Recent Articles

Investigative journalist Nick Shaxson has spent much of his career covering the economies and politics of oil-rich African countries, research that led to his 2007 book Poisoned Wells. His new book, Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men Who Stole the World, explores a topic Shaxson says was the logical conclusion of following oil money. He spoke with Revenue Watch this April.

Revenue Watch and our colleagues at the Open Society Foundations were deeply saddened by the deaths of photographers Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros during fighting in Libya. Hetherington's images have helped RWI tell the story of resource wealth and economic struggle with a more human element than commentary or analysis can convey.
With growing global momentum for country-by-country reporting, senators question regulators about delays in the rulemaking process.
Revenue Watch's April/May newsletter, in a brand-new format, presents brief reports from each RWI region and important developments in the oil, gas and mining sectors. In this issue, Director Karin Lissakers discusses the fifth global EITI conference, francophone Africa calls for Dodd-Frank-style regulations, the Nabucco Pipeline project feels the impact of "Arab Spring," RWI holds its second Regional Hub event in Peru, and much more.
How do their the claims of Dodd-Farnk opponents compare with the facts?
In recent months, the governments of Bolivia, Ecuador and Chile decided to reduce or eliminate gasoline subsidies for the domestic market. The programs, meant to combat petroleum shortages, have imposed unwieldy costs on national governments and created a disincentive for private investment. The experiences of these three countries demonstrate how the debate has played out in the region.
At the fifth global conference of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Revenue Watch called for legislation mandating detailed company reporting as a complementary tool for transparency. RWI director Karin Lissakers said, "Events in the Middle East and North Africa are an unmistakable signal that the era of governments treating natural resources as private property is coming to an end."
Carlos Monge, RWI Latin America Regional Coordinator, and colleagues deliver fresh news and insight. In the February 31 issue, Peru's government deals a blow to illegal mining; Ecuador debates a "prepayment" oil deal with China; and Mexico's PEMEX proposes reducing exports to revive the struggling company.

FAQ: Why should companies focus on transparency?

View payments and receipts, read RWI analysis and compare more than 50 EITI reports.
At a G20 meeting in Paris, Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer and business secretary threw the UK's support behind new disclosure rules.
The British government has taken a pivotal step toward new global standards for transparency by companies and governments.
From January 26-28, civil society groups from francophone Africa met in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, to assess the implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in their countries to date.This meeting offered civil society the opportunity to share their experiences, explore the community's capacity to analyze EITI reports, and discuss planned new EITI rules, in preparation for the upcoming International EITI Global Conference in Paris on March 2-3.
Carlos Monge, RWI Latin America Regional Coordinator, and colleagues deliver fresh news and insight. In the February 15 issue, Latin American countries change their mining legal frameworks, Peru considers a windfall profits tax, and rising international petroleum prices impact Latin America.
The regime change in Egypt has provided an unmistakble lesson even to countries that, unlike Egypt, are rich in oil: public trust requires open, accountable government.
Over the past three years, Revenue Watch has carried out parliamentary capacity building pilot projects in Ghana, Tanzania, Sierra Leone and Uganda. These projects sought to help national parliaments improve their oversight of the oil, gas and mining sectors and to form more effective alliances with civil society and the media. Keith Myers acted as lead trainer in a number of Revenue Watch oil governance and contracts workshops. In this article, he offers his own reflections on the opportunities and challenges associated with parliamentary capacity building in Africa.
In February's "On the Horizon" newsletter from the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, Revenue Watch previews the upcoming Paris conference of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). This year's gathering, the fifth global EITI conference, will demonstrate the progress of more than 30 EITI implementing countries, and the recognition by government and industry leaders that information on oil, gas and mining revenues can—and should—be made public without compromising industry competitiveness.
On January 12, the World Bank Group published a report detailing its extractive industries work over the past year and outlining the Bank's goals for the sector and its plans to support sustainable resource development. The report offers encouraging signs of progress for the transparency movement and for efforts by Revenue Watch and its allies in the U.S. and internationally.
In draft rules released December 15, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission outlined initial steps for oil, gas and mining companies to report their payments in accordance with transparency provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act. Karin Lissakers of Revenue Watch said the SEC "will be helping to create a new international transparency standard, as other countries are likely to follow the U.S. lead on these disclosures."

Applications are now open for a two-week summer course, "Developing Local Economies through Inclusive Policies and Planning," to be held at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. Led by Revenue Watch partner the Local Government Initiative, the course will equip policy-makers and practitioners with strategies for improving sub-national economies. Learn more and apply ... (CEU)

Carlos Monge, RWI Latin America Regional Coordinator, and colleagues deliver fresh news and insight. In the November issue, Ecuador completes its oil contract renegotiations; PEMEX allows private exploration and production; and Peru seeks to amend hydroelectric concession process in the Amazon.
In October RWI and Transparency International launched a pioneering measurement of government disclosure in the management of oil, gas, and minerals. Together with the International Budget Partnership's Open Budget Survey 2010, the Revenue Watch Index offers a complementary overview of transparency levels across countries.
The Revenue Watch Institute congratulates our colleagues in the international Publish What You Pay coalition for winning the 2010 Commitment to Development "Ideas in Action" Award. PWYP was particularly commended for its role in helping pass the Cardin-Lugar transparency provision of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
In September 2010, economist Edwin Truman published a book on Sovereign Wealth Funds—the range of reserve funds often used by resource rich countries investing revenues internationally. Sovereign Wealth Funds: Threat or Salvation, assesses some of the regulatory concerns and international tensions over these funds. Truman says SWFs have "matured under the glare of international attention." He talked with Revenue Watch about his research.
In October, the Open Society Justice Initiative published a new report from law professor James G. Stewart that seeks to renew millenia-old prohibitions on wartime theft, or pillaging, through action at international and domestic criminal courts--particularly as pillaging applies to the illegal exploitation of natural resources by corporations and their officers.