How EITI can get strengthened in Norway

On the wish list from the civil society you will among other things find contract transparency, a digital searchable register for stockholder list and extended country-by-country reporting.

EITI is a transparency standard that requires extracting industries to publish what they pay to the government, and that the government publishes have much they have received. This information will be consolidated in an EITI report.

Norway participates in this transparency standard, which is based on a tripartite cooperation between governments, businesses and civil society. Last year the global EITI conference adopted the new recommendations, which they ask the countries to follow up.

Not long ago PWYP Norway sent its position paper to the EITI and the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, which have the responsibility for the EITI implementation in Norway. PWYP Norway is a part of the multistakeholder group for the EITI in Norway, and the position paper also represents the views of the new civil society group in EITI. The representatives from the civil society organizations for 2014-2016 are Industry EnergyTransparency International NorwayWWF NorwayKFUK-KFUM Global and Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees, in addition to PWYP Norway.

The position paper comes with some clear recommendations, including:

Digitization of raw data:

Norway should take the lead to make public information available in machine-readable format. This can open up for new services based on public data, and can be beneficial for scientists, journalists and organizations. The former Norwegian government under the lead of Jens Stoltenberg has earlier taken an initiative as this.

Searchable shareholder register:

A digitized and searchable register of shareholders will be a natural tool for citizens that want information about the real owners behind companies that extracts petroleum in Norway. According to Norwegian law it is the Norwegian government and Norwegian citizens that are the owners of the petroleum resources that are available on Norwegian shelf.

Contract transparency:

Contract transparency in all EITI countries will create an international library of contract terms, which again will reduce the information asymmetry and strengthen government of resource rich countries. Transparency in contracts will give government access to information that companies already have, and make governments more equal in negotiations with companies. The paper emphasizes that contracts are already available via paid services such as Wood Mackenzie.

More information about the company’s social contribution:

The civil society organizations want to figure out the sums that extractive companies use on CSR/social responsibility. It is currently not clear whether it in Norway is performed infrastructure investments and social investments that are not directly related to field developments.

 Extended country-by-country reporting in Norway:

The letter concludes by reminding the Norwegian MInistry for Petroleum and Energy that if they introduce extended country-by-country reporting, Norway can apply for so called “adapted implementation” where the country can stop the EITI-implementation after 5 years without any deviations.

Norway has already introduced a “simple” country-by-country reporting, (as in the US and the EU), with some shortcomings. An extended country-by-country reporting requires that the countries produce eight accounting figures for each country they are registered in. 

Read the letter from PWYP Norway, Industry Energy, Transparency International and Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees here: