Revenues from natural resources are often more challenging to manage than revenues from other sectors. Government revenues may vary as production and prices fluctuate from one year to the next. The resources are finite, so the sustainability of these revenues is also a key consideration.
Policies on public financial management and expenditure, economic diversification and savings for future generations affect the vulnerability of resource-rich countries to the volatility of the extractive sector. In many countries, in particular with large development needs, extractive companies often contribute with social investments in the communities where they operate. Such investments are typically either part of the contract governing the extractive project or made by the company on a voluntary basis. Such investments can often have a significant impact on the social and economic development of extractive regions.
The EITI promotes disclosure of information on revenue management and expenditures, and helps stakeholders assess whether the extractive sector revenues are well managed and are contributing to social and economic development. This includes information such as mandatory and voluntary social expenditures by companies, quasi-fiscal expenditures by state-owned companies, and the overall contribution of the extractive sector to the economy. In some countries, the EITI has contributed to provoke debate about savings options and public expenditure priorities, as well as strengthened budget oversight.