Contracts signed between governments and extractive companies determine how much a resource is sold for and how it will be extracted – with far-reaching effects for a country’s economy and its people. When extractive contracts are secret, people can miss out on opportunities for natural resources to drive development. Between 2010 and 2012, for example, DRC’s government secretly sold mining concessions below their market value, depriving the country’s people of US$1.36 billion that could have funded healthcare or education. Contracts negotiated behind closed doors also fuel suspicion and can be manipulated by politicians.
PWYP works for open, competitive bidding processes in which contracts between governments and companies are made publicly accessible. This gives ordinary people the power to ensure that the best deals which most benefit development are reached.
Thanks to PWYP members, contract transparency is becoming a global norm in the extractive sector. More and more contracts are now publicly available, allowing civil society to examine their terms. Whether through national laws or the EITI, the publication of extractive contracts is reducing the likelihood of suspicious transactions and helping ensure that public debate takes place on what the best extraction deals look like.