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United Kingdom

Natural Resource Transparency (UK0094)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: United Kingdom Action Plan 2019-2021

Action Plan Cycle: 2019

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Department for International Development

Support Institution(s): Other actors involved - government DFID, BEIS, HM Treasury, Financial Conduct Authority Other actors involved - CSOs, private sector, working groups, multilaterals, etc Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), Publish What You Pay UK (PWYP), Global Witness, Transparency International-UK, Oxfam GB and Open Contracting Partnership

Policy Areas

Access to Information, Anti-Corruption, E-Government, Extractive Industries, Fiscal Openness, Open Data, Public Participation, Publication of Budget/Fiscal Information

IRM Review

IRM Report: United Kingdom Design Report 2019-2021

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information , Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

Objective
To work with others to enhance company disclosure regarding payments to
governments for the sale of publicly owned oil, gas and minerals and help to
establish and implement a common global reporting standard.
● To continue leading an international dialogue on increased transparency
around sales of publicly owned oil, gas and minerals.
● To undertake a scoping study to review what potential national action
the UK could take to enhance company disclosure around the world
regarding sales of publicly owned oil, gas and minerals. As part of this
review, we will consider a form of cross-departmental guidelines on
reporting these specific payments to governments.
● To maintain our commitment to the Extractive Industries Transparency
Initiative (EITI) and to implementation of the UK-transposed EU
Directives for mandatory reporting by companies.
● To provide clarity for UK-listed extractive companies, under the
Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules; transparency disclosures
are required to be in both open machine-readable data format and in
human-readable format suitable for dissemination to as wide a public as
possible.

What is the public problem that the commitment will address?
Corruption and fiscal mismanagement in the international natural resources
(oil, gas and mining) sector have long been a major concern for governments,
extractive companies, investors and civil society.
The UK and other countries have achieved good progress in promoting natural
resource transparency and accountability over the last 15 years, through both
voluntary reporting under the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative
(EITI) and mandatory reporting rules now in force in the UK, across the EU, in
Canada and in Norway, and awaiting implementation in the United States.
However, significant gaps remain in the scope and coverage of extractive
companies’ disclosures of payments to governments and in the clarity and
accessibility of the disclosed data.

How will the commitment contribute to solve the public problem?
The largest payment stream missing from mandatory disclosure is payments to
governments for the sale of publicly owned oil, gas and minerals (commodity
trading), an area where corruption risk is acute.
Governments’ and state owned enterprises’ sales of the state’s production
share in the extractive industries are huge, typically US$ billions per year, and
vulnerable to large-scale abuse.
From 2011 to 2013, for example, the total value of sales by the national oil
companies of Africa’s top ten oil producers was equal to 56% of their
combined government revenues and more than ten times international aid to
these countries.
At company level, total payments to governments for oil and gas by Swiss
trader Trafigura amounted to US$21.2 billion in 2016, significantly more than
the US$15.1 billion disclosed by Royal Dutch Shell, Europe’s largest oil
company, as total payments for its oil and gas extraction around the world in
the same year. Swiss-headquartered company Glencore voluntarily revealed it
paid USD$12.6 billion to purchase crude oil from governments in 2017, almost
five times more than its tax and royalty disclosures under the Transparency
Directive. A further Swiss trader, Gunvor, has committed to make similar
disclosures. No UK oil major has made a similar commitment, and while Swiss
traders have revealed total payments above, they only disaggregate payments
to the country level in EITI implementing countries, where the minority of their
payments are made (Natural Resource Governance Institute figures).
Extractive company reporting under UK transparency rules currently suffers
from several deficiencies that clarification of the disclosures’ content and
format would ameliorate:
● Non-inclusion by at least seven companies of their share of joint venture
payments;
● Over-aggregation of projects by at least twelve companies;
● Non-identification of recipient government entities by at least 28
companies;
● Lack of volume data for, and over-aggregation of, in-kind payments by at
least four companies;
● Failure of a number of UK-listed extractive companies to report under
revised requirements for financial year 2017 in both open
machine-readable data and human-readable format.
The commitments will build on progress to date by continuing efforts to
explore, identify and (where practical and permissible) implement incremental
enhancement in extractives transparency.

Lead implementing organisation
Department for International Development (DFID)

Timeline
September 2018 - August 2021

OGP values
Public Accountability, Access to information

Other actors involved - government
DFID, BEIS, HM Treasury, Financial Conduct Authority

Other actors involved - CSOs, private sector, working groups, multilaterals, etc
Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), Publish What You Pay UK
(PWYP), Global Witness, Transparency International-UK, Oxfam GB and Open
Contracting Partnership

Verifiable and measurable milestones to fulfil the
commitment

Continue to lead an international dialogue on increased
transparency around sales of publicly owned oil, gas
and minerals.

