Papua New Guinea pioneers transparency on extractives

13 May 19
Papua New Guinea is putting transparency and accountability at the heart of the way it manages its extractives sector.

Its government has adopted a policy to institutionalise the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative standard and will introduce new mechanisms to suppress corruption and earn public trust.

With the help of the Adam Smith International consultancy, PNG is now drafting a law to establish an Extractive Industries Transparency Commission.

“Through this innovative combination of international standards and local contextualisation, PNG is set to dramatically improve standards of transparency and accountability in the mining, oil and gas sectors, and become a leader in transparency standards in the Asia-Pacific region,” the ASI said in a statement.

The new policy goes beyond simply encoding the EITI – the global standard for the good governance of oil, gas and mineral resources – and sets international norms, principles and rules for PNG.

EITI data will be linked to anti-corruption efforts so that if the new commission identifies anything untoward, this must then be investigated by the relevant government body. 

Key company payments must be reported continuously, data relating to a period as far back as the previous year must be disclosed and reconciled, and EITI reports will be reviewed by the PNG auditor-general’s office.

ASI says this level of disclosure means that EITI data will be mainstreamed within government while supporting capacity development in public financial management.

By using EITI data as a diagnostic tool to monitor information about the extractive sector produced by government agencies, the new approach aims to raise overall data standards.

The policy goes beyond the existing 2016 EITI standard by requiring both contract transparency and environmental reporting.

All relevant environmental reports – such as social and environmental impact assessments – must now be made publicly available.

  • Gavin O'Toole, expert on Latin America
    Gavin O'Toole

    A freelance journalist. He has written six books about Latin America and taught the politics of the region at Queen Mary, University of London.

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