Picture of oil field pumps taken 28 July

The US took the number two spot on the Revenue Watch Institute’s 2013 Resource Governance Index, which ranks governance quality in 58 countries’ oil, gas and mining sectors.

Norway performed best of the countries surveyed, with a 98. Myanmar came in last place, earning a 4. The country was barely beat out by Turkmenistan, which scored a 5.

Canada, surprisingly, came in 7th, behind Brazil and Mexico.

The index calculates a composite score based on four criteria:  rules, regulations, legal norms or institutions in place; disclosure of revenues that governments get from resource-extractive companies; the quality of the data provided; and “broader governance”, which is critical to realizing the benefits of solid regulatory institutions and data disclosure.

“The full impact of more transparency and accountability will not be realized at the country level if there is no freedom of the press, no political civil liberties, the rule of law is not working and there’s enormous corruption at the country level,” said RWI President Danny Kaufman.

Low-scoring countries have far more poor people than countries at the higher end of the score spectrum. Of four categories – satisfactory, partial, weak and failing – the 26 “weak” and “failing” countries hold more than 300 million living on less than $2 a day. This compares to 149 million people at an analogous poverty level in the partial performance countries, and just 10 million in countries with satisfactory performance.

Four Best Performers

1. Norway (98)

2. United States (92)

3. United Kingdom (88)

4. Australia (85)

Four Worst Performers

55. Libya (19)

56. Equatorial Guinea (13)

57. Turkmenistan (5)

58. Myanmar (4)

You can access the full report here.

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