Why is Tax Justice central to the accountability agenda in the extractives sector?

On 20 April 2018 PWYP hosted a webinar on tax and extractives as part of our ongoing engagement with PWYP members around the world to inform the PWYP 2020-2025 global strategy.

Kwesi Obeng kicked off the conversation with a presentation of the key ideas in his discussion paper, with respondents Daniel Mule (Senior Policy Advisor on tax and extractives at Oxfam US) and Mona Thowsen (Secretary General PWYP Norway) picking up and exploring some of those themes in the context of their work at national and global levels.

Following the webinar, Elisa Peter, Executive Director and Stephanie Rochford, Director of Member Engagement, sat down to discuss what we learned and how some of the discussion might be reflected in PWYP’s strategic planning for 2020 to 2025.

– – – – –

Stephanie: Tax Justice is an umbrella concept that covers a wide range of issues – from the misguided use of tax incentives by governments to attract investment, to the need for cost-related data disclosure (in addition to payment data), to the use of tax havens by multinational companies that divert potential tax revenues, to questions relating to mineral quality and quantity, to the rights of communities (who are the ones most impacted by extractive activities) to access services and livelihoods. What are the themes that you felt resonated most strongly with our members during the discussion?

Elisa: Well it’s clear that members already see PWYP’s work to date as a contribution to a broad Tax Justice movement, given PWYP’s mission to ensure that any benefit (including tax revenues) derived from resource extraction is shared sustainably and equitably. I think that really came out clearly in this conversation – PWYP’s work at national and global levels is happening in the context of a Tax Justice agenda. This includes not only our flagship PWYP campaign on payment disclosure, but also the more recent push for beneficial ownership data, including through the EITI Standard; as well as the calls of many of our coalitions in the ‘home’ countries of multinational extractive companies for more transparency on tax through extended country by country reporting, as Mona from PWYP Norway pointed out. So, really, the question is not so much if but rather how PWYP can situate itself more strategically to work with other actors in the Tax Justice movement in a way that will enhance our respective impact and build on PWYP’s strengths as a global network of civil society activists.

Stephanie: Yes, PWYP’s strength and unique value absolutely lies in our member organisations – and many of them are human rights defenders. To what extent do you see an opportunity for PWYP to bring the rights of communities to the fore by incorporating aspects of the Tax Justice agenda more explicitly into our global strategy?

Elisa: That’s something that I think is becoming more evident: there’s a clear demand to look not only at the revenue collection aspect of a fair tax system but also how those taxes are then spent in a way that meets the needs of citizens, acknowledging that those needs will be very different depending on gender, class, poverty levels and many other factors. The example of Oxfam’s “Even it up” campaign can be a really useful one for PWYP to take inspiration from! Even if a country is able to capture the fair share of revenues generated by extraction through a solid fiscal regime, it is essential that the spending of these revenues is then managed effectively to alleviate poverty and end extreme inequality. Only when all these pieces are in place can natural resource exploitation be a force for good.

Stephanie: On that note, the question of the explicit link between tax and gender equality was posed during the discussion. Maybe that’s an angle where PWYP can add value at a global level?

Elisa: I was really pleased that this question of how tax relates to gender came up, particularly in light of the recent launch of our gender and EITI pilot project, which recognises that the transparency and accountability movement as a whole has not paid sufficient attention to the different ways in which women and men are able to participate in calling for and using extractives data. Kwesi’s response clearly highlighted that tax is absolutely gender discriminatory: for example, when tax breaks are offered for the benefit of corporations and their investors, the result is a reduced provision of the services that women tend to rely heavily on (such as healthcare, etc). So I definitely would like to see us continue to reflect on how we can do more as a movement to recognise and address the specific ways in which women are impacted by seemingly far removed macroeconomics decisions like tax policies.

Stephanie: Mukasiri Sibanda from PWYP Zimbabwe was unfortunately not able to join the webinar today, but he has eloquently expressed the need to ensure that the focus of PWYP’s work, as well as that of the Tax Justice movement, should be rooted in the rights of communities in resource rich countries to access services such as education, healthcare, infrastructure etc.

