Seeing through Transparency International
by Calvin Tucker / May 23rd, 2008
The credibility of Transparency International (external - login to view)
, a global “non-partisan” organisation which “promotes transparency in elections, in public administration, in procurement and in business”, is on the line. Their latest report on Venezuela, which was produced after months of research, is factually inaccurate in almost every respect. TI say that they “stand by their report” and stand by the person who compiled the data, an anti-Chávez activist who backed the 2002 military coup against democracy.
The full report, dated April 28 2008 and titled Promoting Revenue Transparency (external - login to view)
examined the published accounts of oil companies in 42 different countries, and ranked them according to whether they were of high, medium or low transparency. Venezuela’s state-owned oil firm PDVSA was given the lowest possible ranking. Transparency International say that “comprehensive corporate reporting diminishes the opportunities for corrupt officials to extort funds”.
PDVSA was directly accused of failing to disclose basic financial information such as their revenues and how much royalties they paid, and of not producing properly audited accounts. The international corporate media considers TI to be a reliable source, despite the fact that almost all their funding comes from western governments and big business. The British government is one of the major donors, contributing Ł1 million in 2007. Other donors include the US government, Shell and Exxon Mobil. Unsurprisingly, TI’s damning report was seized upon by rightwing newspapers (external - login to view)
and websites and used as another stick with which to beat Venezuela’s socialist president, Hugo Chávez.
Whewww.dissidentvoice.org/2008/05/seeing-through-transparency-international/ (external - login to view)