UK parliamentary committee: UK should implement EITI

The recommendation came in a report released 23 August.

A report from the UK International Development Select Committee released 23 August, recommended that the country should implement the EITI.  The report, available at the Parliament's website, concludes that “Given that the UK was involved in founding the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), we feel that it should now become an EITI candidate itself”.

The Committee also encourages the “EITI to broaden its scope [to] require participating corporations and governments to publish the contracts which exist between them, and [to] also require the publication of percentage figures in addition to absolute figures”.

In evidence to the enquiry, the UK’s leading industry body, the Confederation of British Industries (CBI) wrote that “the CBI believes that some transparency in [EU] countries which allows a tracing of payments from companies through into the government system can be very valuable. In that respect we would point out the considerable success of the EITI. Any way in which the EITI could be extended would be very beneficial. (In that regard, we would note that the United States has just agreed to join the EITI, and we believe that EU Member States could also set a positive example by signing up)”.

On reading the report, EITI Chair Clare Short said “I agree with this recommendation. If the UK agreed to join the EITI, it would cease to tell developing countries what they should do, without doing it itself, and therefore provide real international leadership. As Norway has shown, implementation of the EITI  brings negligible costs and if oil were to be discovered near the Falklands, transparency would be highly desirable. There is now  support from companies, civil society, parliament and media, for UK implementation of the EITI and I hope that we can work with the government to make this happen.

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