Wed, 02 Feb 2011

From: The Jakarta Post

By Erwida Maulia, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
A coalition of watchdogs supervising Indonesia's adoption of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is optimistic the government and the country's extractive industries will comply with demands for transparency in revenue reports in the sector.

Ridaya Laodengkowe, the coordinator of the coalition naming itself Publish What You Pay - Indonesia, said the optimism came despite no sanctions provided for disobedient organizations.

"Companies have an interest in disclosing [the required data]. They have motives, among others, to please their investors," he told a press conference here Tuesday.

"The government, meanwhile, needs to build Indonesia's image as a transparent country open to investment," he added.

Under the EITI framework, extractive companies are required to submit data regarding taxes and other payments they pay to the government in regards to their exploration activities.

Government institutions, meanwhile, in this case the Finance Ministry and local administrations collecting revenues from the industries, are required to submit data regarding said revenues.

An independent reconcilliator will be appointed to verify data from both parties.

There are at present 33 EITI compliant countries, and Indonesia is an EITI candidate hoping to comply with the initiative, supported by the World Bank, within the next two years.

Publish What You Pay - Indonesia has dozens of members, including Transparency International Indonesia, the Indonesian Forum for Budget Transparency, Indonesia Corruption Watch and Pattiro.