A GOXI forum. January 31 – February 7, 2012
The last decade has seen a surge in calls for greater disclosure in the oil, gas and mining industries. The plethora of campaigns, organizations and initiatives fostering this agenda include such prominent global efforts as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Coalition, and the Transparency & Accountability Initiative.Section 1504 of America’s Dodd-Frank Act of July 2010 introduced requirements for listed companies to report payments made to governments for oil, gas and mining development, country-by-country and project-by-project. A draft Accounting and Transparency Directive of the European Commission takes the U.S. law a step further by requiring disclosure of payments to governments by both listed and large unlisted companies.The broad underlying theory of change is that greater transparency and citizen participation will lead to greater accountability and, in turn, better development outcomes from petroleum and mining activities.However, many of the sectoral transparency provisions are relatively new and assessing their impact can be difficult. A recent New York Times article laments that transparency is sometimes treated as an end in itself. And recent independent evaluations, including of EITI, point to encouraging uptake and endorsements, but have raised question marks as to discernible societal impacts and whether greater transparency is translating into greater accountability.So has the drive for greater transparency in the extractives sector of the last decade led to better development outcomes?Have your say…
NB: These submissions are those of the discussants only, and should not be attributed to the policies or opinions of their employers.
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