I have worked internationally in the fight against injustice and inequality for more than 20 years. In 2011 I joined Publish What You Pay as United Kingdom national coordinator to help achieve the European Union Accounting and Transparency Directives’ requirements for country-by-country reporting by extractive companies, followed by implementation of these disclosure rules as UK regulations. Given that the oil, gas and mining industries are among the most corrupt in the world, transparency and accountability are crucial if citizens are to benefit from their countries’ finite resources before these are depleted.
UK-registered and UK-listed oil, gas and mining companies are now (2017) in their second year of reporting payments to governments, together with companies across the EU and in Canada and Norway. We need plenty of civil society activists around the world to monitor companies’ reports and to raise concerns about inadequate reporting and questionable payments. I am keen to contribute to this effort.
With renewed challenges to the United States rule implementing Section 1504 of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, it is especially important for the UK to remain a leader in strengthening global extractives transparency. UK civil society advocates extending transparency requirements to cover commodity trading (company disclosure of payments to governments for the sale of oil, gas and minerals), as well as to the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and to the UK’s Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies such as Guernsey. And we want to see the UK government more actively monitoring company reporting.
Also, as part of my work with PWYP I helped set up the UK Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Civil Society Network and have represented civil society on the UK EITI Multi-Stakeholder Group.