Recent Articles

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.
Senior financial and development experts today supported the Natural Resource Charter (NRC) as a guide for societies managing oil or mineral wealth. "Natural resources can be a lifeline to prosperity," Charter co-author Professor Paul Collier said in Washington, D.C., "but harnessing their potential is both technically and politically challenging." Collier led a panel discussion during IMF/World Bank meetings, debating how countries can best choose between saving and spending windfalls from natural resources.
The Revenue Watch Index is a pioneering measurement of government disclosure in the management of oil, gas and minerals, ranking transparency in 41 countries among the world's top producers of petroleum, gold, copper and diamonds. The index is an assessment and comparison of information published by governments about revenues, contract terms and other key data. It is an important tool for elected officials, policy makers, civil society and media seeking increased public disclosure about natural resource management, and greater government accountability.
Carlos Monge, RWI Latin America Regional Coordinator, and colleagues deliver fresh news and insight. In the September issue, Brazil's PETROBRAS raises US $70 billion in the world's largest share offering and Colombia's Congress discusses a bill that would modify royalty distribution.
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.
Based on a methodical assessment of 41 resource-rich countries, the Revenue Watch Index is the first attempt to measure and compare the information governments disclose about the oil, gas and mining industries. On October 6 in Washington, D.C., leaders and experts from Revenue Watch and Transparency International will meet to discuss the findings of the index and their implications for governments, citizens, civil society groups and the media.
Carlos Monge, RWI Latin America Regional Coordinator, and colleagues deliver fresh news and insight. In issue August 31, Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago sign a gas pact; Bolivian President Evo Morales modifies the iron territory granted to Jindal Steel; and Brazil weighs reducing its gas imports from Bolivia.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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 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. 
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.
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.
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.

On Wednesday, March 31 Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz and Chris Canavan of Goldman Sachs joined the Revenue Watch Institute for a conversation at Columbia University about the implications of the world financial crisis for resource-exporting countries. The expert panel also included Revenue Watch authors Antoine Heuty and Sarah Pray and was moderated by journalist Dino Mahtani.

As 22 countries in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) faced a deadline today for completing their national validation processes, the Revenue Watch Institute called for clear and consistent standards in the Initiative's response to the 20 countries whose validation work unfortunately remains incomplete.
Over the course of 2009, Revenue Watch and our partners saw great strides toward more transparent and accountable management of natural resources. Through our innovative training approaches, cutting edge research, focused advocacy, grant-making and expert technical assistance, we supported systemic change to turn resource wealth into lasting benefits for citizens.