Para-economic Expenditures by Oil Companies

The increasingly vocal debate about corporate accountability – whether in terms of financial probity, transparency or social responsibility – has recently crystallised in a number of national and international legal instruments designed to reduce or eliminate unacceptable business practices, broadly defined as “those that are not allowed at home, and hence should not be practiced away from home”. This note explores one aspect of this subject, namely those ‘murky payments’ that are not explicitly required by law, yet seem “necessary to get the job done”. This paper focuses on defining such payments, and develops and explores a proposal for their exposure and accounting.

By: Juan Carlos Boué