Company disclosure laws introduced for UK extractives companies
A new commitment by the UK under the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) forces extractives companies operating in the UK to disclose ownership.
The UK's announcement to mandate the disclosure of ownership of extractives companies is being cheered by NGO Global Witness, which is campaigning for full disclosure of all companies’ ownership globally.
UK oil, gas and mining companies should disclose the identities of all beneficial owners with a controlling share of more than 25%, according to the agreement. All the information is scheduled to be published in the UK’s first EITI report, expected to be released in early 2016.
“It’s a standard for good governance of natural resources and the fact that they are doing it under EITI is a sign that it is important,” says Eddie Rich, deputy head and regional director for Africa and Middle East, EITI International Secretariat. Besides disclosing ownership, companies are asked to reveal any connections with politicians or government officials.
“It’s of interest to the public to know where the flesh and blood owners reside and the country where the company is, and whether it is politically exposed or connected,” he adds. “Our end goal is to help effective management of this sector in a country...