Trinidad and Tobago

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Trinidad and Tobago is the Caribbean's leading petroleum producer, with oil and gas generating 44 percent of government revenues in 2011. In recent years it has become a major exporter of liquefied natural gas. The extractive sector as a whole accounted for 37 percent of gross domestic product and 66 percent of exports in 2010.

Trinidad and Tobago's Performance on the Resource Governance Index

Trinidad and Tobago received a "satisfactory" score of 74, ranking 10th out of 58 countries. It scored particularly well on the Safeguards & Quality Controls component.

(out of 58)
(out of 100)
10 Composite Score 74
23 Institutional & Legal Setting 64
Freedom of information law 33
Comprehensive sector legislation 100
EITI participation 33
Independent licensing process 100
Environmental and social impact assessments required 50
Clarity in revenue collection 83
Comprehensive public sector balance 78
SOC financial reports required 0
Fund rules defined in law 100
Subnational transfer rules defined in law N/A
5 Reporting Practices 83
Licensing process 83
Contracts 0
Environmental and social impact assessments 100
Exploration data 100
Production volumes 100
Production value 100
Primary sources of revenue 100
Secondary sources of revenue 75
Subsidies 100
Operating company names 100
Comprehensive SOC reports 100
SOC production data 71
SOC revenue data 50
SOC quasi fiscal activities N/A
SOC board of directors 50
Fund rules 100
Comprehensive fund reports 100
Subnational transfer rules N/A
Comprehensive subnational transfer reports N/A
Subnational reporting of transfers N/A
5 Safeguards & Quality Controls 86
Checks on licensing process 50
Checks on budgetary process 100
Quality of government reports 67
Government disclosure of conflicts of interest 100
Quality of SOC reports 33
SOC reports audited 89
SOC use of international accounting standards 100
SOC disclosure of conflicts of interest 100
Quality of fund reports 100
Fund reports audited 100
Government follows fund rules 83
Checks on fund spending 100
Fund disclosure of conflicts of interest 100
Quality of subnational transfer reports N/A
Government follows subnational transfer rules N/A
19 Enabling Environment 52
Corruption (TI Corruption Perceptions Index & WGI control of corruption) 49
Open Budget (IBP Index) 32
Accountability & democracy (EIU Democracy Index & WGI voice and accountability) 69
Government effectiveness (WGI) 64
Rule of law (WGI) 48
Satisfactory Weak
Partial Failing
To explore all data and compare
scores, use the RGI Data Tool.

Institutional & Legal Setting (Rank: 23rd/58, Score: 64/100) learn more

Trinidad and Tobago has detailed extractive legislation but incomplete disclosure policies, resulting in a "partial" score of 64.

The Energy and Energy Affairs Ministry grants licenses following a competitive bidding process and regulates the sector. Board of Inland Revenue collects taxes, while the ministry collects royalties and other payments. All revenues are received in cash and deposited in the treasury.

Environmental impact assessments are required and often include a voluntary social impact component. A freedom of information act allows the public access to government documents, but the act does not apply to private or state-owned companies. In an effort to further improve transparency, Trinidad and Tobago became an Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative candidate in 2011.

Reporting Practices (Rank: 5th/58, Score: 83/100) learn more

The government publishes useful data on most aspects of the petroleum industry, leading to a "satisfactory" score of 83.

Information on the licensing process is publicly available. Once bidding is complete, awards and block locations are published, but contract terms are not.

The Ministries of Finance and Energy and Energy Affairs and the central bank publish comprehensive information on the petroleum sector, including reserves, prices, and production. The Finance Ministry annually reports on individual revenue streams, such as taxes, royalties, dividends, bonuses, and licensing fees. The central bank publishes information on individual companies' production and payments. State-owned oil and gas companies publish their financial balances, but they are not included in government budget documents. The budget does include figures for the natural resource fund.

Safeguards & Quality Controls (Rank: 5th/58, Score: 86/100) learn more

Trinidad and Tobago earned a "satisfactory" score of 86, reflecting substantive government oversight and effective audit mechanisms.

The licensing process is designed to foster competitive bidding, and regulations govern which companies may be awarded contracts. However, once companies have been selected, contract terms may be negotiated, giving the Energy and Energy Affairs Ministry discretionary powers. There is no way to appeal licensing decisions. Parliamentary oversight of the licensing process is ad hoc, and there is no requirement that petroleum companies disclose beneficial ownership.

Resource revenues are audited and subject to parliamentary and public scrutiny. Government regulators must disclose personal financial interests in the oil and gas sectors.

Enabling Environment (Rank: 19th/58, Score: 52/100) learn more

Trinidad and Tobago's "partial" score of 52 is due to a low ranking for budgetary openness, in contrast to higher scores for democracy, accountability, and government effectiveness.

State-Owned Companies (Rank: 17th/45, Score: 66/100) learn more

Trinidad and Tobago has three fully state-owned companies, the Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago, the National Gas Company, and the National Petroleum Marketing Company; it also holds an interest in several joint ventures. Nevertheless, foreign companies continue to dominate natural gas production.

State-owned companies may fund social initiatives, but do not engage in quasi-fiscal activities. Their audited annual reports are available to the public and, in the case of the National Gas Company, include information on reserves, production volumes, and prices. State-owned companies are required to disclose the financial interests and decision-making processes of their executives.

Natural Resource Funds (Rank: 2nd/23, Score: 98/100) learn more

Trinidad and Tobago created the Heritage and Stabilization Fund in 2007 to help insulate the economy from oil and gas price fluctuations. Law requires deposits be made to the fund when oil and gas revenues exceed expectations and allows for withdrawals when revenues fall short. The fund's auditor has noted that these regulations are broad and subject to interpretation. The Finance Ministry presents audited quarterly reports to Parliament and publishes them. Officials involved in the fund's management are required to disclose any financial interest in the sector.

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