EITI Chairman comments on TI's Report on Revenue Transparency of Oil and Gas Companies

[img_assist|nid=348|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=150|height=142]On Monday 29 April Transparency International launched its report Promoting Revenue Transparency – 2008 Report on Revenue Transparency of Oil and Gas Companies.

The report is the result of an evaluation of 42 leading oil and gas companies operating in 21 countries on their current policies, management systems and performance in areas relevant to revenue transparency in their upstream operations.  The report is the latest contribution to the increasing debate on the role of companies in promoting the good management of natural resources.

Peter Eigen, Chairman of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), said commenting on the launch:

"The EITI wholeheartedly agrees with the report’s main conclusion that ‘oil and gas industry leaders are demonstrating that revenue transparency is possible. Big steps have been taken in the last decade, but there is still a long way to go."

"The EITI is not a silver bullet ensuring that natural resources bring development. However, as well as creating a level-playing field for all companies, we are starting to see that the EITI is leading to increased public awareness and good governance. Under EITI, companies report what they pay to governments in taxes and royalties and, in turn, governments report what they receive from the companies."

"38 major oil, gas and mining companies have committed their support to the EITI internationally, and have played an enormous role in developing the initiative.  By doing so, they have committed publicly to encouraging high standards of transparency and accountability in business.  However, the management of natural resource wealth is ultimately the role of the sovereign governments."

"I note that of the 21 countries reviewed, only four are implementing the EITI and only two had reported according the EITI. It follows that some of the companies supporting the EITI, and particularly those with operations in a large number of countries that have not decided to implement the EITI, are not being recognized for their supporting efforts in the many countries that are implementing the EITI."

"The EITI is a still young initiative, with only 10 countries as yet having produced EITI reports.  Within two years, we expect that there will be more evidence of the importance of companies’ engagement in the initiative as part of their wider transparency efforts."