I am very lucky to have some very good researchers working for me on a corruption monitoring project that is being sponsored by the Open Society Institute’s Justice Initiative. One of the areas we are investigating is the oil extractive industry and City University student Elena Egawhary is doing an excellent job researching the anti-corruption mechanisms in place within this industry. Last week, she turned some of her findings into an article for the Guardian. Well done Elena!
The full EDU register of oil company hospitality
All in a day’s schmoozing for men from the ministry
Guardian, Friday July 6, 2007
By Elena Egawhary
The hospitality chalets at the All England Lawn Tennis Club have always been synonymous with public relations excess. But the identity of one unexpected recipient of the corporate Pimm’s and strawberries has raised eyebrows among green campaigners.
The giant oil company Chevron has provided an all-expenses-paid day out at Wimbledon for Jim Campbell, the civil servant in charge of regulating Britain’s oil and gas industry, including responsibility for pollution and oil spills.
The company says the invitation is an annual event – Mr Campbell went last year. Although it was coy about disclosing the cost, corporate hospitality firms quote up to £1,000 a head for packages that include the tennis tickets, drinks and meals.
The Wimbledon gift is only one example of the treats oil companies are showering on a single, sensitive, section of the Department of Trade and Industry – now renamed the Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.
Documents obtained from the department’s Energy Development Unit (EDU) show that in the course of a single year, officials were given, among other things, a racing day at Glorious Goodwood. They also got private art views, a trip to the ballet, a golf outing, a party visiting the crown jewels at the Tower of London, tickets to balls, dinner in a Michelin-starred restaurant, and a case of champagne from Shell for Christmas.