UK: Govt. review of transparency rules for oil & mining co's finds extractive reporting does not harm business interests

The UK Government's review of initial reporting by oil, gas and mining companies under the Reports on Payments to Governments Regulations found that the law requiring extractive companies to disclose details of payments to governments for oil and minerals had helped bring greater transparency to the sector. Importantly, the report also found that this type of reporting does not disadvantage company business interests, including their relationships with governments”. This finding in particular refutes claims made by US oil companies Exxon and Chevron that extractives transparency disclosures harm business interests. Civil society organisations have welcomed the Government's report and its renewed commitment to extractives transparency. 

Note: The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre has previously invited Chevron and Exxon to comment on their opposition to extractives transparency disclosure as well as the US withdrawal from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. Their responses can be found here.

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Article
5 July 2018

Publish What You Pay UK welcomes renewed UK Government commitment to extractives transparency

Author: Publish What You Pay UK

Publish What You Pay (PWYP) UK has welcomed the conclusions of the UK Government’s Post-Implementation Review (PIR) of initial reporting by oil, gas and mining companies under the UK’s Reports on Payments to Governments Regulations...

The UK Government’s review report [...] has found that the policy of requiring extractive companies to report their payments to governments country by country and project by project is “on course to achieve its objectives”...

Importantly, the UK review has found that “this type of reporting does not disadvantage company business interests, including their relationships with governments”.

“The [...] findings clearly refute claims made by [...] US oil companies Exxon and Chevron, that extractives transparency disclosures harm business interests...,” said [...] PWYP UK Coordinator...

“Since 2015 [...] UK-based and UK-listed oil, gas and mining companies including BHP Billiton, BP, Gazprom, Glencore, Rio Tinto, Shell and Sinopec have published tax, royalty and other payments... The UK Government report clearly recognises that much good work has been done and reaffirms the UK’s international policy commitment in this area.”

No strengthening of the regulations is currently envisaged by the review report, despite the fact that civil society urged attention to minor weaknesses in the reporting requirements and online reporting tools.

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Article
19 June 2018

Comment from the US Lugar Center on the UK report

Author: The Lugar Center

In a survey of the oil, gas, and mining companies covered by Britain’s version of Cardin-Lugar, which requires the companies to report their taxes, royalties, and other payments to the countries where they operate, the government found that the companies “did not report any substantial costs associated with this reporting,” and that “this type of reporting does not disadvantage company business interests, including their relationships with governments.” The government gave strong thumbs up to keeping the regulations in place.

This authoritative review of the real experience of real oil companies, issued last week, is a direct rebuke to the fanciful claims of alleged harm by the American oil industry and the Trump administration. Britain’s extractives reporting requirement, which came into force in 2014, is modeled on Cardin-Lugar, which was passed in 2010...

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Article
13 June 2018

UK Government endorses strong anti-corruption rules for oil and mining firms

Author: Global Witness

Global Witness welcomes today’s announcement by the UK Government of the findings from its review of a vital anti-corruption law for oil and mining companies.

The Government strongly endorsed the law, which requires extractive companies to publish details of the billions of dollars they pay to governments across the world in exchange for oil and minerals.

The Government concluded that the law had been a success in bringing greater transparency to the sector with no unnecessary costs to business, and found no indication that it harms companies’ commercial interests.

“Today, the UK government has reinforced its commitment to the fight against rampant corruption in the oil and mining industries. Its ringing endorsement of this vital law sets a positive example for decision-makers in the US and EU, where similar transparency rules for extractive companies are also coming under review,” said Dominic Eagleton, Oil Campaigner at Global Witness.

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Article
1 January 2018

Reports on payments to governments: Final report

Author: Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

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