The new EITI Guide for Legislators provides a roadmap to understanding resource revenue management to lawmakers who wish to become leaders in the struggle for better governance. Jointly produced by Revenue Watch, the National Democratic Institute and the EITI Secretariat, this new tool shows how parliaments can use the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative process as an opportunity for effective reform.
Lawmakers worldwide face a number of questions as they work to improve the transparent management of oil, gas and mining revenues: How much are companies paying their governments for the oil, gas and minerals they extract? How much revenue does the government claim to receive and where does that money go? Is this information available to the public? These concerns are the core of the Extractive Indsutries Transparency Initiative, a voluntary global standard for transparency in revenues from oil, gas and mining industries. The EITI requires disclosure of payments by both companies and governments, and the reconciliation of these figures by an outside administrator working on behalf of a multi-stakeholder group composed of all interested parties.
Currently being implemented in 26 countries, the EITI standards require the involvement of government, civil society and industry representatives. The EITI methodology does not require an explicit role for legislators. Nevertheless, legislators have an important role to play in an EITI process by safeguarding citizens' interests, developing policies, and holding government to account.
The increased transparency that can result from EITI implementation helps build public trust in democratic institutions, and ultimately ensures that a greater portion of revenues from natural resources are used for the public good. Legislators with EITI expertise can help their country to achieve these goals, and in the process, establish themselves as credible and relevant leaders on good governance and transparency issues.
The Guide is an important tool for strengthening budget monitoring and oversight, reinforcing anti-corruption and good governance initiatives, and improving the national investment climate.
Additional funding for the guide was provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).