature of EITI.
Nevertheless by the end of the week it seemed clear a consensus had formed around Dodd-Frank as a mechanism reinforcing, rather than undermining, EITI. Shell’s intervention notwithstanding, several company representatives voiced acceptance, if not approval, of the provision.
Chris Anderson from Newmont Mining explained why his company had testified in Congress in support of a precursor to the Dodd-Frank law. Offering a powerful business case for transparency, he also reminded the audience that the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) - at the time of it's introduction very unpopular with companies - has now become a valuable mechanism offering protection to companies.
A representative from Calvert investments, Bennett Freeman, stated that Dodd-Frank was perfectly complementary and supportive of EITI.
This consensus was also supported by an Editorial in the Financial Times which noted that “a compulsory code, so long as it was widely applied, would surely be better for those who already voluntarily disclose [under EITI]. After all, it would prevent their less scrupulous rivals from competing unfairly. Requiring transparency for financial market listing is a simple and effective way to stamp this out. It is high time that the EU, and all countries where extractive companies are listed, followed the US lead.”
Last week we waved goodbye to Radhika Sarin, our International Coordinator, who had been with us for three and a half years. The coalition wish her all the best for the future, she will be sorely missed but we know this is see you again rather than goodbye.
Blog! Going Beyond Transparency: The scope of the EITI and other initiatives to promote wider accountability and reform
This parallel session, organized by the Natural Resources Charter, sought to stimulate discussion around how the EITI implemented at national level can be adapted to address the specific circumstances of different countries – and how this might be extended beyond revenue transparency to promote wider accountability and reform.
Speakers included a cross-section of academics, activists and company representatives, as well as government ministers from Central African Republic and Canada.
Publish What You Pay members from two EITI compliant countries spoke of the benefits and ongoing challenges of ensuring transparency is made meaningful after achieving EITI compliance.
Ms. Kalia Moldogazieva, Director of “Tree of Life” Human Development Centre in Kyrgyzstan, spoke of the continuing struggles facing local communities living in the mining regions in her country. Mining has long been a source of local conflict in Kyrgyzstan, as there are few regulatory controls over the process of issuing licenses to companies; mining activities are frequently started without prior notification or the consent of communities, and there remains little transparency concerning the terms of the contracts agreed.
Click here to read the rest of the blog....
Publish What You Pay - International Director
Publish What You Pay seeks an international director to lead the strategic development and management of the network. The primary responsibility of the international director will be to develop and institutionalize support to the PWYP network. Managing a small team (currently two staff in London and one in Ghana) the successful candidate will have extensive experience in strategy development, fundraising and network management. A fixed-term contract of 2 years will be initially offered with the possibility to be renewed.
Start Date: May 2011
Salary: Commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits package.
To Apply Please email a cover letter & CV no later than end of business hours Monday, April 4, 2011 to: email@example.com including job code in subject line:PWYP-DIR
Application Deadline: April 4, 2011
For more information please click here
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