Elisa: Yes, and Daniel noted that greater participation in, and oversight of, expenditure of extractive revenues is a critical aspect of PWYP’s larger theory of change; but there are also a lot of challenges for PWYP members when it comes to looking at extractive revenues.

Stephanie: That’s true – unlike the issue of tax administration and collection, questions relating to expenditure of extractive revenues ultimately move into the realm of public financial management more broadly, since it’s rare to see ring-fenced budgets which would allow extractive revenue expenditure to be tracked. So the question of accountability here goes beyond extractives.

Elisa: I don’t think there’s a clear answer on how to handle this challenge – as a movement we will need to wrestle with the extent to which PWYP should, or is in a position to, focus our efforts on wider questions of public financial management.

Stephanie: And we have an all too timely example of why that’s not a conversation that PWYP can shy away from…

Elisa: Yes, the arrest of PWYP Niger national coordinator and Board member, Ali Idrissa, came about as a result of peacefully protesting against a finance law that they argue will foster corruption and facilitate tax breaks for the elite. Ali’s arrest brings home the realities of the powerful interests at play when it comes to natural resource extraction, and that accountability – natural resource justice – is not yet achieved and is going to be a hard won battle.

Stephanie: Yes, and this is something that we hope our new strategy will reflect as well – how PWYP members can create spaces to hold those powers to account. In terms of where we go next with our strategic planning in the context of Tax Justice in particular, what are some of the ideas that we want to bring to the PWYP Global Council when they meet in a couple of weeks to refine the 2020-2025 strategic priorities?

Elisa: There were a few key ideas from each of the participants that I found really exciting. For example, thinking about how we can leverage the power of the PWYP collective to tackle issues relating to tax incentives (something that Don Hubert clearly identifies as an entry point for engagement in the PWYP Canada report, “Many Ways to Lose a Billion”). Equally, there seem to be a few windows of opportunity to engage with corporate actors (for example, building on the work of the BTeam to develop responsible tax principles); or with multilateral institutions like the World Bank who are in a position to influence discriminatory tax systems. And there was a suggestion to develop more case studies that evidence the ways in which tax evasion and abuse in the extractive sector is facilitated, and the impact it has.

Stephanie: I agree, those were all really interesting aspects to consider. In addition, there was a clear message on the webinar that we need to capitalise on PWYP’s work over the past 16 years to make payment and contract information available, and to equip our members to use that information to make the evidence-based case for the equitable and sustainable management of the extractive sector.

Elisa: Absolutely – and we will continue that call for transparency which is what provides us with the evidence base to push for change.

– – – – –

Thanks to all those who joined the webinar and contributed your questions and comments. You can find a summary of the first webinar on The Future of Extraction here.

And if you missed the webinar you can catch up by watching the recoding below:

Further webinars on tax and extractives are taking place in French and Russian this week.

Further reading:

Putting extractives data to use: unpacking payments to governments’ reports

This post was originally posted by PWYP Canada on their website.

In May/June of 2017 the first Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act (ESTMA) reports were publicly filed in Canada, which for the first time gave the public access to data on project level royalty, tax, and other payments made by oil, gas, and mining companies to extract natural resources. With over 400 unique companies disclosing data, this represents an unprecedented opportunity to better understand revenues flows in the global extractive sector.

In response to this reporting, PWYP-Canada launched a new work program to do three things: 1) create a database of the payment data; 2) analyze several reports at the project level to better understand the project, corporate structure, and basis of reporting; and 3) use the aggregate data to undertake several country/regional-level analyses.

The second activity has led to a series of mini-case studies focused on the mining sector. We focused on the mining sector for several reasons: the majority of Canadian companies with international operations are mining companies, and Canadian mining companies disclose significantly more project-level data than oil and gas companies. These mini-case studies focus on individual mines or projects and have several broad objectives:

  1. They unpack the payments disclosed in ESTMA reports and provide further information from communications with the company and company filings about the payments.
  2. They provide some context for the project, including the history of the mine, an overview of the mining code, some information about the corporate structure, and a brief overview of any pertinent issues related to the mine (lawsuits, significant social unrest).
  3. They provide an analysis of the company reports that can help to inform civil society advocacy efforts in-country.

