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The Bolivian government has historically depended on the mining industry for much of its funding, but revenues from petroleum have become even more important in recent years. The extractive industries as a whole made up 29 percent of government revenues, 82 percent of exports and 18 percent of gross domestic product in 2011. Bolivia became a natural gas exporter in the 1990s and is now the third-largest producer in South America. It also produces zinc, tin, silver, gold, and lead.

Bolivia's Performance on the Resource Governance Index

Bolivia received a "partial" score of 53, ranking 24th out of 58 countries. A high Institutional & Legal Setting score was undone by a poor Enabling Environment and weak Reporting Practices.

(out of 58)
(out of 100)
24 Composite Score 53
10 Institutional & Legal Setting 80
Freedom of information law 67
Comprehensive sector legislation 100
EITI participation 0
Independent licensing process 50
Environmental and social impact assessments required 100
Clarity in revenue collection 100
Comprehensive public sector balance 100
SOC financial reports required 100
Fund rules defined in law N/A
Subnational transfer rules defined in law 100
29 Reporting Practices 47
Licensing process 0
Contracts 33
Environmental and social impact assessments 0
Exploration data 17
Production volumes 100
Production value 67
Primary sources of revenue 44
Secondary sources of revenue 0
Subsidies 67
Operating company names 0
Comprehensive SOC reports 17
SOC production data 76
SOC revenue data 67
SOC quasi fiscal activities 0
SOC board of directors 50
Fund rules N/A
Comprehensive fund reports N/A
Subnational transfer rules 100
Comprehensive subnational transfer reports 100
Subnational reporting of transfers 100
23 Safeguards & Quality Controls 63
Checks on licensing process 33
Checks on budgetary process 33
Quality of government reports 79
Government disclosure of conflicts of interest 100
Quality of SOC reports 83
SOC reports audited 33
SOC use of international accounting standards 0
SOC disclosure of conflicts of interest 100
Quality of fund reports N/A
Fund reports audited N/A
Government follows fund rules N/A
Checks on fund spending N/A
Fund disclosure of conflicts of interest N/A
Quality of subnational transfer reports 67
Government follows subnational transfer rules 100
33 Enabling Environment 32
Corruption (TI Corruption Perceptions Index & WGI control of corruption) 37
Open Budget (IBP Index) 18
Accountability & democracy (EIU Democracy Index & WGI voice and accountability) 50
Government effectiveness (WGI) 39
Rule of law (WGI) 13
Satisfactory Weak
Partial Failing
To explore all data and compare
scores, use the RGI Data Tool.

Institutional & Legal Setting (Rank: 10th/58, Score: 80/100) learn more

Bolivia performed better on this component than any other. A comprehensive legal regime and substantial reporting requirements earned it a "satisfactory" score of 80.

Bolivia nationalized its hydrocarbon industry in 2006, when gas companies' concessions were changed to service contracts with Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB), a state-owned company that is now the sole concessionaire. There is no longer a licensing process; YPFB negotiates service agreements with extractive companies. YPFB also collects taxes and royalties, which have increased from 18 percent to 50 percent of total production following the approval of the new Hydrocarbon Act in 2005. YPFB transfers the revenues to the Ministry of Economy and Finance. The Hydrocarbons and Energy Ministry sets policy and the National Agency of Hydrocarbons is charged with regulating the sector, though it currently lacks the capacity to do so effectively.

By law, environmental and social impact assessments must be performed, but the results are not published. Bolivian law requires that government institutions, including YPFB, provide free access to information, and all relevant legislation is available on government websites.

Reporting Practices (Rank: 29th/58, Score: 47/100) learn more

While a number of government agencies publish data on the extractive industries, this information is scattered and incomplete, resulting in a "weak" score of 47.

YPFB provides some information on its agreements with extractive companies, but does not publish contracts themselves. The Economy and Finance Ministry publishes information on royalties and taxes. The Hydrocarbons and Energy Ministry publishes production volumes, prices, company-by-company production data, and some information on royalties. The Central Bank provides information on petroleum prices, the value of exports, and tax revenues. The National Agency of Hydrocarbons provides information only on the downstream gas industry.

Safeguards & Quality Controls (Rank: 23rd/58, Score: 63/100) learn more

Bolivia's "partial" score of 63 is the product of insufficient checks on the licensing and budgetary process and ineffective auditing mechanisms, although the score is improved by policies aimed at reducing conflicts of interest among civil servants and YPFB officials.

While national law regulates YPFB's subcontracting procedures, in practice YPFB has significant discretion in selecting its partner companies. The Plurinational Assembly, Bolivia's legislature, must approve these agreements, but there is no way for outside parties to appeal contracting decisions.

Bolivia's Comptroller General audits resource revenues but only reports back to the agencies it reviews. Findings are not presented to lawmakers or made public.

Enabling Environment (Rank: 33rd/58, Score: 32/100) learn more

Bolivia received a "failing" score of 32, with particularly low rankings for budgetary transparency and the rule of law.

State-Owned Companies (Rank: 21st/45, Score: 53/100) learn more

YPFB is entirely government owned and has a monopoly over Bolivia's petroleum resources. The company produces quarterly reports with information about production, marketing, pricing, royalties, and taxes, but information about reserves has not been updated since 2009. External audits are conducted annually, but are not published.

Subnational Transfers (Rank: 3rd/30, Score: 94/100) learn more

National laws include a range of mechanisms for transferring extractive revenues to regional and municipal governments, and the government appears to follow these provisions. The Hydrocarbons and Energy Ministry and the Economy and Finance Ministry provide comprehensive data on the transfers.

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