Open Government Partnership – Australia

1.3 - Extractive industries transparency

Objective and description:

Australia will enhance disclosure of company payments and government revenues from the oil, gas and mining sectors.

We will do this by implementing the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Standard (including working to enhance company disclosure of payments to governments for the sale of petroleum and minerals) and by continuing to support the application of EITI principles around the world.

Status Quo:

The sustainable development of natural resources (oil, gas and minerals) requires transparent and accountable management of revenue received from these industries, including taxes, royalties and other payments. 

The EITI is a global standard to promote the open and accountable management of natural resources. The Australian Government has been a major supporter of the EITI, committing more than A$20 million since 2007.

Australia announced its intention to seek EITI compliance on 6 May 2016, following a pilot to test the applicability of EITI rules and principles to Australian conditions between 2011 and 2014. State and territory governments support the Australian EITI and will participate directly in the implementation process. The EITI Standard will require companies and governments to report annually on governance and payments in the oil, gas and mining sectors. It will also require enhanced transparency of beneficial ownership information (related to commitment 1.2).

The oil, gas and mining industries face increasing scrutiny. Our commitment to the EITI Standard will help to build the public trust necessary for an enduring and sustainable industry.

Ambition:

To enhance transparency and accountability in the extractive industries sector.

Relevance:

This commitment will advance the OGP values of access to information and public accountability by:

  • providing timely, reliable, publicly available and independently verified data on the extractives industries’ contribution to the Australian economy;

  • encouraging EITI adoption in resource-rich countries and support a level playing field for Australian companies seeking to invest in those markets;

  • demonstrating Australia’s commitment to global transparency, anti-corruption and tackling tax avoidance; consistent with current domestic and international trends; and

  • supporting the extractive industries’ social licence to operate, demonstrating its commitment to transparent and accountable operations.

OGP Grand Challenge:

  • Increasing Corporate Accountability

  • More Effectively Managing Public Resources

Timeframes:

September 2016 – Mid 2019

Lead agency:

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (eiti@industry.gov.au)

Other actors involved: 

  • Government - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Treasury, Australian Taxation Office, state and territory governments

  • Non-government - Non-government organisations (including EITI International, Australian Open Government Partnership Network, Transparency International Australia, Publish What You Pay Australia) and private sector (includingMinerals Council of Australia, Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association and extractive industries companies)

Milestones

  • Establish a Multi-Stakeholder Group (representing industry, non-government organisations and government) to oversee the implementation of the EITI Standard in Australia (including working to enhance company disclosure of payments to governments for the sale of petroleum and minerals).

    • Commenced - Ongoing

  • Submit a formal application for EITI candidacy.

    • March 2017 - June 2017

  • Produce Australia’s first EITI report.

    • Mid 2018 - End 2018

  • Commence validation to become EITI compliant (at discretion of EITI Secretariat).

    • Early 2019 - Mid 2019