The mini-cases are an experiment. The power of this type of analysis is untested, but at a minimum, we hope that they will provide the community of data users with more information about how payments and payments to governments reports are calculated. At a maximum, we hope these cases are used to inform new, more in-depth analysis and in-country advocacy campaigns.

Resources

To conduct the research for these mini-cases, the researcher drew upon several filings made by public Canadian mining companies:

  • Annual Information Forms (Company websites under investors or through SEDAR)
  • Technical Reports
  • The researcher also examined other more generic company reporting:

  • Annual reports
  • Corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports
  • Financial statements
  • Corporate presentations
  • The researcher also looked for general information about the fiscal regime in the country, examining:

  • The mining code or a description of the mining code by global legal or accounting firms
  • Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) reports, where available
  • Publicly available contracts (resourcecontracts.org)
  • Information about the company on the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre.
  • The researcher was also provided a guide, in draft form, put together by Global Witness and Resources for Development Consulting which provides different methodologies for analyzing payments to government reports. This methodology provides guidance on how to conduct a royalty verification and audit. This process, at its simplest, involves determining three things:

    • Production sold that year
    • The average sales price (use the price disclosed by the company if available)
    • The royalty rate

    Hypothetical Example: Royalty Verification in the Gold Sector
    2000 oz sold x 1200 USD/oz (average price) x 4% royalty

    Royalty Verification or Audit

    A royalty verification involves several methodological assumptions:

    1. The royalty is based production.
    2. The royalty payment was calculated based on production during the year the payment was made (royalty paid in 2016 = calculated based on 2016 production).
    3. The royalty is fixed (i.e. not a variable rate royalty).
    4. The royalty payment has no deductions for costs accrued during production by the company.

    For a description of different types of royalties see Mining Contracts: How to Read and Understand Them (pg. 68-73).

    Were the assumptions true in the cases we looked at?

    1. Almost all the royalties we looked at were based on production (and not profit)
    2. Many were not paid on production/sales from the year when the ESTMA payment was made. For example, in one case cash payments disclosed in the ESTMA report were based on the first three quarters of 2016 and the last quarter of 2015. Given that the company disclosed project level production on a quarterly basis, we were able to tailor the royalty verification to this scenario.
    3. A few varied depending on the sales price. In these cases, there was sometimes sufficient data to tailor the royalty verification to this scenario.
    4. Several had allowable deductions for transportation and refining. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to verify allowable cost deductions from a royalty payment, as it would require further information about those costs and how they are calculated.

    Regardless of whether the assumptions proved to be true, royalty verifications are an important tool that civil society can use to audit royalty payments.

    Single Asset Companies

    Many of the companies we looked at were single asset companies or had only one asset in the country we looked at. Single asset companies are easier to analyze because their corporate reporting is based on production from only one project, thus the majority of the corporate data is already relevant to the project under examination.

    Cash versus Accruals

    It is important to remember that payments to governments reports are based on cash payments made in the company’s fiscal year to the relevant governments. In contrast, a company’s financial statements are based on accruals accounting. The accrual method of accounting, which is the most popular, records revenues and expenses when they are earned, regardless of when the money is received or paid. Thus we cannot expect a company’s financial statements to mirror their payments to government reports. Nevertheless, large discrepancies may warrant further investigation.

    Structure

    The structure and the information contained in the mini-cases can and should be subject to feedback. It may be that future mini-cases will have a different structure based on stakeholder feedback. However, the first are structured as follows:

    • Company background and key financial data
    • Corporate structure – flagging any concerns (tax haven subsidiaries, etc.) where applicable (found in a company’s Annual Information Form filed on www.sedar.com)
    • A description of the project and a map
    • Brief overview of mining in the country and any relevant issues (tax disputes, social unrest, lawsuits)
    • An overview of the payments in the ESTMA report
    • A royalty verification (projects selected were all in production and included royalty payments)
    • A description of the payments in the ESTMA reports, including any notes and further detail provided by company reports and company communications
    • Citations
    The Development Process

    To build the mini-cases, the researcher first put together an initial draft of the report, which was reviewed by the PWYP-Canada Director, who provided feedback and further guidance. For any type of analysis, expert peer review is a crucial step in the process. The second (sometimes third) draft was sent to a civil society stakeholder and the company for their review. Feedback from these exchanges was incorporated and at times, follow up questions were sent.

    The process of receiving and incorporating feedback was lengthy, as sometimes the royalty verification needed to be completely redone. For example, in the case of the Sabodala Mine, it turns out that the payment Teranga Gold made to the Government of Senegal for royalties was for total production in 2015 and the first three financial three quarters of 2016. In other cases, a company provided information about a royalty that was previous unclear from our research. For example, Tahoe Resources provided clarity about how voluntary royalties are calculated and disclosed.

    One thing that is clear is that companies are very willing to provide feedback on the cases and to help stakeholders better understand their in-company payments.
    After integrating all the comments, the reports were finalized, formatted, and edited. You can access our completed and published case studies here, but watch this space for updates, as there are still more to come!

    Case Selection and the Limitations of the Methodology

    Some of the research conducted here was made easier because of the attributes of the cases selected:
    In Canada, mining projects have more detailed information available at the project level, than both oil and gas companies and non-Canadian-listed mining companies. This is because Canadian mining companies have to file project-level Technical Reports which are often between 100 and 300 pages and can provide information about the fiscal regime, permits, economic/social/environmental risks, and financial models.

    Canadian companies have to file Annual Information Forms (AIFs), which can be found on the company website or on SEDAR, which often include a relatively detailed organizational chart of the company structure.

    Producing projects have larger payments that allow for more analysis.

    What’s next?

    The next step for PWYP-Canada is to work with the global coalition to mobilize these reports and assess how they may be able to impact advocacy plans or integrate with existing advocacy work. We then need to determine whether another round of cases would make a valuable contribution to the space and whether our budget will allow for it. We would definitely encourage other coalitions to consider trying out this methodology themselves and would be more than happy to support these efforts. We look forward to working together to mobilize the mini-cases, assess their impact, revise the methodology, and identify new cases.

    Many ways to lose a billion

    Countries rich in oil, gas and minerals often fail to secure a fair share of their natural resource wealth. Revenue loss from the extractive sector is particularly significant given the large
    number of countries that depend on natural resource revenues for a substantial portion of their annual budgets. Companies employ a wide range of strategies to minimize their payments to
    governments. Their efforts to avoid tax are facilitated by weak institutions, inadequate policies and regulations, badly negotiated contracts, and insufficient government monitoring and auditing.

    This report, by PWYP Canada, responds to a persistent question: is my government receiving its fair share of revenues from extractive sector projects? While no single report can specify what constitutes a fair share for every resource project, by identifying and illustrating the common pathways to government revenue loss in the extractive sector, this report will help stakeholders pinpoint mechanisms and policies that can safeguard critical revenues.

    Hundreds of mining, oil and gas companies reveal payments to governments for the first time, in Canada and around the world

    PWYP Canada small

    Ottawa, Canada – June 8th, 2017

    Today, Publish What You Pay-Canada welcomes the public disclosure of hundreds of reports detailing payments to governments by Canadian extractive companies. For most companies, this represents the first time these payments have been made public.

    “With more than 1200 Canadian-listed extractive companies operating in over 100 countries, the disclosure of payments in Canada will increase the transparency of the extractive sector globally,” stated Claire Woodside, PWYP-Canada Director. “These new reports will also provide meaningful data about payment flows to federal, provincial and territorial governments in Canada, where this information has previously not been available to the public in a systematic way.”

    The reports, filed with Natural Resources Canada and posted on their website, have been made available due to the implementation of the Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act. An Act that requires all Canadian registered and listed extractive companies to disclose payments to governments in Canada and abroad. PWYP-Canada championed the development and passage of this Act through an innovative collaboration with Canadian mining industry associations and the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI).

