Publish What You Pay (PWYP) welcomes the US SEC’s 22 August 2012 adoption of rules for the Dodd-Frank Act Section 1504. The long-awaited release of these rules marks a watershed for the global movement for transparency and accountability in the oil, gas and mining sector, a movement that the global PWYP civil society coalition has led for a decade.
Key elements in the rules require US-listed extractive industry companies to report their payments to governments on a country-by-country and project-by-project basis. There will be no reporting exemptions of any kind, and a threshold has been set to require disclosure of all payments over US $100,000.
“Section 1504 is a very promising step in the fight against corruption and mismanagement of natural resource revenues and will empower citizens in some of the world’s poorest countries,” said Marinke van Riet, PWYP’s International Director. “Now we look to the European Union to introduce strong and effective country-by-country and project-by-project reporting rules under the Accounting and Transparency Directives.”
PWYP is also campaigning for comprehensive reporting rules in other major capital markets beyond the US and Europe, and believes that an effective global transparency standard will provide long-term benefits for companies and investors as well as for ordinary citizens.
Also commenting on the SEC rules, Arlene McCarthy MEP, one of the European Parliament rapporteurs for the EU legislation, said: “I welcome the SEC's rules in this area which underline the US's commitment to greater global transparency. However, we need to find a meaningful definition of 'project' that is not left open to interpretation. Project-level reporting is an essential requirement for transparency, and there is a strong majority in favour of it in the European Parliament. The EU will now focus its efforts on trying to find a solution to this issue which we hope can then be applied at a global level.”
PWYP and its members will give a more detailed response after scrutinising the US rules, which run to more than 200 pages.
Initial statements by PWYP coalition members:
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