Mongolia’s Glass Accounts Law (2014) requires that government entities and state-owned enterprises (SOEs) disclose detailed financial and operational information on a public website. The government’s Glass Accounts portal has since become a focal point for government transparency.
However, uptake of the law has been uneven among government entities, and specifically for many SOEs operating in Mongolia. In part, this lack of implementation stems from the law’s ambiguity on who should report, but it also resulted from the government’s inactivity and poor enforcement as well as limited sanctions for those who do not comply.
In this paper, the author looks at one type of reporting by key mining SOEs under the Glass Accounts Law. This is the requirement to publish all transactions above MNT 5 million (circa USD 1,750) on an individual basis, except for salary-related transactions. The low threshold set in the law allows for a detailed analysis of the reporting companies’ business, in cases where such information is available. With this analysis, the author strives to promote the use of data and reveal the facts for understanding the SOEs’ business. At the same time, the analysis sheds light on the process of reporting and how it could be improved to ensure transparency and enable public oversight of companies that play a critical role in the economy.
Mongolia’s Glass Accounts Law offers unprecedented access to information on the finances and operations of state-owned extractive companies.
The law’s requirement to disclose individual financial transactions of above MNT 5 million (around USD 1,750) sheds light on state-owned mining companies’ suppliers and buyers, often for the first time.
Compliance with this requirement improved significantly over the past two years, but many prominent companies still do not report, and some have not provided the required level of detail.
Scrupulous implementation of the Glass Accounts Law will improve the accountability of state-owned extractive companies and promote a new standard for mining companies in Mongolia and globally.