The UK will undertake a scoping study to review what
potential national action we could take to enhance
company disclosure around the world regarding sales of
publicly owned oil, gas and minerals. As part of this
review, we will consider a form of cross-departmental
guidelines on reporting these specific payments to
governments in this sector.

Maintain our commitment to the Extractive Industries
Transparency Initiative (EITI) and to implementation of
the UK-transposed EU Directives for mandatory
reporting by companies.

In light of the BEIS Post Implementation Review of the
UK mandatory reporting regulations and the European
Commission consultation in respect of the Accounting
Directive chapter 10 (due end 2018), we will be open to
working with stakeholders and delivery partners in
exploring the scope for enhancing the effectiveness of
reporting requirements.

We will clarify for UK-listed extractive companies, under
the Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules, that
transparency disclosures are required to be in both
open machine-readable data format and in
human-readable format suitable for dissemination to as
wide a public as possible.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

5. Natural resource transparency

Main Objective

“To work with others to enhance company disclosure regarding payments to governments for the sale of publicly owned oil, gas and minerals and help to establish and implement a common global reporting standard.

  • To continue leading an international dialogue on increased transparency around sales of publicly owned oil, gas and minerals.
  • To undertake a scoping study to review what potential national action the UK could take to enhance company disclosure around the world regarding sales of publicly owned oil, gas and minerals. As part of this review, we will consider a form of cross-departmental guidelines on reporting these specific payments to governments.
  • To maintain our commitment to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and to implementation of the UK-transposed EU Directives for mandatory reporting by companies.
  • To provide clarity for UK-listed extractive companies, under the Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules; transparency disclosures are required to be in both open machine-readable data format and in human-readable format suitable for dissemination to as wide a public as possible.”

Milestones

  1. Continue to lead an international dialogue on increased transparency around sales of publicly owned oil, gas and minerals.
  2. The UK will undertake a scoping study to review what potential national action we could take to enhance company disclosure around the world regarding sales of publicly owned oil, gas and minerals. As part of this review, we will consider a form of cross-departmental guidelines on reporting these specific payments to governments in this sector..............................
  3. Maintain our commitment to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and to implementation of the UK-transposed EU Directives for mandatory reporting by companies.
  4. In light of the BEIS Post Implementation Review of the UK mandatory reporting regulations and the European Commission consultation in respect of the Accounting Directive chapter 10 (due end 2018), we will be open to working with stakeholders and delivery partners in exploring the scope for enhancing the effectiveness of reporting requirements.
  5. We will clarify for UK-listed extractive companies, under the Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules, that transparency disclosures are required to be in both open machine-readable data format and in human-readable format suitable for dissemination to as wide a public as possible.

Editorial Note: For the complete text of this commitment, please see the United Kingdom’s action plan at https://bit.ly/2YPqNoV.

IRM Design Report Assessment

Verifiable:

Yes

Relevant:

Access to Information, Civic participation

Potential impact:

Minor

Commitment Analysis
The commitment aims to continue the UK’s ongoing work on transparency in the governance of natural resources and the extractives industry, in order to remain a key driving force internationally, and to explore further work in this area. It is largely a continuation of commitments made in the UK’s previous OGP action plans, particularly its work related to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). The activities focus on exploratory and consultative work that will identify more concrete future actions and continue to frame the UK as a leader in this field. [17]

The UK conducted significant work in improving natural resources governance during previous action plan cycles, and as such began the current action plan with a solid foundation of leadership in this field. [18] Commitment 2 of the third action plan (2016-2018) saw UK-listed extractive companies begin to publish data under the EU Transparency Amending Directive in an open and machine-readable format and they are now required to continue doing so. Additionally, the UK convened international actors from 22 countries to discuss further progress on resource transparency and completed its third EITI report. [19] The UK‘s experience in facilitating international dialogue on the transparency of natural resources governance enables it to use its expertise and leadership to take forward the proposed milestones concerning further improvement.

