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Revenue Watch Index (RWI) 2010

Revenue Watch Index (RWI) 2010 - Government disclosure of oil, gas and minerals management

RWI and Transparency International (TI) have ranked Brazil and Norway highest among 41 resource-rich countries for government disclosure of oil, gas and minerals management. Malaysia ranks 22nd, below Papua New Guinea and Indonesia, in the middle category of Partial Revenue Transparency, where revenue information is disclosed but there are major transparency gaps. (The table for the 41 countries is attached). However, it was noted that Malaysia has been able to build highly functioning oil industries.

The 56-page report compares public disclosure transparency of 41 governments of oil, gas and minerals revenues and information about contracts and other basic data. Full report available at:

Oil, gas and minerals play a critical role in the global economy: petroleum and petroleum products account for 15% of world trade, and oil and mining account for up to 80% of the gross national products of countries in the Index.

To measure revenue transparency, seven key areas of resources management were evaluated for availability of information:
  • access to resources (availability of information on contracts and licensing terms and procedures, and the legal and regulatory framework relating to accessibility of information), 
  • revenue generation (availability of detailed government agency-published information on production and payments, with an assessment of its accessibility and frequency), 
  • institutional setting (rules, roles and responsibilities of the main actors in the management of revenue generation, and internal controls and other checks), 
  • state-owned companies (availability of information on governance structures of state-owned entities, and the reporting of their activities), 
  • natural resource funds (rules governing operation of the funds and their reporting practices), 
  • sub-national transfers (laws that regulate revenuesharing among different levels of government and disclosure of information on revenuesharing); and 
  • Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) (the extent to which member countries have fulfilled EITI criteria (publication of EITI reports, independent payment audits and reconciliations, and information on payments and revenues from state-owned companies).
Government transparency about resources revenues is essential to fight high-level corruption and to build public trust that the government will properly manage resources for the good of the country and its citizens. Transparent and accountable management of revenues is fundamental to economic development and the public good. Citizens and civil society require transparency and disclosure in order to be able to hold the government accountable. TI calls on the government to heed and remedy the weaknesses highlighted by the Index, and for the public and civil society to press for improved transparency.

Revenue Watch Institute promotes the effective, transparent and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral resources for the public good. Through capacity building, technical assistance, research, funding and advocacy, it helps countries to realise the development benefits of their natural resource wealth.

Transparency International (TI) is the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption. Through more than 90 chapters worldwide and an international secretariat in Berlin, TI raises awareness of the damaging effects of corruption and works with partners in government, business and civil society to develop and implement effective measures to tackle it.

by Datuk Paul Low Seng Kuan, President
Transparency International – Malaysia