Oil Multinationals Rebuked For Reluctance To Tackle Corruption

“Most leading oil multinationals fall well short of best practice on revealing financial data and combating corruption, a survey unveiled today by Transparency International… claims. …The survey of 42 companies highlights growing worries that – in an era of booming crude prices – too little is being done to combat corruption and state mismanagement of oil wealth. …

TI says oil companies have important responsibilities in the areas its report assesses, including publishing the sums paid to host countries, revealing details of reserves and production costs, and publishing data on anti-graft policies and sanctions on employees who break them.

The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative – an alliance of governments, business and civil society set up to increase openness in oil industry finances – said the research showed companies had made some progress, but still had much more to do. …” [The Financial Times (UK, 04/28)/Factiva]

AP adds that “…The Transparency International report published Monday places 42 oil and gas companies into three tiers based on their level of transparency in revenue disclosure. …Companies were placed in the lowest tier for disclosing information only by geographical segments and providing almost no additional information. …

Companies placed in the highest tier disclose payments systematically on a country-by-country basis or in a few select countries and go beyond the mandatory reporting regulations. … ‘The high level of transparency demonstrated by these companies proves that secrecy is both morally and commercially indefensible.’

 Transparency International said the report aimed to help fight the so-called ‘resource curse’ – oil can generate great wealth for a country, but if poorly managed can also discourage the development other areas of the economy, spur corruption and trigger conflict.

The report said that if 10 percent of the estimated $866 billion generated worldwide in oil revenues in 2006 was set aside, it would have been enough to cover the total cost of meeting the UN Millennium Development Goals. The cost of meeting the set of development standards on education, health, literacy and poverty was estimated at $73 billion in 2006, the report said.” [The Associated Press (04/28)/Factiva]

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