Recent Articles

The movement for improved disclosure and anti-corruption regulations gained further attention and momentum in the U.S. Congress this fall, as the Extractive Industries Transparency Disclosure Act picked up new sponsors in the House and the Senate. RWI has pushed hard with Publish What You Pay US over the past year and a half to get this bill introduced and approved in Congress.

Revenue Watch Africa regional coordinator Emmanuel Kuyole and deputy director Julie McCarthy joined more than 140 participants in Abuja, Nigeria this fall for Publish What You Pay's Africa regional meeting. RWI Program officer Angela Mugore led a validation training session, and RWI Fellow Susan Maples conducted a contracts disclosure training session.

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) is developing new rules for the extractives sector. The Revenue Watch Institute, Publish What You Pay and our partners have proposed standards that will produce new information about company payments, operations, costs and reserves in each country of operation.
Each night for a month, messages appeared on the cell phone of a community activist in one of Indonesia’s sprawling urban areas. The messages were consistent, the threat unsubtle: “If you want to live in this city, don’t talk about budgets.” Next came “informal conversations” with the local police, then interrogations. It is dangerous work to empower people, to provide them with information about malfeasance and the tools they need to collect official documents, to show students and housewives how to discover whether government officials, some local, some national, are mismanaging and sometimes skimming massive amounts of revenue paid by foreign companies to extract oil, minerals, and other natural resources.
At a September meeting of Publish What You Pay Guinea, senior economist Antoine Heuty presented a workshop on contract transparency. Heuty spoke with Guinea's La Nouvelle Tribune during his visit.
Through stunning photographs and firsthand commentary, this RWI slideshow reveals the stark problems of poverty, corruption and environmental abuse that continue to devastate the oil-rich Niger Delta. Narrated by Nigerian transparency advocate Asume Isaac Osuoka and award-winning photojournalist Ed Kashi.
The recent discovery of oil under the waters of Ghana’s Gold Coast gives Ghana a chance to use the projected new resource windfall—perhaps as much as an additional one billion dollars in government revenues per year—for development. But this will only happen if Ghana can avoid the usual traps of new oil wealth in developing countries. Revenue Watch partner Oxfam America says Ghana's record of good governance and stability make it a good candidate to approach oil exploitation with greater revenue transparency and better revenue management. Ghana has the chance to consolidate its accomplishments in fighting poverty, and continuing toward its Millennium Development Goals. 
In a joint letter to three top Norwegian ministers, Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Norway and PWYP International urged Norway to take new steps toward becoming an EITI candidate country. The Norwegian government announced its plans to implement EITI in September 2007, and the nation has been a key supporter of EITI since its inception, yet Norway has failed to take the first steps in the process.
It is a very sad irony that communities in the Niger Delta that sit atop huge oil and gas deposits have gotten nothing really in return. Rather than any wealth or benefits, what the community members have been getting is impoverishment, is diseases, death, destruction of their livelihoods.
Nigeria is the sixth largest producer of oil in the world—and now one of the major suppliers of U.S. oil in what has been called the scramble for African oil. Virtually all of Nigeria's oil is pumped from the nine states that make up the Niger Delta in the southeast of the country. Yet the delta remains the poorest region in the nation. Political gangsterism, corruption, and poverty seem to converge there. This month, the Revenue Watch Institute and the Open Society Institute Documentary Photography Project present a discussion of oil in the Niger Delta and the use of photography in advocating for social change.
The Revenue Watch Institute today applauded the introduction of legislation that will be essential in the fight to stabilize energy markets and end corruption in developing nations. Introduced on Friday by New York Senator Charles Schumer, the Extractive Industries Transparency Disclosure Act (S. 3389) would require companies registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission to publish payments made to foreign governments for oil, gas and minerals.
Publish What You Pay United States applauds Senator Charles Schumer for introducing the Extractive Industries Transparency Disclosure Act (S. 3389), companion legislation to the bill of the same name in the House of Representatives.
In the latest incident in what is emerging as a pattern of harassment and intimidation of anti-corruption campaigners in Gabon, national police attempted to arrest 5 people on Tuesday at a meeting of the Gabonese Civil Society Forum Against Poverty (FOSCPG) in Libreville.
In commentary in the Financial Times, Yahia Said calls for transparency in the negotiation of controversial Iraqi oil contracts, and help from international institutions as Iraq rebuilds its oil sector, its hobbled bureaucracy and trust between government and the citizens who stand to benefit in an improved Iraqi economy.
In a June 30 interview, Revenue Watch Middle East North Africa Director Yahia Said explained the latest steps by Iraq to revitalize its oil sector through contracts with U.S. and foreign firms, and the continuing barriers to new hydrocarbon legislation. "The Iraqis haven't agreed yet on two major issues," Said told Judy Woodruff of "NewsHour." "One is the division of power and responsibilities between the central government and the regions and the province over the industry, who controls the industry, who signs contracts, who manages the fields.
The U.S. House Financial Services Committee heard arguments today in support of the Extractive Industries Transparency Disclosure (EITD) Act, a new bill with the potential to strengthen American energy security and control energy prices by stabilizing business environments overseas.
In testimony on Thursday before the House Committee on Financial Services, the Revenue Watch Institute urged lawmakers to bolster energy security at home and fight corruption abroad through new reporting standards for the oil, gas and mining industries. The low-cost rule changes in H.R. 6066, the Extractive Industries Transparency Disclosure Act (EITD), would require companies to report payments to governments with greater detail, in an industry where closed-door deals and corruption undermine trust in local leaders and stability in the investment climate.
The Revenue Watch Institute (RWI) and Publish What You Pay (PWYP) deeply regret Gabon's decision to bar campaigner Marc Ona from leaving the national territory. Marc Ona was detained on the tarmac of Libreville airport on Thursday, June 6, while en route to an international meeting on revenue transparency in New York.

