For the purpose of this report, corruption is understood as the “abuse of public or private office for personal gain”.1 This notion covers a broad range of activities and behaviours such as trading in influence, political capture and interference, conflicts of interest, bribery of domestic public officials and bribery of foreign public officials, including facilitation payments, extortion, fraud, embezzlement, misappropriation or other diversion of property, abuse of function, illicit enrichment, bribery in the private sector, embezzlement of property in the private sector, concealment of property resulting from corruption, and obstruction of justice.2

This typology is the first attempt to cover in a systematic manner the entire value chain from the decision to extract to the spending and allocation of extractive revenues. The World Bank Group’s “extractive industries value chain” and the Decision Chain elaborated by the Resource Governance Institute3 were used as reference frameworks. This analysis is articulated around the following phases, namely: i) decision to extract; ii) award of mineral, oil and gas rights; iii) regulation and management of operations; iv) revenue collection; v) revenue management, and vi) revenue spending and social investment projects.

Extractive industries value chain

It maps out corruption schemes, identifies the parties involved, clarifies their roles on the demand and supply side and how they interact. It also systematically reviews the mechanisms and vehicles commonly used to channel payments, and conceal corrupt activities and the proceeds of corruption. It further outlines specific factors at both public and private levels that increase vulnerability and exposure to risk. Identified risks are matched against mitigation measures and options for incentives/disincentives are offered to reduce opportunities for corruption within both the public and private sectors.

This analysis is structured around the following building blocks, and seeks to systematise available information, knowledge and data on:

  • typologies of conduct at risk and corruption schemes, i.e. examples of corrupt behaviour at each stage of the extractive value chain, following the above categorisation of offenses (“what”);

  • parties involved, their roles in the demand and supply sides and how they interact (“who”);

  • vehicles and mechanisms commonly used to conceal corrupt activities and/or channel the proceeds of corruption (“how”);

  • specific risk factors that increase vulnerability and exposure to corruption in both the public and private spheres;

  • mitigation measures to reduce corruption risks;

  • incentives and disincentives that can be put in place in the public and private sectors to make corruption less attractive.

An inductive and deductive approach was used. Schemes, parties involved, mechanisms and vehicles have been derived from the examination of 131 cases reported in publicly available databases and in the press, and based on input received from participants in the Multi-Stakeholder Working Group on Corruption Risks (hereafter referred to as the Working Group on Corruption Risks),4 which was established under the OECD Initiative for Policy Dialogue on Natural Resource-based Development to support the preparation of the study. Additional material was drawn from literature reviews and studies carried out by the OECD, partner organisations in the Policy Dialogue (such as the UNDP and the World Bank Group), non-governmental organisations (Transparency International, Natural Resource Governance Institute, Berne Declaration, Global Witness, Friends of Europe, Centre for Public Integrity), research institutions (U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre) and law firms’ publications. The majority of reported cases are based on the Trace Compendium database,5 providing summaries of completed and ongoing international anti-bribery enforcement actions. Complementary sources of information on completed and pending cases include the OECD Watch’s online database,6 the Business Anti-Corruption Portal,7 and the reports of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).8 Risk factors were inferred from the literature review, the reported cases and the direct experience of participants in the working group of the Policy Dialogue.

All the cases have been anonymised to protect the confidentiality of any ongoing legal proceedings, and the identities of persons and companies that have not been convicted to protect their right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court of law. This has also been done in order to collate information, identify patterns of corruption and allow for frank and open exchanges among participants in the Working Group on Corruption Risks, and more broadly in the Policy Dialogue.


← 1. For a definition of the different terms, see OECD (2008), Corruption: A Glossary of International Standards in Criminal Law, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264027411-en.

← 2. See note 1.

← 3. The Resource Governance Institute’s decision chain is articulated as follows: the decision to extract, getting a good deal; collecting revenues; managing volatile resources; investing for sustainable development.

← 4. The Working Group on Corruption Risks is composed as follows: France, Guinea, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Eni, Berne Declaration, Engineers Without Borders, Natural Resource Governance Institute, Oxfam France, Sherpa France, Transparency International, U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Center. Seven teleconferences of the working group were held between January and November 2015.

← 5. The Trace compendium is a database of summaries of both completed and ongoing international anti-bribery enforcement actions. Most actions included in the TRACE Compendium are Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) enforcement actions brought by the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and/or the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). However, the TRACE Compendium also includes the growing number of international anti-bribery enforcement actions brought by enforcement authorities outside of the United States, particularly amongst signatories to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. Enforcement activity included in the TRACE Compendium shares one characteristic:the conduct at issue – the bribery – crosses an international border. Domestic anti-bribery prosecutions and investigations are outside the scope of the TRACE Compendium. www.traceinternational.org/compendium (last accessed in December 2014).

← 6. The OECD Watch’s online case database contains information on OECD Guidelines cases raised by civil society organisations before National Contact Points. The database contains relevant information about the cases, including the complaint, supporting documents, letters and statements. It covers 34 OECD and 12 non-OECD countries. http://oecdwatch.org/cases (last accessed in January 2015).

← 7. The Business Anti-Corruption Portal is a government-sponsored one-stop shop for anti-corruption compliance resource aimed at the business community. The Portal is supported by the European Union; Sweden’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs; Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development; the UK’s Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS); the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad); the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC); and the Danish International Development Agency (Danida). www.business-anti-corruption.com/.

← 8. The reports published under the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) are available at: https://eiti.org/countries.