Transparency is the only antidote to corruption
On January 27, DiXi Group, with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation and Publish What You Pay (PWYP), held a conference “Transparency as a key to sustainability: successful experience and lessons learned”.
During the event, participants discussed the Ukraine EITI Report 2021 and the Ukrainian experience of EITI implementation in war conditions, why open contracts are essential for today’s world and the future, contract disclosure successes and lessons learned, and recommendations for new EITI members.
Andriy Kitura, senior manager and representative of the Independent Administrator Ernst & Young, noted that the extractive industry plays a more significant role in Ukraine’s economy than the entire energy sector and utility services: in terms of contribution to GDP and the value of manufactured products/services provided.
He added that despite restrictions on the collection, disclosure, and publication of specific accounting and statistical information due to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, 27 out of 57 large extractive companies submitted reports on payments to the state. For one more company, data was provided within the consolidated report of its parent company.
Olga Polunina, sustainable development manager at DiXi Group NGO, named the following first steps among the steps that should be implemented for contracts’ opening acceleration:
- Either partial disclosure of contracts (as Ukraine did, by disclosing key clauses thereof first), the approval of model PSA/concession agreement, or publication of contracts of an “extractive company supporting the transparency standards (for example, a state-owned company or one of the private companies);
- It is essential to create a precedent that will demonstrate that contract disclosure does not harm the interests of the extractive industry. In the case of Ukraine, this had a positive effect, and it was already much easier to conduct further advocacy activities on contract disclosure.
Edwin Ikhuoria, Executive Director of PWYP, noted that PWYP is proud of what Ukraine is doing in the disclosure of the contracts: “The legislation of Ukraine and what the country is doing to open contracts is one of the best examples in the world. We are proud of what civil society and the government do in this direction. In general, transparency is the only antidote to corruption.”
The event will be held with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation and Publish What You Pay (project “Strengthening conditions for opening contracts in the extractive sectors in Eurasia through enhancing cooperation between CSOs in the region”).