    “Our global partners are looking forward to examining these report more closely,” said Ian Thomson of Oxfam Canada. “Many communities are impacted by large-scale Canadian resource extraction projects, but lack critical information about the revenues flowing to governments from these projects. Citizens want to know if their countries are getting a fair deal.”

    In the coming months, PWYP-Canada, with the support of NRGI, will work to create a central database of the reports, in addition to analyzing individual reports and raising awareness about the reporting more broadly.

    “Transparency in the natural resource sector is critical to accountable resource governance and to evidence-based policy-making,” stated Kady Seguin, Partnership Africa Canada, “with these reports, Canada is leading the way to a more transparent and accountable global resource sector.”

    Publish What You Pay-Canada is the national coalition of the global PWYP network. A network of over 800 civil society organizations in more than 40 countries united in their call for a more transparent and accountable extractive sector, that enables citizens to have a say over whether their resources are extracted, how they are extracted and how their extractive revenues are spent.

    Media Contact:

    Claire Woodside, Publish What You Pay Canada, cwoodside@pwyp.ca, 613-237-6768 ext 29 or 613-794- 3536, @pwypcanada

    The press release is also available here.

    Organizations unite to call for Canada to take swift action to end secret companies

    Canada must take this opportunity to demonstrate global leadership and implement a public, central registry of the beneficial owners of companies and trusts

    Ottawa, Canada – December 9th, 2016

    Anonymous companies are the getaway vehicles of corruption. Today, over twenty diverse organizations from within and outside of Canada, unite to call on the Government of Canada to take action and create a central public registry of companies and trusts. By taking this action, Canada will show national and global leadership in the efforts to shed light on anonymous companies – companies whose ownership is difficult or impossible to discern. Major corruption scandals in the last decade have one thing in common: they involve individuals that use a complex web of companies and other legal entities to obscure their identity.

    Anonymous companies pose a big problem in Canada. A recent evaluation by the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force states that in Canada “(l)egal persons and arrangements are at a high risk of misuse, and that risk is not mitigated.” Further, the Panama
    Papers reveal that Mossack Fonseca marketed Canada as a good place to register a secret company.

    “In Canada, you need to provide more information to get a library card than to set up a company,” said Alesia Nahirny, Executive Director of Transparency International Canada.

    “No Canadian wants Canada to become a hotspot for tax evasion and money laundering, yet that is the risk we face,” stated Publish What You Pay Canada Director Claire Woodside.

    “Creating a central public registry of the beneficial ownership of companies and other legal entities is global best practice. It will underpin a strong accountability regime, where authorities can more effectively identify those who evade taxes and launder money.”

    “Anonymous companies are routinely at the heart of tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance schemes, money laundering, and fraud,” commented Dennis Howlett, Executive Director of Canadians for Tax Fairness. “Further, they serve no legitimate purpose.”

    A central registry of companies and trusts that is made available to the public in open data format will help to speed up investigations; increase government revenues by enabling more effective efforts to crack down on tax evaders; help businesses meet their anti-money laundering obligations; and enable more effective public accountability.

    “Momentum is building globally to stop the secrecy behind company ownership that enables the corrupt and other criminals to get away with crimes that rip off innocent people, businesses and the government,” said Stefanie Ostfeld of Global Witness. “At least nine countries have or are in the process of creating public registries of beneficial ownership, the European Union already requires this disclosure and is considering making it public and many more countries are considering moving in this direction.”

    Beneficial ownership transparency does not just benefit society, but also the business community. “Corporate transparency is an important part of any good business community.

    Business has a responsibility to the society within which it exists and having clear ownership is an important piece of this,” said Mike Gifford of OpenConcept Consulting Inc.

    Download the letter here.

    Media Contacts:
    Claire Woodside, Publish What You Pay Canada, cwoodside@pwyp.ca, +1 (613) 7943536, @pwypcanada

    Dennis Howlett, Canadians for Tax Fairness, dennis.howlett@taxfairness.ca, +1 (613) 863-3670, @Cdntaxfairness

    Open Letter to Minister of Natural Resources Carr & President of the Treasury Board Brison on Open Data

    Dear Minister of Natural Resources Carr & President of the Treasury Board of Canada Brison,

    As Publish What You Pay ‘Data Extractors’, we are writing as a group of activists from around the world, united in our desire to use data from the oil, mining and gas industries to hold governments and companies to account, and to ensure that citizens in each of our countries are involved in decision-making processes around natural resources. Through the Data Extractors programme, we have spent much of the past year examining different sources of extractives data, and learning how to apply different data tools to use this data to achieve our goals.

