UK Business, Innovation and Skills Parliamentary Select Committee: Mining sector needs greater transparency & accountability

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Article
31 October 2014

Christian Aid welcomes UK Govt.’s report on need for transparency in mining sector, regrets tax avoidance being overlooked

"MPs are right to demand more transparency from mining, oil & gas firms", 28 Oct 2014

Responding to a new report about mining, oil and gas companies by the House of Commons’ Business, Innovation and Skills Committee, Toby Quantrill of Christian Aid said: “We welcome the demand for greater public information about the ways in which UK mining, oil and gas companies affect people’s lives and the environment around the world, for better and for worse…[T]his will encourage companies to act more responsibly towards the millions of people affected by their operations…Christian Aid believes that the Committee has missed a trick in not pushing for more information on companies’ tax payments, which would help to reveal whether companies are paying their fair share of tax in any particular country. Without this information, it will remain too easy for unscrupulous mining, oil and gas companies to continue to cheat the citizens of some of the world’s poorest countries, while profiting from their natural resources.”…

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Article
28 October 2014

Campaigners welcome Parliamentary Committee’s recommendation that regulation for extractive sector should include social & environmental criteria

Author: London Mining Network

Campaigners have welcomed the outcome of an inquiry into the extractives sector conducted by the Parliamentary Committee on Business, Innovation and Skills, calling on the government to take action on the sector that campaigners have accused of being ‘unethical and often hugely destructive’…Today, the…Committee will release its verdict on the future of the mining and extractive industry. Echoing campaigners’ calls to toughen regulation, it recommends that the FCA’s remit be expanded to screen companies wanting to list on the London Stock Exchange on their social and environmental standards. Commenting on the recommendations of the report, Alex Scrivener, policy officer for the World Development Movement…said: “…The inquiry’s verdict is a real step in the right direction, but what we need now is for the government to act quickly to implement the…recommendations.”…Campaigners did not welcome the entire verdict…[Also refers to: Bumi] 

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Article
28 October 2014

MPs demand scrutiny of mining firms’ ethics

Author: Jim Arbitage, Independent (UK)

The Government must take action to prevent UK-based mining companies avoiding tax in some of the poorest parts of the world where they operate, MPs demanded today…The Business Select Committee, in a major report…said more must be done to stamp out the practice of shifting profits to low-cost tax havens…Adrian Bailey, chairman of the committee, said mining companies contributed to the UK through taxes, dividends and employment, “but reports of poor practice around the world are a cause for concern and give extractive industries a bad name”. The committee recommended an index to track the social responsibility of mining companies…The committee criticised how long it had taken the UK to sign up to the international Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative…make up for it, the UK should become a “beacon” for best practice, the committee urged. [Also refers to: ENRC]

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Article
28 October 2014

Press release: "Mining sector needs greater transparency and accountability"

Author: UK Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Committee

Extractive industries play an increasing role in the UK economy but more must be done to improve the social and environmental performance, transparency and reputation of UK-registered mining companies, says the Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Select Committee in a report published today. To encourage companies to act responsibly, the Committee calls on the Government to enable investors to look into and rank mining companies according to factors such as governance ethics, community relations, and the management of climate change.

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Article
21 October 2014

Full report: "The Extractive Industries"

Author: UK Business, Innovation and Skills Committee

Extractive companies contribute directly to the UK in a number of ways....However, the extractive sector is not without controversy, particularly when one considers reports of poor practice around the world. We heard that the UK is at risk of being associated with some of the negative practices often reported alongside the sector. To counter this, more needs to be done to improve to social and environmental performance, transparency and reputations of the companies it hosts. We recommend that the Government assesses and strengthens the level of information which is collected and published on the FTSE and the level of information companies are required to disclose. Furthermore, where the requirements in the UK fall short of international comparisons (specifically those in Johannesburg), they should be strengthened so that investors in the UK have the same opportunities and information about the environmental and social corporate governance practices of companies listed in the UK as they do on companies listed elsewhere. We strongly welcome the fact that the UK is embracing the EITI and forthcoming EU Directives on Transparency and Accounting. We have recommended that the UK becomes a beacon of best practice.

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