Press Release / May 20, 2003

Publish What You Pay: NGO coalition welcomes investor statement on transparency of oil, gas and mining company payments.

The Publish What You Pay coalition of over 100 NGOs warmly welcomes the statement from UK and European investors calling for the public disclosure of taxes, royalties and other payments by extractive companies. The statement - signed by seven leading investment groups managing £466 billion - is the first significant public endorsement given by the investment community to improving transparency of extractive companies payments with developing country governments.

The statement highlights that revenue transparency is a critical factor for corporate governance, management of reputational risk, and a sustainable investment environment in resource-rich but poor countries. Simon Taylor, Director of Global Witness says: “We have always believed that revenue transparency is in the enlightened self-interest of all parties concerned. We warmly welcome this statement as proof of that point.”

The Publish What You Pay campaign coalition believes that a simple and effective first step to promote revenue transparency is to require companies listed on regulated markets to disclose payments made to all national governments on a country-by-country basis. Transparency of financial flows in the extractive industries will contribute to poverty alleviation and efforts to stamp out corruption in resource-rich countries. Transparency will also provide a basis for democratic debate over the management of revenues and enhance development rather than social divisiveness.

“Publish What You Pay is a very simple appeal for transparency of extractive company payments because after all, you cannot manage what you cannot measure,” says Publish What You Pay Coordinator, Henry Parham. “Disclosure of payments to all national governments can only be achieved with a level playing field for all companies.”

The Publish What You Pay coalition urges other investors to sign onto the statement and to press for both multinational and state-owned extractive companies to develop an effective system of payments disclosure that is supported by home and host governments, international organisations and financial institutions, and civil society.

Press contacts:
Henry Parham, Publish What You Pay Coordinator
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7981 0315; [email protected]

Gavin Hayman, Global Witness Campaigner
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7272 6731; [email protected]