Recent Articles

The Revenue Watch Institute congratulates our colleagues in the international Publish What You Pay coalition for winning the 2010 Commitment to Development "Ideas in Action" Award. PWYP was particularly commended for its role in helping pass the Cardin-Lugar transparency provision of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
RWI's Indonesian partner PATTIRO released a short video that outlines challenges for "oil towns" and civil society efforts to create sustainable development.
On October 31, citizens of Niger voted on a new constitution that includes extraordinary assurances of transparency in the natural resource sector. The new constitution, which was approved by an overwhelming 90% margin, includes strong protections for transparency and development that, if enforced effectively, will bolster public oversight and the accountability of the country's crucial mineral and petroleum activities.
In October, the Open Society Justice Initiative published a new report from law professor James G. Stewart that seeks to renew millenia-old prohibitions on wartime theft, or pillaging, through action at international and domestic criminal courts--particularly as pillaging applies to the illegal exploitation of natural resources by corporations and their officers.
In June, the World Bank published Demanding Good Governance: Lessons from Social Accountability Initiatives in Africa—a collection of case studies from across the continent that showcases citizen campaigns to enhance government accountability and transparency. Revenue Watch's Dauda Garuba and co-author John G. Ikubaje contributed a chapter, "The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and Publish What You Pay Nigeria," highlighting a lesson in government and civil society cooperation.
The Open Budget Survey 2010, released today in Washington, D.C., reveals that 74 of the 94 countries assessed do not meet basic standards of transparency with their national budgets. The report is produced every two years based on an independent comparison of budget transparency and accountability around the world. The new survey finds that just seven of the 94 countries release extensive budget information, and 40 countries release no meaningful budget information.
A Russian decree suspending required oil revenue disclosures is a significant step back.
Revenue Watch was heartened by President Obama's strong praise for open government in his address to the UN General Assembly. Obama also welcomed new U.S. requirements for company reporting of extractive industry payments, during comments to the Millennium Development Goals Summit.
In a recent CNN interview, Antoine Heuty of RWI and Ashraf Haidari of the Embassy of Afghanistan discusssed the prospects for improved development and for increased conflict and corruption in Afghanistan, where vast untapped mineral riches have recently sparked international attention and calls for good governance of the war-torn countries mineral sector.
In a letter to Revenue Watch Director Karin Lissakers, U.S. Senator Richard Lugar notes RWI's exceptional efforts in securing the new extractive industry reporting requirements for all U.S. and foreign companies registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Revenue Watch Director Karin Lissakers responds to a recent Wall Street Journal article on the new energy sector reporting rules in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, calling on oil companies to demonstrate their commitment to a more level competitive field by supporting global standards for better disclosure practices.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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 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.