Researchers from Robert Gordon University RGU) have published a report following an investigation into the first batch of reports, filed in the UK under Chapter 10 of the European Union (EU) Accounting Directive.
Under the Directive, large listed companies in extractive industries are required to report payments they make to governments on a country-by-country and project-by-project basis.
Natural resources across the world are worth billions of dollars and make substantial contributions to the budgets of many developing countries however the citizens of these countries often remain extremely poor. The legislation aims to make information about payments more transparent and available to citizens in order to increase their ability to hold their governments and the extractive companies to account.
The research was commissioned by Publish What You Pay (PWYP), a global group of civil society organizations that advocates for financial transparency in the extractive industry.
Professor Louise Crawford and Martyn Gordon from Aberdeen Business School worked with colleagues from Sheffield and Westminster universities and University College London (UCL) to explore the development and early operation of the UK’s transposition into legislation of parts of the EU Directive as well as the interpretation of the law adopted by companies required to report.
The research team spent six months analysing the country-by-country disclosures of more than 50 UK-listed oil and gas and mining companies and carried out a number of interviews with a wide range of stakeholders.
The full report, which contains their findings on how the law has been constructed along with several recommendations for companies, civil society advocates and government, can be downloaded from the PWYP website with comments invited via an associated blog.
Professor Crawford, who co-led the research team said: “Our research has generated several evidence-based recommendations to preparers, civil society users and regulators of the newly implemented UK transparency reporting requirements for extractive companies. These recommendations include introducing assurance reporting and/or reconciling transparency disclosures to the audited annual accounts of reporting entities.
Mandatory transparency disclosures make clearer the socio-economic impact of extractive activities upon resource-rich countries, enabling civil society to hold their national governments to account for revenues received in return for oil, gas and mineral extraction”.
The report can be downloaded from: http://www.publishwhatyoupay.org/raising-global-standards-of-transparency-in-the-extractives-sector/
The research was co-led by Professor Jim Haslam, University of Sheffield and Professor Louise Crawford, RGU, with Martyn Gordon, RGU, Dr Eleni Chatzigevri, University of Westminster and Lynsie Chew, UCL.
by Kate Yuill
Communications Officer | Business, Management and Law
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