OpenOil follows closely the work of the first global standard on extractive industries transparency, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. We have contributed an analysis of Iraq’s EITI candidacy, and are currently carrying out an analysis of Afghanistan’s EITI reconciliation reports, among other countries. We have also contributed advocacy work for EITI implementation in the US, in cooperation with partners like the Revenue Watch Institute (RWI) and Publish What You Pay (PWYP).
Our belief that transparency in the extractive industries can help lead to good governance aligns well with EITI’s overall mandate. However, as our blogs on the topic demonstrate, there are also areas in which we think EITI can improve. Cost recovery, the process by which oil companies claim back billions of dollars in expenses from the governments of countries where they operate, is not formally part of EITI requirements; though it should be. We called on the initiative to suspend the the oil companies Chevron, Shell, BP, ExxonMobil and Statoil from the EITI board, after they participated in a lawsuit to block implementation of the resource extraction disclosure rules in Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform bill. We’ve also advocated state-level implementation of EITI in the US where currently only federal lands would be subject to EITI requirements, and looked at the dynamics between EITI and Dodd-Frank.
We pointed out discrepancies in Iraq’s first reconciliation report, as well as other things that were simply left out of it. Elsewhere, we’ve looked at EITI’s impact on civil society in Azerbaijan.