Equipped with the new data, a growing community of civil society activists has studied various techniques to monitor and hold companies and governments accountable for payments received. Our colleagues at NRGI have used payments data to identify Nigeria oil management issues or gold mines’ state dividends receipts in Ghana.
Increasing transparency as well as business and civic engagement in government contracting are powerful ways to craft better agreements, improve public services, deter fraud and corruption, build trust and promote a more competitive business environment. A new report from NRGI and the Open Contracting Partnership details how to do it.
Alexander Malden, Toyin Akinniyi, Zira John Quaghe
This level of immediate national press coverage reaffirms the importance of payments to government data to citizens in resource-rich countries, and how it is increasingly informing national debates on countries’ natural resources management.
Political parties can help ensure that their country gets the best deal for the extraction of its resources, manages revenues for the long-term best interests of citizens and avoids the resource curse.
In a report, Rio Tinto was accused of “illegitimately lowering” its withholding taxes paid to the government of Mongolia in relation to the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine. Rio allegedly did this by using a double tax agreement between Mongolia and the Netherlands, in addition to which it negotiated an even lower rate of withholding tax in its amended mining agreement in 2011. This piece reviews Rio’s tax arrangements.
If ExxonMobil and Chevron truly support transparency and wish to retain the reputational benefits of leadership in initiatives like the Extractive Industries Transparency Initative, they should support full implementation of Dodd-Frank 1504 in the U.S. (in line with laws in Europe and Canada) and disclose their tax payments in the U.S. and all other countries where they operate.
NRGI offers global and regional courses (both in-person and online) that are tailored to civil society advocates, government officials, journalists, parliamentarians and other actors who are working to improve the management of oil, gas and minerals.
It is strange that commodities trading payments—often the largest payments companies make to government entities—are not covered by EU, Canada or Norway mandatory disclosure laws. The laws apply only to companies that physically engage in extraction of resources.