Charity coalition takes step towards disclosure

Country by country reporting by multi-nationals moved a step closer this
week, after the influential International Accounting Standards Board set up a
group to consider the matter.

The move follows months of campaigning by charity coalition Publish What You
Pay, which wants companies to make greater disclosure of their tax payments on a
country by country basis.

The coalition, including Save The Children and CAFOD, has been fighting since
2002 as they fear that the standard on segmental reporting would reduce the
general public’s ability to see what companies are doing in developing

Campaigner Richard Murphy, who has helped lobby the IASB, said that the
latest move by the standards setter was ‘good news’.

He welcomed the IASB’s recognition that the information disclosure requested
by the coalition would be of value for investors, stakeholders and society at

‘We are, however, worried that the IASB made no mention during the discussion
of a willingness to engage with Publish What You Pay and the NGOs that sponsor
it when considering this issue.

‘We think this dialogue is vital because it is clear from the discussion that
not all members understood the importance or relevance of the requests we have
made,’ Murphy said.

This week the IASB, which regulates accounting standards for about 60
countries, agreed to set up a working party to engage with the issue and to
consult the UN, IMF, World Bank and their trustees.

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