The commitment is relevant to the OGP value of access to information, as it calls for clarifying to UK-listed extractive companies that transparency disclosures are required to be in both open machine-readable data format and in human-readable format. It is also relevant to civic participation because it calls for “working with” stakeholders and delivery partners in enhancing the effectiveness of reporting requirements. While this commitment is verifiable, the activities could be more precise, with better clarification of the relations between its activities. [20] They largely focus on maintaining existing relationships and discussions on the transparency of natural resources governance but will be unlikely to produce new information or instigate new processes. The commitment also does not plan to strengthen specific areas of known weakness in the governance of natural resources, in particular around compliance monitoring. [21]

Overall, the commitment focuses on continuing the international championing role that the UK has historically performed in improving the transparency of natural resources governance. However, the planned activities will not mark a departure from the status quo, so the potential impact is considered minor.

[17] Joseph Williams, NRGI, interview 20 July 2020.
[18] Ibid.
[20] Miles Litvinoff, PublishWhatYouPay, interview 22 July 2020.
[21] Ibid.

Commitments

  1. Grants Data

    UK0090, 2019, Access to Information

  2. Digital Charter

    UK0091, 2019, Access to Information

  3. Open Policy Making

    UK0092, 2019, Public Participation

  4. Open Contracting Data

    UK0093, 2019, Access to Information

  5. Natural Resource Transparency

    UK0094, 2019, Access to Information

  6. Innovation in Democracy Programme

    UK0095, 2019, Public Participation

  7. Sustainable Open Government

    UK0096, 2019, Capacity Building

  8. Local Transparency

    UK0097, 2019, Access to Information

  9. Beneficial Ownership – UK

    UK0063, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  10. Natural Resource Transparency

    UK0064, 2016, Access to Information

  11. Anti-Corruption Strategy

    UK0065, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  12. Anti-Corruption Innovation Hub

    UK0066, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  13. Open Contracting

    UK0067, 2016, Access to Information

  14. Grants Data

    UK0068, 2016, Access to Information

  15. Elections Data

    UK0069, 2016, Access to Information

  16. Revising Freedom of Information Act Code of Practice

    UK0070, 2016, Access to Information

  17. Identifying and Publishing Core Data Assets

    UK0071, 2016, Access to Information

  18. Involving Data Users in Shaping the Future of Open Data

    UK0072, 2016, Access to Information

  19. Better Use of Data Assets

    UK0073, 2016, Access to Information

  20. GOV.UK

    UK0074, 2016, Access to Information

  21. Ongoing Collaborative Approach to Open Government Reform

    UK0075, 2016, E-Government

  22. Open Government at All Levels

    UK0076, 2016, Public Participation

  23. Open Policy-Making and Public Engagement

    UK0077, 2016, Capacity Building

  24. Public Sector Innovation

    UK0078, 2016, Access to Information

  25. OCDS Implementation

    UK0079, 2016, Access to Information

  26. Open-Up Government

    UK0080, 2016, Access to Information

  27. Open Data Plan

    UK0081, 2016, Access to Information

  28. Open Data Service

    UK0082, 2016, Access to Information

  29. Statswales

    UK0083, 2016, Access to Information

  30. Data Research Centre Wales

    UK0084, 2016, E-Government

  31. Government Social Research Publication Protocol

    UK0085, 2016, E-Government

  32. Gov.Wales

    UK0086, 2016, E-Government

  33. Code of Practice in Supply Chains

    UK0087, 2016, Labor

  34. Starred commitment National Indicators for Wales

    UK0088, 2016, Fiscal Openness

  35. Starred commitment Well-Being Duty

    UK0089, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  36. National Information Infrastructure

    UK0042, 2013,

  37. NHS England Website and Network

    UK0043, 2013, Health

  38. Revised Local Authories Data Transparency Code

    UK0044, 2013, Capacity Building

  39. Transparent Social Investment Market

    UK0045, 2013, Access to Information

  40. Manage and Capture Digital Records

    UK0046, 2013, Capacity Building

  41. Starred commitment Cross-Government Anti-Corruption Plan

    UK0047, 2013, Anti-Corruption

  42. Starred commitment Company Beneficial Ownership Information

    UK0048, 2013, Anti-Corruption

  43. Access to Police Records

    UK0049, 2013, Justice

  44. Transparency in Construction

    UK0050, 2013, Infrastructure & Transport

  45. Legislative Openness

    UK0051, 2013, Anti-Corruption

  46. Whistleblowing

    UK0052, 2013, Anti-Corruption

  47. Open Contracting

    UK0053, 2013, Anti-Corruption

  48. Open Contracting Scotland

    UK0054, 2013, Anti-Corruption

  49. Starred commitment International Aid Transparency

    UK0055, 2013, Access to Information

  50. Health Care Data

    UK0056, 2013, Access to Information

  51. Open Policy Making

    UK0057, 2013, E-Government

  52. Sciencewise

    UK0058, 2013, E-Government

  53. Publication of Draft Legislation

    UK0059, 2013, Open Parliaments

  54. OpenDataCommunities Programme

    UK0060, 2013, Access to Information

  55. PSI Re-Use Directive

    UK0061, 2013, Access to Information

  56. Starred commitment Extractive Transparency

    UK0062, 2013, Access to Information

  57. Ensuring a Clear Process to Support Reduction in Collection of ‘Unnecessary Data’

    UK0024, 2011, E-Government

  58. Developing Data.Gov.Uk and Identifying Other Digital Channels to Support Users

    UK0025, 2011,

  59. Evidence and Databases Behind Policy Statements

    UK0026, 2011, E-Government

  60. Data Underlying Surveys

    UK0027, 2011, E-Government

  61. Examining Ways for Improving the Use of Existing Published Data

    UK0028, 2011, E-Government

  62. Stimulate the Market for Innovative Use of Open Data

    UK0029, 2011, Access to Information

  63. Spend up to 5% of Budget Support on Accountability

    UK0030, 2011, E-Government

  64. Include the OGP Eligibility Criteria to Determine Readiness for UK Budget Support

    UK0031, 2011, Aid

  65. Publish Aid Information from All ODA Government Departments

    UK0032, 2011, Aid

  66. Use a Single Domain for Government Services

    UK0033, 2011, E-Government

  67. Mandate ‘Channel Shift’

    UK0034, 2011, E-Government

  68. Go Online for All Consultations

    UK0035, 2011, E-Government

  69. Develop Practical Guidelines on Departmental Access to Internet and Social Media

    UK0036, 2011, Civic Space

  70. Open Data and Application Interfaces in Ways That Encourage Businesses

    UK0037, 2011, Access to Information

  71. Create Cross-Government Standards on APIs

    UK0038, 2011, Public Participation

  72. Establish Standardised Formats for User-Satisfaction Data

    UK0039, 2011, Public Participation

  73. Provide Government Documents in Open Standard Format

    UK0040, 2011, Access to Information

  74. Implement Crowd-Sourcing and Engagement Processes

    UK0041, 2011, Public Participation

  75. New Power to Secure Release of Valuable Datasets

    UK0001, 2011,

  76. New, Higher Cost Cap for FOI

    UK0002, 2011, Access to Information

  77. Meaningful Disincentives

    UK0003, 2011,

  78. Maximum Time Limits

    UK0004, 2011, Access to Information

  79. Altered Procurement Rules

    UK0005, 2011,

  80. Mandating Phased Introduction of ‘Public by Default’

    UK0006, 2011, E-Government

  81. Formalising Public Data Principles

    UK0007, 2011,

  82. Having in Place an Open Data Compliance Monitoring Process

    UK0008, 2011,

  83. Making Clear the Minimum Citizens Can Expect on Publication and Quality of Data

    UK0009, 2011,

  84. Ensuring a Line of Continuous Improvement for Public Service Providers

    UK0010, 2011, Access to Information

  85. Encourage Continuous Improvement

    UK0011, 2011,

  86. Setting Out How Citizens Can Challenge Where There Is Failure in the Process

    UK0012, 2011, Public Participation

  87. Establishing an Obligation to Consider and Act on User Feedback

    UK0013, 2011, Public Participation

  88. Making Clear That Licenses Must Cover Free, Commercial Re-Use

    UK0014, 2011,

  89. Merge Information Asset Registers…Into a Single Data Inventory

    UK0015, 2011,

  90. Set Consistent Expectations of the Appropriate Quality of Meta-Data

    UK0016, 2011, Records Management

  91. For Data Co-Ordinated Across Government, Set Definitions

    UK0017, 2011, E-Government

  92. Introducing Corporate Responsibility at Transparency Board Level

    UK0018, 2011,

  93. Strengthening and Broadening the Public Sector Transparency Board

    UK0019, 2011, Anti-Corruption

  94. Bringing the Sector Transparency Board Model to Other Parts of Public Sector

    UK0020, 2011, Anti-Corruption

  95. Reviewing the Existing Governance and Regulatory Model

    UK0021, 2011,

  96. Establishing a Framework for Public Service Providers Data Inventories

    UK0022, 2011, Records Management

  97. Developing a Clear Methodology to Support Intelligent Inventories

    UK0023, 2011,

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