1 December, 2014 -Christian Aid welcomed the entry into force today of new regulations requiring extractive industries to report the payments they make to governments as an important move against corruption, and a significant first step in reforming corporate transparency.
The new rules, which implement the EU Accounting Directive (Chapter 10), require oil, gas, mining and logging companies to report both on a country as well as a project basis any payments to governments in countries where they operate, or plan to set up business.
Christian Aid’s Senior Economic Justice Adviser Joseph Stead said: 'The UK government deserves credit for being the first EU member state to implement these regulations, which will help identify and tackle corruption in many developing countries.
'Many poor communities in areas rich in resources have been calling for this information for many years so they can start to hold both governments and companies to account for their activities.
'We hope that other EU countries will follow the UK lead and implement the rules as quickly as possible. We hope too it will galvanise the US into action. Similar regulations have been on the statute book there for the past four years, but have not been enforced following an appeal by oil companies.'
The new UK regulations should be followed by further measures towards greater corporate transparency, added Mr Stead.
They should be extended to all sectors, not just the extractive industries, and multinationals and other companies trading across borders should also be required to report publicly on the profits made and tax paid in every country where they operate.
'There is currently a proposal on the table from the OECD and G20 for all companies to provide country by country reporting of a wider range of data, but only to tax authorities,' said Mr Stead.
'Christian Aid and many others are calling for this information to be made public, to help identify bad practice and start restoring trust and accountability to tax systems around the world.
'Only with greater transparency will communities have the information to hold governments and companies fully to account for corruption and tax dodging.
'Having led the world on implementing this first step with extractive industries, the UK should show similar leadership with increased transparency for all multinationals.'
If you would like further information please contact Andrew Hogg on 0207 523 2058 or contact the 24 hour press duty phone – 07850 242950.
Notes to editors:
1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 50 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.
2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change explains how we set about this task.
3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. Further details at http://actalliance.org
4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire
5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk