18 September 2012 at 11:08 BST

EU committee backs anti-corruption proposals

Tough European anti-corruption rules targeting the energy sector have been backed by an influential EU parliamentary committee.

Oiling the wheels no longer allowed

The proposed rules -- which will end secrecy over corporate payments – have won the support of the parliament’s legal affairs committee in a move welcomed by anti-fraud campaigners. The proposed regime will also extend a mandatory corporate disclosure regime to the forestry, construction, telecommunications and banking sectors.
The disclosure rules will require companies to report payments of €80,000 or more that are made to officials at all levels of government. The companies will also be required to link the payments to individual oil, gas, mining or forestry projects – providing detailed information of the deals done with host governments.

Exemption rejected

The committee also dismissed a proposal from the European Commission to exempt companies in certain situations, such as where disclosure is prohibited by host countries – an exemption reportedly regarded as a ‘tyrants veto’.
Berlin-based campaigning group Transparency International welcomed the committee’s approach. ‘The result of this vote in the European Parliament will be welcomed by millions in resource-rich developing countries who have been deprived of stolen oil and gas funds,’ said Jana Mittermaier, director of its EU Office. ‘Wealth in some of the poorest countries should no longer stay in the hands of corrupt elites, politicians and industry insiders. The publication of business information on a country-by-country and project-by-project basis is an important step toward greater accountability of governments and corporations worldwide.’

 
   
 
 
 

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