Transparency laws move forward in Canada, Europe and Australia
Following in the footsteps of movements in the United States and the United Kingdom that would add transparency to the mineral extractive industries, companies in Canada and Australia moved forward with oil and mining sunshine rules last week.
The Hill reported that The UK Parliament is set to adopt landmark EU transparency laws this month, with several other European nations close behind and that Canada last week introduced legislation that will require mandatory disclosure from large private companies and companies publicly traded on Canadian stock exchanges.
In Canada, the federal government has introduced legislation requiring resource companies to publish what they pay to foreign and domestic governments, with a plan to include First Nations governments after two years.
Representatives of mining and oil and gas industries welcomed the bill Friday, saying it would make it easier for them to demonstrate the benefits of their investments to local communities at home and abroad, The Globe and Mail reported.
The United Kingdom is set to become the first EU member to implement the EU Accounting and Transparency Directives, which require oil, gas, mining and logging companies to disclose payments. The law originally followed the standard set by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 2012 that was overturned last year. The UK committed to finalize its law ahead of the EU’s mid-2015 deadline, and France, Germany, Finland, Italy, Denmark,and Sweden have also committed to finish national legislation quickly. By next summer, all 28 member states will have laws on the books that require disclosure – and will cover major energy companies.
In Australia a “Publish What You Pay” bill was introduced in parliament. It aims to crack down on corruption, matching standards in the EU and U.S.
The U.S. was the leader in the fight for transparency in the oil, gas and mining industry when the Dodd-Frank Act became the law of the land. However, a lawsuit sent them back to the SEC to be rewritten.