It is a pleasure to be here today among such a distinguished and diverse group, coming together as a global community to consider how we can better promote transparency, accountability, and good governance in the oil, gas, and mineral sectors with the goal of helping ensure the people of a country benefit from the development of their country’s natural resources.
President Obama has made transparency across government a key part of the United States government's agenda. Together with Colombia we launched the Open Government Partnership, and President Obama has elevated the United States' strong support and engagement in Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) since its inception into a commitment to implement EITI domestically in the United States. This effort is complementary to our mandatory reporting requirements that are also in place.
I would like to note that our group here today includes several company and civil society members of the USEITI Advisory Committee – our U.S. multi-stakeholder group – who are working together with the government, under the leadership of my colleagues at the U.S. Department of the Interior, to implement EITI in the United States. The United States is hard at work toward meeting EITI’s sign-up requirements so that we can join this growing – and truly global – movement of countries that have made the commitment to their people to manage their extractive sectors responsibly and transparently.
The reports we will produce under EITI will be all the more useful to U.S. citizens because of the revised requirements EITI adopted this week. Taken together, these changes ensure EITI will provide a more complete picture of extractive activities -- not only the basic data of what payments were made, but also of the broader context that makes these data more understandable and therefore more useable and valuable to citizens holding governments accountable. This includes the process a government used to award the contract; basic information from license agreements, such as the name of the companies that are licensed to explore and develop resources; which agencies received payments; and of how the revenues fit into the bigger fiscal framework.
These are pivotal changes for the EITI, and for the efforts to build accountability, good governance, and prosperity, ones that will yield benefits in terms of better governance and business and investment climates in the countries implementing EITI.
The United States looks forward to working further with this community not only as a supporting and donor country, but as an implementing country.