US Extractive Firms Obliged to Disclose Overseas Payments

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has adopted rules that would make it a legal requirement for listed companies operating in the extractive industries and doing business in Cambodia to disclose all major payments they make to the government. The rules, which were adopted in Washington on Wednesday and stem from the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Investor Protection Act, have been under consideration for the past 16 months as the industry groups did their best to lobby the SEC into making the regulations as loose as possible for fear such levels of openness would put them at a competitive disadvantage. For Cambodia, it means that such companies as Chevron Corp., Total, ConocoPhilips, and China National Offshore Oil Cooperation-which all have offshore exploration licenses and issue shares in the U.S- will be obliged to disclose all payments made to the Cambodian government over $100,000 from Septmeber 2013 onwards. … While the Ministry of Finance begun publishing revenues earned from the extractive industries here, it does so arbitrarily and avoids breaking down where the payments come from. … So far, Cambodia has refused to join global oversight schemes such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, which requires governments to declare their income and expenditure from money they earn from payments such as contracts, bonuses and royalties.