Launched in June 2002 by a small group of non-governmental organizations concerned with environmental, social, and corporate governance issues, Publish What You Pay (PWYP) has evolved into a “global, membership-based coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs) in over forty countries united in their call for an open and accountable extractive sector.” With affiliates in 40 countries worldwide, PWYP has extended its reach and influence to every corner of the globe over the past decade, using public campaigns and advocacy to raise awareness about the management of natural resources and to promote increased transparency and accountability in the extractives sector.
The founding members of PWYP include household names in business ethics and transparency: Global Witness, the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD), the Open Society Institute, Oxfam Great Britain, Save the Children UK, and Transparency International UK. With generous funding from these and other organizations, it’s no surprise that PWYP has experienced tremendous success in pursuing its mission of corporate and government accountability in the extractives sector. PWYP’s global structure is one that encourages participation across all segments of civil society, encompassing executives, professionals, policymakers, academics, students, and members of the public. PWYP’s governance and management is overseen by four bodies: a ‘Global Assembly’ which meets once every three years; the PWYP Global Council; the PWYP Board; and the PWYP Secretariat.
PWYP was launched in Canada in March 2008 “in order to fight for a greater transparency in the extractive sector,” following in the footsteps of the founding charter of PWYP International. PWYP Canada has been integral in promoting corporate and government accountability in the Canadian extractives sector by bringing together stakeholders across Canadian society and it played a key role in the development and launch of the Canadian Extractive Resource Revenue Transparency Working Group in 2012.
Building on PWYP’s global mandate, PWYP Canada seeks to pursue its main objective of increasing transparency and combating corruption in the extractives sector through three key initiatives – the mandatory disclosure of payments made by oil, mining, and gas companies to host governments, “on a disaggregated and project-by-project level”; “the implementation of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) in Canada”, and “the disclosure of all contracts, licenses, and lease agreements in the oil, mining, and gas sector.” By advocating its position to institutions, government agencies, corporations, and investors, PWYP Canada promotes capacity-building through collaboration while working closely with local and international partners.
Despite the monolithic challenges facing transparency initiatives in the global extractives sector, PWYP has made remarkable progress in its mission through its advocacy and outreach efforts. Today, PWYP is leading the charge in promoting revenue transparency in mining, oil, and gas, by using its international network and sterling reputation to facilitate the implementation new regulations and procedures across the globe. We can only hope that PWYP’s efforts will not only promote transparency in this sector, but that this organization’s endeavours will hopefully contribute to more ethical business practices in the corporate world on the whole.