Idea details: Mandatory Reporting on Extractives

The Government of Canada will establish reporting standards on the payments made to governments in Canada and abroad by Canadian companies in the mining, oil, and gas sectors. Extractive companies are often required to make such payments to cover licence fees, rental and entry fees, royalties, and other costs. Mandatory reporting standards will increase Canadians’ awareness about how extractive companies’ revenues are spent, which promotes transparency, and helps to ensure a level playing field for companies operating in Canada and internationally.

Potential activities may include:

  • Creating new legislation on mandatory reporting by companies in the mining, oil, and gas sectors; and
  • Requiring extractives companies to publish data on the payments they make to governments in Canada and around the world.

Your collaboration will help make this proposed activity become a reality. In addition to your general comments, please let us know:

  • What do you see as the ultimate goal for this proposed activity within a two year span?
  • What are the specific actions and milestones required to meet this goal?
  • Who else should be involved in the implementation of this proposed activity?
Thumbs up (67people agree)

Comments

As someone who has worked for several years on accessing information on extractive sector companies, I know firsthand how challenging this can be. I would strongly support making the data on the payments made by extractive sector companies to governments available in an accessible, open format. Given that the ultimate goal of making this information public is to empower citizens and civil society organizations to hold their governments accountable, it is imperative that they be able to easily access it. The information should be easily searchable, with the ability to extract the data to create different tools that help to inform citizens. In order to ensure that this data is useable, the Government of Canada should involve citizens and civil society organizations in providing feedback on the format of these disclosures in order to maximize use of this data.

I agree that accessing information on extractive sector companies is very important and should be readily accessible in a format that is clear and understandable. What is needed to ensure this is an ombudsman who is not linked in any way to government or the industry to ensure that funding is transparent, human and working rights, environmental rights and country rights are protected. We need a means that prevents powerful mining companies from controlling and suing governments who do not follow their exploitive actions in destroying the environment and the lives of people.. I support the suggestions of Kady Seguin.

I support this idea - please include mandatory reporting in Canada's next OGP action plan! Please make the oil companies more accountable.

I have worked for over 20 years in international development cooperation and know how important this initiative is. Mandatory reporting is not only important for the public, here in Canada and in the countries where the mining companies are operating, but it is important for the companies themselves. The more transparent, accountable and predictable the environment for investors and operators, the more assured they can be of making a good return on their investment, while demonstrating their commitment to respect for the law and respect for the people affected by their investments. The extractives sector does not have a good history -- preventable accidents, poor oversight, terrible pollution, human health hazards left unaddressed, bribery and corruption -- all have been features of the sector for decades. Canada is a big player in this area -- we make a lot of money from it, and we are known around the world for our role as investors and technological innovators. It is incumbent on us to demonstrate our commitment to do better going forward.

This sort of transparency is indeed important for investors like myself who want to put their Retirement savings into companies that are ethical. I am happy to invest in this sector especially when it is well run and accountable.

I support this idea - please include mandatory reporting in Canada's next OGP action plan and make mining, oil and gas companies more accountable.

The information that companies will provide should be easy to use, comparable and easy to locate by citizens and civil society organizations in Canada and around the world as well as by Canadian investors.
The time has come for Canada to enable communities affected by mining, oil and gas companies around the world to trace economic benefits of extractive activities in their communities, thereby helping them uphold their human rights.

Implementing mandatory payment reporting standards for Canada's mining, oil and gas companies is a tremendous opportunity for Canadian leadership.

Within a two year span, this legislation should be in force and that at least one fiscal year's worth of information about payments that Canadian companies have made to governments, disaggregated by project, should be publicly available and accessible.

It's also important to remember that transparency does not in and of itself ensure accessibility. A key precondition to transparent information being accessible and useful is that it be housed in a central, searchable and stable archive, in a centralized, open and machine-readable format.

The government should continue to involve both industry and civil society throughout implementation, to ensure that the reporting process is efficient and effective, and that the resulting information is useful and accessible to citizens, governments, investors and civil society.

I strongly urge action which will provide citizens with good information and empower them to make knowledgeable decisions.

I support this idea - please include mandatory reporting in Canada's next OGP action plan!

I completely agree with Samantha Burton's concise comments.
Adding to transparency and accessibility (i.e. no or very small access fees) should be the ability of citizens in any part of the world to research and investigate the actions of extractive industries based in Canada, and challenge them in in Canadian legal venues if needed. Currently there is much government and company surveillance and intimidation of people and organizations trying to challenge extractive industries.

