“Transparency empowers citizens, investors, regulators, and other watchdogs and is a necessary ingredient of good governance for countries and companies alike.”
Publish What You Pay (PWYP) members around the world campaign to require extractive companies to disclose all the project-level payments they make to the governments where they operate. Countries rich in natural resources often fall prey to the ‘resource curse, a paradoxical condition where countries with an abundance of natural resources are some of the poorest in the world due to mismanagement and corruption. Because transparency is the best disinfectant, PWYP believe that shining a light on the financial flows between governments and companies will allow citizens to demand accountability for how their resource wealth is managed.
PWYP-US kick-started this effort by successfully campaigning for the passage of a landmark transparency provision, Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which requires oil, gas and mining companies listed on US stock exchanges to publicly disclose their project-level payments to both the federal and foreign governments for natural resource extraction.
While the Big Oil lobby’s attempts to weaken Section 1504 have slowed implementation in the United States, the passage of Section 1504 catalyzed the development of a global transparency standard. Since 2010, 30 countries are now implementing payment transparency laws modeled on Section 1504. Reporting began in Norway in 2015 and began for the European Union in 2016.