Open Government Partnership – Australia

1.3 - Natural Resource Transparency

We will work together to enhance disclosure of company payments and government revenues from oil, gas and mining.

Objective
Australia will work towards compliance with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) standard and continue 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. This requires us to report annually on governance and payments in the oil, gas and mining sectors.

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

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: EITI International, Transparency International, Publish What You Pay and a range of relevant non-government groups. Minerals Council of Australia, Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association and extractive industries companies

Milestones

  1. Establish a Multi-Stakeholder Group (representing industry, non-government organisations and government) to oversee the implementation of the EITI standard in Australia.
    • November 2016 - Ongoing
  2. Submit a formal application for EITI candidacy.
    • March - June 2017
  3. Produce Australia’s first EITI report.
    • Mid - End 2018
  4. Commence validation to become EITI compliant.
    • Early - Mid 2019