A big issue in Canada is the lax regulatory regime and permissive exploratory regulations that make Canada the preferred headquarters for many mining companies. Mineral "rights" should not override human rights, first nations' land claims, and designations of parks and public lands.

as a global citizen and electrical engineer, i understand the importance of public awareness towards extractive supply chains, as ALL of the world's high-end electronics require rare minerals which are almost exclusively found in heavily-conflicted areas. Canadians should have the right to know where the minerals used in their consumer goods are coming from

This is a powerful mechanism to cast light upon how much governments are receiving from Canadian companies on a project by project basis. Such a tool would be incredibly beneficial to CSOs, industry, investors, and most notably citizens in developing countries.

Mandatory reporting of transactions between companies and governments should be essential to Canada's next OGP planning, as it creates needed transparency for citizens. Providing easy access to this information is key to empowering citizens to hold their governments to account. It is also crucial to keep citizens, governments, companies and civil society as key stakeholders in this process.

I want Canada to show leadership in making mining, oil and gas more accountable

I support this idea - please include mandatory reporting in Canada's next OGP action plan!" or "I want Canada to show leadership in making mining, oil and gas more accountable".

I support this idea - please include mandatory reporting in Canada's next OGP action plan!

I support this idea, I think all industries should be accountable for their actions, which involves transparency to the public.

Accountability and transparency within the mining sector is something that Canada can become a leader in with a clearly outlined and accessible data base that can trace the flow of funds between private businesses and governments. Within a 2 year span I would love to see a fully functional database with information representing at least one fiscal years data. I would also like to see this database readily access able to the general public.

I think that engaging with civil so city institutions would be key to forming how this database should be shaped with many organizations already working in the mining space they could offer a great deal of assistance in this light.

This is a tremendous opportunity for Canada to take a step forward and show that it's ready to become an international leader in transparency with regards to the economic and humanitarian effects of mineral extraction both abroad and at home.

Within a two year span, This project should aim to collect enough informative data regarding: licence fees, rental and entry fees, royalties, and other costs incurred by Canadian Mining companies so that Canadian citizens, investors, and legislators can make pragmatic informed decisions around ethical mining practices and ultimately hold these companies accountable for their actions. Data collected should be presented in a clear and concise format and be distributed using a medium that is easily accessible to ALL Canadian citizens.

This will require the drafting and implementation of reporting standards as well as the creation of a simple distribution platform. Creating the tools necessary to report on spending withing the mining sector is only the first step among many to ensure success. In order for a project like this to be successful further action must be taken to ensure that companies that are reporting spending information do so in an honest and transparent manner. Education and promotion of this undertaking and its goals within the executive branch of mining companies will be imperative to ensure that they are not only comfortable with but support of the ideas presented in this initiative. This project should be actively promoted among circles of engaged Canadian citizens. Hopefully by engaging such groups and organizations the ideas presented can be further disseminated to the Canadian public without creating an unnecessary burden on people directly involved in this project.

It may be useful to involve members or the governments of countries in which Canadian mining companies are active as well as MLAs and Council members of jurisdictions in which mining companies operate. The inclusion of mining, and oil and gas SMEs would also be useful in ensure that all information collected is legitimate and beneficial to Canadian citizens attempting to create informed opinions. The inclusion of industry and civil leaders would also help promote the creation of a fair and effective standard.

Developing a strong action plan commitment on mandatory reporting will further Canada's leadership on this important issue. A strong commitment must have several key components. Firstly, it should support the passage of strong legislation by committing to develop a disclosure regime that requires mining, oil and gas companies publicly disclose payments on a project-by-project and country-by-country basis to all levels of government, both in Canada and abroad. Secondly, it must stipulate that this disclosure will be made available in open data format, in accordance with the G8 Open Data Charter. As the co-chair of the open data working group, Canada should show leadership by not only requiring that data be made available in open and machine readable format, but by committing to create a centralized repository of reports that will store reports for a minimum of ten years. These measures will enable stakeholders to easily access and use the data disclosed, enhancing the power of the disclosure to increase accountability, deter corruption and support effective revenue management and expenditure.

See the proposed action plan commitment drafted by PWYP-Canada for further details: http://www.pwyp.ca/images/PWYP-Canada_OGP_Action_Plan_Commitment_on_Extr...

I absolutely support mandatory reporting. Transparency is the key to accountability

Mandatory reporting of payments to governments by corporations is long overdue. Communities and workers need access to this information in a consistent, easily to access and understand format - and they need it immediately. Please work to implement mandatory reporting requirements with urgency.
The United Steelworkers fully supports this initiative.

