Extractive Industries: UK & Scottish governments work with industry to lead the world on transparency.

Extractive Industries: UK & Scottish governments work with industry to lead the world on transparency.

UK EITI FIRST YEAR REPORT

The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is the leading world programme which encourages extractive companies working in oil, gas and mining to publicly declare their payments to government, and those governments to declare the payments they’ve received. It’s chaired by former Swedish prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt. It’s a simple idea which makes a big contribution to assuring public confidence across the world that payments and receipts tally. This in turn helps potential investors in developing economies to engage more with those states.

Until recently, while developed states encouraged and even helped run the initiative, they did not formally join. To the UK and Scottish governments’ credit, though, in 2013 they began to go through the full process of joining up. Along with the US, which is also going through the process, Scotland and the UK lead the developed world through example and other countries, like Germany, have now began the process too. Today sees the first UK EITI report. Read it here: bis-16-194-uk-eiti-report-1

Scotland is the UK country most affected by both the oil/gas and broader mining/aggregates/quarrying industries. It benefits from the overwhelming majority of jobs in the sectors, but also has a strong environmental interest in ensuring that extractive operations are carried out with the consent of the communities affected. The UK as a whole, of course, benefits from the still-substantial tax revenue.

The UK EITI multi-stakeholder group (MSG), which is responsible for taking the UK through the joining-up process, is made up 4 representatives (and 4 alternates) each from government, industry and civil society. The Scottish Government provides one of the government-side representatives and Eddie Holmes of EICS is Scotland’s EICS spokesman and civil society representative. Other civil society representatives, also from EICS, include Martin Brown, formerly of Dundee, and Eric Joyce.

Eddie said today: “It’s been a steep learning curve and it’s a privilege to help Scots, with such a big financial and societal investment in the extractive industries, and indeed people from across the whole UK, stay at the forefront of ensuring people in the developing world benefit from transparent and efficient extractive operations. It’s been especially impressive to watch representatives of the Scottish and UK governments, and those from industry, work together in a very good cause indeed. EICS has played its wee part, but of course in the UK much of the heavy lifting must be carried out by the civil servants and folk from industry, so all credit to them at this important half-way staging point”.

The MSG will deliver its second report next year then, assuming the report meets the standards of the EITI, the UK will become a full member of the EITI.

Media contact: Eddie Holmes, EICS, 07510671262