In a recent letter to the national energy ministry, the civil society groups leading Peru's EITI project called for government support and action on disclosure of extractive industry payments on a company-by-company basis, a core requirement of Peru's EITI action plan.

Publish What You Pay United States, a member of the global coalition of 350 groups working in 50 countries, today praised Rep. Barney Frank (D-Ma.), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, for introducing a bill that would require companies listed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to report payments to foreign governments for the extraction of oil, gas and minerals.
The Revenue Watch Institute today heralded a new U.S. bill that would require all foreign and domestic companies listed by the Securities and Exchange Commission to report oil, gas, and mineral payments made to foreign governments. The Extractive Industries Transparency Disclosure Act (EITD), introduced today by Representative Barney Frank (D-MA), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, would enable investors to assess risk by following the money paid to governments in regions where conflict, poverty, and instability are often fueled by the extractive industries.
An American film crew, visiting the Niger Delta to complete the production of a documentary "Sweet Crude," were arrested in transit between film locations on April 12. They were intercepted and apprehended by the Nigerian Joint Military Task Force led by Brigadier-General Rimtiip Wuyep for allegedly breaking security regulations and traveling without military clearance.
The Revenue Watch Institute welcomes today's World Bank announcement of a new comprehensive approach to helping resource-rich countries harness the current boom in oil and commodities prices for development. The Revenue Watch Institute works with activists and governments in resource-rich countries around the world.
As Iraq struggles to move beyond the deadlocked debate over oil legislation, a positive sign came last week when the nation formally expressed its interest in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. This is an encouraging step, as our colleague Yahia Said pointed out during his testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. With its February 21 letter to the EITI secretariat, Iraq's government officially declared its commitment to greater transparency in the management its vast oil revenues. Iraq holds the planet's second largest reserve of oil, now estimated at 300 billion barrels.
Iraq expert Yahia Said of the Revenue Watch Institute today warned that Iraq's development depends on the creation of a political dialogue that includes all Iraqis, and on the timely resolution of the country's oil law conflicts. "Nowhere is the gridlock caused by sectarian politics more evident than in the discussion of Iraq's oil legislation," explained Said, Revenue Watch Institute director for the Middle East and North Africa.