Greater transparency on who ultimately controls and profits from companies is increasing in priority on national agendas
An independent evaluation of the Opening Extractives (OE) programme conducted by Oxford Insights found that OE has proved key in supporting countries to implement changes for improving the transparency of company ownership structures.
With large volumes of revenue, extractive industries are vulnerable to corruption, often facilitated through the use of anonymous companies. The Opening Extractives (OE) programme is increasing transparency in resource-rich countries by collecting and publishing information about company ownership structures and supporting the use of this information.
Oxford Insights conducted an independent evaluation of the OE programme and found that significant progress has been made over the first two and a half years of implementation including raising awareness on the importance of the beneficial ownership transparency -disclosing who ultimately controls and profits from a company-, building capacity across governments of the 11 countries where OE operates, providing technical assistance, and promoting expert knowledge sharing.
Citizens of resource-rich countries as primary benefactors
The technical assistance provided to governments has proved key in supporting countries to implement reforms on anti-corruption, particularly in countries with specific goals targeting compliance with EITI’s Requirements. Ultimately, reducing corruption ensures the revenues generated by the extractives sector provide maximum benefit to every citizen through better access to goods and services.
One of the most important milestones achieved by the OE programme so far is the demonstrated impact it has had in Liberia. Liberia recently adopted new beneficial ownership regulations which require companies to disclose information about their beneficial or ultimate owners in a new central register. The register has since been launched, with the aim of increasing governance in the country’s extractive sector.
The evaluation also highlighted the OE programme’s technical assistance contribution to improve governance in Ghana, Nigeria and Zambia’s extractive sector.
"We’ve seen beneficial ownership transparency as a critical issue at every step in the natural resource value chain – from licensing to payments of taxes and royalties to government procurement – so to see such great progress from this initiative in the early stages is exciting. While beneficial ownership transparency is not a silver bullet, without it, the chances of success in the fight against corruption fall significantly.” Fiona Avery, Program Director, Natural Resource Governance.
The Opening Extractives (OE) programme is jointly implemented by the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and Open Ownership, funded by the BHP Foundation’s Natural Resource Governance program, which partners with international institutions, governments, civil society and business working across the natural resource value chain to enhance governance, reduce corruption and enable people to have agency and voice in decisions affecting them. Learn more.