All industries should be transparent but especially one that is all too often associated with serious conflict (social conflict or armed conflict, such as Colombia or any number of African countries) and gross human rights violations -- such as the extractives industry. In the context of such conflict, and along with mandatory legislation to keep extractive companies in line, transparency could be interpreted as an indicator that the Canadian government and the extractive companies themselves have a desire to uphold the law, play faily and respect social, cultural, economic, environmental and human rights. This needs to happen.

I want Canada to show leadership in making mining, oil and gas more accountable.

"I support this idea - please include mandatory reporting in Canada's next OGP action plan

Our record on mining is reprehensible. Our record on oil and gas extraction is beyond irresponsible. We need transparency and accountability from all parts of the oil and gas industry.

Partnership Africa Canada fully supports the proposed mandatory disclosure measures. However, as one commentator wrote, "Transparency is the key to accountability". This is to say that the payments disclosure has to be easily accessible and easily understood. This is where the Government has an obligation to provide clear parameters for companies regarding the content and presentation of reports. Canada has an opportunity to set the standard for other jurisdictions.

Extractive industries need to be more accountable - it is the proper role of government to ensure this.

I want Canada to show leadership in making mining, oil and gas more accountable.

Transparency on these kind of expenditures by extractives companies is a good idea. This level of detail is not available in the financial statements of most (any?) Canadian extractives companies now. It would be helpful to shareholders and others who are interested in these expenditures by the companies.

I hope Canada will help lead the way in increasing transparency in the extractives industries.

I strongly support mandatory reporting! There is no accountability without transparency.

I support this idea - please include mandatory reporting in Canada's next OGP action plan!. I want Canada to show leadership in making mining, oil and gas more accountable. I work in international development and the issue of the theft of large sums of revenue from the governments of developing countries and nations with emerging economies because international and national mining and resource companies use sophisticated methods of transfer pricing to move the product outside of the country before maximising the profit on those resources. Transparent reporting of all aspects of the extraction process and the revenue stream should be introduced into law to insure that Canadian resource companies are not taking advantage of governments in the developing world. The loss of extractive industry profits represents more money than all of the Official Development Assistance provided by donor nations. This has to stop.

Canada is a developed nation. We must show leadership in making oil, gas and mining companies more accountable to the Canadian people and our only environment.

It is imperative that Canada support mandatory accountability and transparency in its mining, oil and gas industries.

I support this idea - its too bad it hasn't been considered already, it's time to make this right and add mandatory reporting in Canada's next OGP action plan!

I want Canada to show leadership in making mining, oil and gas more accountable

I absolutely support this. The role of Canadian companies in foreign mining can be a major source of national pride or international scandal. Transparency seems a simple and proactive way to promote the former over the latter. I would further emphasize that whatever standards Canada puts in place should be based on emerging international standards and best practices.

I support this idea - please include mandatory reporting in Canada's next OGP action plan.

I strongly support this initiative, as a first step to make the relationship between extractive industries and Canadian government transparent. This is well overdue. About 75% of international mining companies are headquartered in Canada, and many have shocking human rights abuses in Canada and abroad.

I want Canada to show leadership in making mining, oil and gas more accountable. I fully support mandatory reporting and transparency

Mandatory reporting is very important in the effort to safeguard communities affected by the extractive industries, the world really!

Given Canada's important position in the extractives industry, both a major centre of mining, oil, and gas, and as a home to many extractive companies, it has a key role to play in ensuring that this important sector of the economy provides maximum benefit to the communities and countries in which it operates. Transparency is an important step forward in encouraging companies to use better practices, and holding to account those that do not.

I support this idea 100% - please include mandatory reporting in Canada's next OGP action plan!

Mandatory reporting of payments, in an accessible and disaggregated form, is essential in order to identify and eventually eliminate illegal payments. It is perhaps even more important in order to make possible informed discussions and democratic decisions about the collection and distribution of revenues from resource extraction.

Mandatory reporting by corporations in the extractives industry is imperative to promoting social justice and a culture of democratic participation. Corporations need to be made accountable for promoting sustainable development within the communities and countries in which they extract resources. This involves a commitment to labour rights, environmental rights, and socio-cultural rights of the populations living in these areas. Without mandatory reporting, corporations are not held accountable to these goals and instead pursue the goals of maximum extraction and profit-seeking. Mandatory reporting is required to democratically subject resource extraction and economic growth subject to principles of social justice.

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