Natural Resource Fund Transparency

Key messages

  • Transparency is a prerequisite for government accountability. It can also help make government more efficient, help prevent fiscal crises, and improve policy coherence. Finally, it can improve the private investment climate and help build trust between a government and the public.
  • Natural resource fund transparency can be defined as clear roles and responsibilities for managers and policymakers, publicly available information, open decision-making processes, reporting and assurances of accurate information.
  • Most of the 24 government signatories of the Santiago Principles, a set of voluntary good governance and transparency standards for sovereign wealth funds, have improved their funds’ transparency over the past several years.
  • Among the funds reviewed, the Alaskan (USA), Chilean, Ghanaian, Norwegian, Texan (USA) and Timor-Leste funds are characterized by a high degree of transparency. Most funds in the Middle East and North Africa are not, which has sometimes resulted in serious mismanagement of public resources.
  • This paper provides a checklist of key transparency provisions for natural resource funds.
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