Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


Chevron shareholders call for transparency after alleged corrupt payments to Burma

April 2012

Demands that Chevron adopts country selection procedures in the wake of a number of international scandals have been made by shareholders.

A resolution telling the oil giant to implement and disclose investment guidelines, prompted by allegedly corrupt payments to the Burmese regime, demands that Chevron provides stakeholders with "a transparent, well-defined set of guidelines that demonstrates the company's reasons for investment, continued operation and withdrawal from certain countries".

The shareowners suggest the guidelines include transparency on payments to countries, and a commitment to further the goals of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

Campaigners have long sought transparency on companies' payments to access natural resources on a country-by-country basis, though this is one of the first demands from shareholders themselves. Disclosure of payments to individual regimes continues to meet corporate opposition and, although Chevron met those proposing the investment criteria resolution, it ultimately dismissed the call as 'unproductive'.

In Burma, the controversy centres on the discrepancy surrounding payments by Chevron and other companies.

The payments would account for 57% of budget revenues at official market exchange rates, but the Burmese regime's falsified accounting process puts them at less than 1%. In addition, there are widespread concerns over human rights, forced labour and torture in Burma.

Chevron has recently been embroiled in other expensive scandals, not least in Ecuador, which is threatening to seize the company's assets worldwide to call in a $1bn (£630m, €758m) fine.

Chevron | Global | Shareholder activism


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