    A year on from Canada’s hosting of the International Open Data Conference in Ottawa, we are eagerly awaiting the first ‘payments to governments’ reports submitted in line with Canada’s Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act (ESTMA).

    Given the Canadian Government’s commitment to a policy of ‘open by default’ we were disappointed to learn that Canada continues to allow companies to file ESTMA reports in either PDF or Excel formats. If companies choose to report in PDF format, which in our experience they often do, our work is made considerably harder. To extract, copy or make use of data from a PDF requires time, training and sometimes expensive computer programmes. Open formats (as defined by the Open Definition) greatly increase usability, encourage genuine interaction with data, and make civil society scrutiny much easier. Open data must become the global standard.

    The Canadian government committed to implement ESTMA through the Open Government Partnership, where Canada has championed open data, chairing the Open Data Working Group. Championing open data internationally means also doing so at home.

    Data that is unused does not improve governance, financial accountability or ultimately democracy. Canadian extractive companies have over 100 properties in over 100 countries. As a result, Canada has the opportunity to demonstrate a commitment to the core value of openness by requiring that all ESTMA reports are disclosed in an open format, such as CSV or Excel, by 2018. We would like to take this opportunity to strongly urge the Canadian government to reconsider its position on extractives data, and to insist that Canadian extractive companies report in an open and machine-readable format.

    Yours Truly,

    The Publish What You Pay Data Extractors

    Dominic Eagleton, Global Witness

    Munkhjargal Enkhbaatar, Transparency International – Mongolia

    Edmond Kangamungazi, Publish What You Pay – Zambia

    Miles Litvinoff, Publish What You Pay – UK

    Meliana Lumbantoruan, Publish What You Pay – Indonesia

    Waseem Mardini, Publish What You Pay – US

    Jana Morgan, Publish What You Pay – US

    Camilo Nhancale, KUWUKA JDA, Mozambique

    Quentin Parrinello, Publish What You Pay – France

    Abdoulaye Seydou, Réseau des Organisations pour la Transparence et l’Analyse Budgétaire (ROTAB), Niger

    Mukasiri Sibanda, Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association

    Dewi Yuliandini, Publish What You Pay – Indonesia

    Marco Zaplan, Bantay Kita, Philippines

    Canada moves to increase transparency in the extractive industries globally

    On Monday June 1st, 2015, the Government of Canada announced that the Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act (ESTMA) has come into force, a move that was welcomed by members of the Publish What You Pay coalition around the world.

    The ESTMA, which was enacted in December 2014, requires public and private oil, gas and mining companies in Canada to publish the payments that they make to all levels of government both in Canada and internationally. Its adoption follows the enactment of similar pieces of legislation in the United States, the European Union and Norway.

    Such laws stem from the recognition that in many countries, citizens are kept in the dark about the revenues generated from their natural resources. This lack of transparency has fuelled corruption and mismanagement in many resource-rich countries and has kept citizens from participating in important debates about how these collectively-owned and finite resources are managed. This is most prominent in some of the world’s poorest yet resource-rich countries, where citizens are failing to benefit from the wealth beneath their soil.

    “Given the prominence of Canadian extractive companies in Canada and abroad, this law will significantly increase transparency of payments to governments on a global scale” said Kady Seguin, Acting Director of Publish What You Pay Canada. “Citizens and civil society organizations around the world can now begin to have the information they need to hold their governments accountable for the wealth generated from their natural resources”.

    There are over 1700 publicly listed oil, gas and mining companies on the Toronto Stock Exchange and Venture Exchange combined, and, in 2010, Natural Resources Canada reported that Canadian companies were operating in over 100 countries around the world.

