Extractive (incl. oil & gas) - Written by on Wednesday, March 2, 2011 9:16 - 0 Comments

The Oil & Gas Sector: Transparency International encourages…transparency!

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By Benjamin Long

Transparency International published their 2011 Promoting Revenue Transparency in Oil and Gas Companies report to encourage international and national oil companies in their reporting performance and set a benchmark for corporate reporting within the sector.

The report highlights the need for revenue transparency among governments and companies in resource-rich companies: “If companies were more transparent about the payments they make to governments to exploit oil and gas resources, there would be less room for corruption and more money available for development” the report says.

The major finding of the report is that despite the increasing trend in public reporting of anti-corruption programmes – and the International Oil Companies (for example the Shell’s, BP’s, BG’s etc. of this world) generally do well on this - there are some companies, in particular National Oil Companies, that do not publish such information.

In addition to the lack of transparency in operations the report reports that more companies should publish their anti-corruption programmes.

While the Ministry of Justice’s final guidance is awaited the publication of this report serves to emphasise the public interest in corporates and their ethical behaviour and reinforces the importance of transparency and publicly available anti-corruption policies.

Policies are no longer just a prudent legal requirement. Today more than ever they are the subject of scrutiny by various non governmental organisations who make it their business to monitor the behaviour of corporates in their dealings. You are being watched!

Benjamin is a barrister and regulatory lawyer in Pinsent Masons’ Dispute Resolution and Litigation Group. He specialises in white-collar crime and asset forfeiture, in particular corruption and bribery, money laundering and confiscation.

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