Moore Stephens plays leading role in extractive industry disclosure scheme

As more governments commit to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), Moore Stephens has become the leading adviser in the field, completing the highest number of EITI reports around the world.

The EITI is a global standard that promotes the open and accountable management of natural resources, mainly of oil, gas, metals and minerals, although it can also extend to forestry and aquaculture. Across the world, 51 countries are now either fully compliant or are going through the process to be part of the EITI, signalling their government’s intent to improve transparency in their mining, oil and gas industries and become more proactive about weeding out corruption.

Under the EITI, companies need to disclose and publish what they pay to governments, and governments must publish what they receive in an EITI report. Taxes, royalties, benefits in kind, and other payments such as those to local government organisations, are all included. Donors, such as the World Bank and European Union, usually pay for a reconciliation process that seeks to identify and explain differences in company and government reports.

“We are certainly seeing improvements, especially in countries we have visited several years in a row,” says Tim Woodward, a partner at Moore Stephens, the firm that has completed most EITI reconciliations in countries around the world. “We’re noticing that reconciliation differences are getting smaller. It’s also been easier to explain the differences.”

Moore Stephens has completed the EITI process in 25 countries across Africa, Asia and Europe including Nigeria, Mali, Zambia, Burkina Faso and the Democratic of Congo, while young democracy, Myanmar, has recently come on board. The firm is also involved in the EITI process for the Seychelles and Ethiopia, and is currently working on the reconciliation process for the UK. Moore Stephens’ leading status in the EITI arena has been driven by its strong record in working for international funding institutions such as the World Bank, UN Agencies and the EU, its expertise in the extractives sector and its global reach, having a pool of professionals to call on across the world.

“We’ve seen a wave of developed countries, such as the UK, the US, France, Germany and the Netherlands, sign up for the EITI,” Tim says. “It’s gaining traction, and countries are becoming aware that they don’t want to be left out of the process.” He expects more to sign up in future.

The EITI is intended to help citizens hold their governments to account by increasing awareness of the taxes the governments are receiving, and how they are spending taxpayers’ money. “It’s fulfilling to see that we are able to make a difference in assuring people that government funds are getting to the right place,” Tim says.

For more information, please contact Tim Woodward.