    “This law comes very timely for civil society in Guinea,” said Taran Diallo, Coordinator of Publish What You Pay Guinea and Chair of PWYP’s Global Council. “Now that Canada and Guinea signed a treaty to protect and promote Canadian mining investments in Guinea it is even more important that civil society has access to the revenues at a project level for all registered and listed companies in Canada. This will allow us to follow the money.”

    The adoption of the ESTMA largely followed the recommendations released by the Resource Revenue Transparency Working Group (RRTWG), a collaboration between Publish What You Pay Canada, the Natural Resource Governance Institute, the Mining Association of Canada and the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada.

    “The coming into force of the ESTMA in Canada, along with the support given by the Canadian mining industry, serves to reinforce that a global standard is emerging whereby the disclosure of payments to governments at a project-level is becoming the norm” said Marinke Van Riet, the International Director of Publish What You Pay.

    PWYP-Canada will continue to engage with the Government of Canada in an effort to ensure that the information disclosed in ESTMA reports is accessible and usable for citizens according to the Open definition.

    About PWYP-Canada
    PWYP-Canada is the Canadian coalition of Publish What You Pay, a global network of over
    800 civil society organizations united in their call for oil, gas and mining revenues to form the basis for development and improve the lives of citizens in resource-rich countries: www.pwyp.ca; www.publishwhatyoupay.org

    Contact:
    Kady Seguin
    Publish What You Pay Canada
    613-237-6768 x.8
    kseguin@pwyp.ca

    Fact-sheet – Canada extractive transparency law

    On December 17th, 2014 the Government of Canada passed into law the Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act as part of omnibus legislation Bill C-43. Under this Act, publicly traded and large private oil, gas, and mining companies must publicly disclose payments to governments, not just in Canada, but around the world. Read the the fact sheet to find out more.

    Canada

    Launched in 2008, PWYP Canada has 15 member organisations, hosted by IMPACT. Given the important role that Canadian extractive companies play at home and around the world, PWYP Canada has focused efforts on obtaining mandatory payment disclosure standards for companies registered or publicly traded in Canada. In 2012 the coalition formed the Resource Revenue Transparency Working Group, to work with industry and fellow NGOs to negotiate a framework for mandatory reporting of payments to government in Canada. In response, the Canadian government committed in 2013 to put in place mandatory payment reporting standards by April 2015 for oil, gas and mining companies publicly listed, registered and operating in Canada. Since then, Quebec has become the first province to commit to work with the federal government to develop complementary standards through the provincial stock exchange. PWYP Canada has subsequently focused on ensuring that the Canadian federal government introduces strong mandatory reporting standards, aligned with those in other jurisdictions, and that follow open data standards. It also encourages other provinces to follow Quebec’s lead. Information (taxes, royalties, fees, production entitlements, bonuses, dividends, infrastructure improvement payments) that is reported through the Canadian rule can be found on the Natural Resources Canada website here (https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/mining-materials/estma/18198 ) or for all reporting jurisdictions here (http://resourceprojects.org).

    To enable CSOs to locate, use and disseminate publicly available information about Canadian extractive companies, the coalition has developed guides, conducted workshops and examined payment data of select companies. This is particularly important in light of new regulation increasing the information extractive companies must divulge.

    The coalition continues to support the implementation of the EITI in Canada and maintains close contact with Canada’s civil society representative on the EITI board. In addition, PWYP-Canada advocates for the disclosure of the contracts signed between extractive companies and host governments.

    Currently, PWYP Canada is actively working with Transparency International Canada and Canadians for Tax Fairness to call for a publicly available centralized registry of the beneficial owners of all companies registered, listed, and operating in Canada, both provincially and federally.

    Kady Seguin

    I’ve always had a keen interest in social justice issues, so I was immediately drawn to the principles of Publish What You Pay.

    I’ve found it is something which can have a strong and positive impact on a lot of people’s lives. It is interesting to work on an issue that we see as a fundamental right for citizens. Over the past few years, I’ve been very inspired by all the PWYP members I’ve had the opportunity to work with and particularly with the strong sense of camaraderie and collaboration that exists between PWYP members all over the world. To me, that is something very special and inspiring.