Recent Articles

Carlos Monge, RWI Latin America Regional Coordinator, and colleagues deliver fresh news and insight. In issue August 15, a Bolivian gas find may increase exports to Argentina; Venezuela's state-owned PDVSA presents its annual financial report; and Chile's lithium framework is challenged.
A new U.S. initiative against corruption by senior foreign officials marks a major step forward in protecting natural resource revenues and safeguarding the interests of citizens in resource-rich countries, the Revenue Watch Institute said today.
A U.S. audit that found the U.S. Department of Defense unable to account properly for 96 percent of $9.1 billion in Iraqi funds from the sale of Iraq's oil underscores the need for Iraq's new government to adopt strong, transparent controls on oil revenues and spending if the country's oil industry is to fuel economic development rather than conflict.
Among the financial reforms approved by Congress in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is a measure that requires all companies registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission to report the amounts they pay to governments for access to oil, gas and minerals. The law gives investors and citizens new tools to hold companies and governments accountable.
Carlos Monge, RWI Latin America Regional Coordinator, and colleagues deliver fresh news and insight. In issue July 15, Peru considers a windfall profit tax; Chile seeks royalty increases to help earthquake-damaged regions; and Colombia's oil production approaches one million barrels per day.
The Wall Street reforms passed by Congress include historic transparency rule changes for the oil and mining industry, giving investors and citizens new tools to hold companies and governments accountable for their actions. Revenue Watch Director Karin Lissakers called the victory "the culmination of a long campaign by Revenue Watch and the Publish What You Pay coalition to make extractive industry activities truly transparent, in the U.S. and abroad."
Despite an ongoing military conflict, Afghanistan has worked since 2009 to build a mining sector that can provide sustainable wealth, passing a new hydrocarbons law and committing to implement the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. With the discovery of new mineral deposits worth an estimated one trillion dollars, the stakes for creating sound and accountable minerals management just got higher. Karin Lissakers describes steps that Afghan leaders can take to make the promised windfall a tool for national stability.
This week in New York, representatives from the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) met at the Revenue Watch Institute's New York office for a dialogue with members of the investment, civil society and corporate communities about rule changes that would add vital industry information to standard reporting requirements for petroleum and mining companies.
On the tenth anniversary of the Chad-Cameroon pipeline project, filmmaker Christiane Badgley reports from the beach town of Kribi, a Cameroonian city that stood to benefit from the pipeline project. Seven years after oil began flowing, Badgely says the town seems "untouched by any new oil wealth." (FRONTLINE/WORLD)
Last week, more improprieties surfaced at the scandal-plagued Minerals Management Service, where oil companies had been allowed unethical influence over regulatory activities in Louisiana. The planned reorganization of the troubled MMS is only a half-step towards true reform though. Revenue Watch Director Karin Lissakers writes that the ongoing situation makes it clear that transparency of key public data, which makes it far harder to hide regulatory or industry misdeeds, is critical to accountable government.
Development is underway for a new International Financial Reporting Standard that could make oil, gas and mining companies publish what they pay to governments for country in which they operate. Learn how you can take action to help secure important reporting reforms this June and July.
On June 3, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (the HKEx) puts new disclosure rules into effect for mineral companies, marking a significant step forward in the global campaign to establish greater transparency and accountability in the extractive industries. The rule change is a sign of positive momentum as the International Accounting Standards Board considers actions that could have even greater reach, and also weakens the case against greater disclosure by extractive companies on the basis of the disadvantage born by any "first mover."
A new report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) surveys the contributions made by mining companies to public finances, offering details on various forms of taxes and contributions, and suggestions for how companies could benefit from increased transparency in reporting their tax affairs.
On Friday, May 21, RWI partners including EG Justice and Global Witness present a discussion in Washington, D.C. on Equatorial Guinea's oil sector and the gaps in existing transparency efforts. The distinguished international panel will explore why U.S. government action is critical to addressing corruption and improving the lives of the citizens of Equatorial Guinea.
A proposal by U.S. Senators Richard Lugar and Ben Cardin would require any company listed on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to disclose payments to governments for access to natural resources. As Congress debates this amendment to financial reform legislation, and the best response to the BP oil spill, RWI Director Karin Lissakers explains the urgent need for legal reform to ensure extractive sector transparency and accountability. Read more at The Huffington Post ...
In late March, Oil & Gas Journal editor Bob Tippee spoke to a gathering of the Gas Processors Association (GPA) on the necessity of renewing a once-vibrant corporate conversation on the concept of the extractive industry's "license to operate." In an eloquent call to action, Tippee noted the important role that the Revenue Watch Institute has played in maintaining an emphasis on transparency in extractive industry contracting. Praising the insights of recent RWI report Contracts Confidential, Tippee exhorted GPA members to open their contracts up for public oversight, and transform them from objects of secrecy into vehicles for building trust.
Revenue Watch's Indonesian partner, PATTIRO, together with researcher Laura Paler of Columbia University and NGO LPAW, conducted an innovative grassroots campaign to raise awareness about government management of public finances at the local level.

Revenue Watch applauded the Government of Indonesia's announcement that Indonesia plans to implement the EITI. The presidential decree signed April 23 initiates several of the required steps to reach formal EITI candidate status. RWI praised Indonesia's leaders in particular for an "unequivocal commitment to go beyond minimum EITI standards."

On Sunday, April 25, the Revenue Watch Institute presented a dynamic policy discussion on lessons learned from the global financial crisis and the steps that local and international actors can take to insulate resource rich economies from future shocks and ensure the long-term benefits of extractive activity. 
Revenue Watch Institute Chairman Anthony Richter testified before the U.S. Helsinki Commission on Capitol Hill at a hearing on the links between revenue transparency and human rights. The commission convened the hearing as the Senate considers related extractive industry transparency legislation introduced by the commission's co-chair Senator Ben Cardin and Senator Richard Lugar, the Energy Security Through Transparency (ESTT) Act.
The global movement for accountable natural resource management gained ground today as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) resolved questions over the status of 18 countries that had missed a key deadline in the voluntary program. At a meeting in Berlin, Germany, the EITI International Board decided on limited extensions for 16 countries to complete their reporting and validation processes, including Kazakhstan, Timor Leste and Ghana.
Revenue Watch joins Amnesty International in calling for an immediate investigation into the illegal assault and detention of three Nigerian civil society activists by police on April 5. Three activists from the nonprofit group Social Action, which promotes citizen participation in the management of resource extraction, trade and investment that affect human rights, democracy and livelihoods, were violently stopped and arrested without explanation by police as they left their office.
The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) took important steps on April 6 to improve reporting and disclosure by the oil, gas and mining industries. But extractive industry experts said the proposals have been weakened by pressure from companies and have yet to clearly recommend reporting of the full information that investors and citizens need.
In late February, United Kingdom MP Chris Mullin of the Labour Party introduced an early day motion in Parliament urging the government to consider adopting legislation requiring extractive companies to fully disclose revenue payments to governments. A joint letter from six civil society groups exhorted MPs to "assist the struggle against corruption in the oil, gas and mining industries of the world" by supporting the measure, which could also go far in encouraging the US Congress to pass its Energy Security Through Transparency Act.
To manage the ravages of the global downturn, nations rich in oil and minerals must diversify their economies and create stronger policies that protect revenues from volatility in commodity and credit markets, according to a new series of recommendations released yesterday by the Revenue Watch Institute.