Open Letter to EITI Chairperson on Consultation for Contract Transparency

21/5/2013

Chairman,

Tanzania Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (TEITI)

P.O. Box 9333,

Dar es Salaam,

Tanzania

Dear Sir.

Re. Consultation for Contract Transparency

Reference is made to the EITI International Secretariat updated Communique dated 14 February 2013 on the above subject.

We, the undersigned civil society organizations in our monthly meeting on March 28, 2013 observed Tanzania’s decision to opt for partial disclosure of contracts (refer to table 1 on page 3). Uncomfortable with this decision, we hereby register our concern on the following grounds:

1.    The decision undermines Tanzania’s commitment to transparency and good governance. While we understand and appreciate the argument for protecting commercially sensitive information, evidence elsewhere has proved that there is no commercially sensitive information contained in the contracts. Experience from Ghana and Liberia where contracts have been published, so far there is no evidence justifying that such move has caused business damage to the respective companies and the governments. What is exceptional about Tanzania?

2.    Further, this decision sends a message that Tanzania is lagging behind global trends in promoting transparency. The draft EITI new standards (section 3.12) encourages implementing countries to publicly disclose any contracts and licenses that provide the terms attached to the exploitation of oil, gas and minerals.

3.    Finally, as civil society organisations, we feel that our constituency has not been adequately consulted before reaching this decision. While we recognize that the proposals were discussed at the Multi-stakeholder Group; wider consultation with broader spectrum of CSOs could have resulted in a better, more amicable outcome.

To this end, we hereby call upon your esteemed body to reconsider this decision; and that Tanzania ought to go for full disclosure of contracts.

Much as we have confidence and trust in you for your commitment to transparency, it is our hope that wisdom will prevail on this matter.  

Signed:

1.    Agenda Participation 2000

2.    Interfaith Standing Committee on Economic Justice and the Integrity of Creation

3.    HakiMadini

4.    Policy Forum

5.    Oil and Natural Gas Environment Alliance (ONGEA)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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