Congress Mulls More Disclosure of Foreign Paymentsadmin
A House panel is considering legislation that would require public oil, gas and mining companies to disclose payments to foreign governments.
The bill is authored by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. He maintains it would benefit shareholders by letting them better assess risks and compare payments among countries and companies.
U.S. companies pay billions of dollars a year to foreign governments for rights to extract oil, natural gas, coal, copper, diamonds and other resources. Frank said transparency in those payments helps foster a better investment climate and a more stable supply of commodities, while undisclosed payments could be perceived as corruption.