Contract Transparency

What is PWYP’s ask?

PWYP calls for greater public scrutiny of the deals that are signed between governments and extractive industry companies. The contracting process itself should be fully open, from tendering to award. The content of the contract, lease or concession agreement should be accessible to the citizenry. PWYP pushes for the adoption of open competitive bidding rounds as a best practice and a preferable option to the closed-door negotiated deal types that some countries use.

Why does PWYP focus on contracts?

Contract negotiation is an important point along the value chain where money can be siphoned off and lost to corruption. Increased transparency in this process will reduce the chances of this happening so that all citizens can benefit from the sale of their natural resources.

The fiscal terms contained within the contracts dictate how much companies will pay. With contract transparency, citizens can assess whether companies are paying what they ought to pay. Publishing contracts will also give citizens the opportunity to monitor compliance with and adherence to the contract.

If contracts remain opaque, citizens have no way of knowing whether they are getting a fair deal for their resources and no means of finding out where the money goes.

PWYP’s work on contracts

At the regional level, PWYP Africa has made contract transparency a key part of its agenda over the forthcoming years. This includes collaborating with regional bodies such as the African Development Bank and African Union as well as promoting the exchange of lessons learned and experiences across African coalitions. Many PWYP coalitions campaign at the national level for contract disclosure, whether they seek to introduce it through revisions to mining codes or through the implementation of EITI.

Who has published contracts?

This map shows which governments have published extractive contracts and provides links to these. Countries with a dark blue marker have published most or all their extractive contracts online. Countries with a light blue marker have only published some contracts, or have legislated to publish contracts but have not yet done so.

This map is still in its early phases, please email apowell@publishwhatyoupay.org if you think that there are any mistakes or omissions.

View this map on a full page.

Resources on Contract Transparency

  • www.resourcecontracts.org houses over 225 oil, mineral and land contracts from 23 countries. The site also includes user-friendly summaries of key contract terms, and the list of contracts on the site is continually growing. This is a project by the Natural Resource Governance Institute, the World Bank and the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment. If you have any questions or comments, please contact pheller(at)resourcegovernance(dot)org
  • Open Oil's booksprint resulted in this manual, How to read an understand oil contracts
  • Another important resource, How to Read and Understand Mining Contracts
  • Explore the section in EI Sourcebook on contracts