EITI reveals work plans for 2015

EITI reveals work plans for 2015

This article originally appeared on the website of the EITI International Secretariat (eiti.org), on Wednesday 14 January 2015

BUILDING on experience and best practice, encouraging good implementation of the EITI Standard and supporting countries to move from transparency to accountability to informed public debate, are some of the key priority of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in 2015.

In a new year message by EITI’s Head of Secretariat, Jonas Moberg, added that strengthening the EITI as a global standard with strategic positioning, outreach, network development and data interoperability, will be part of its work plan this year.

It added that the new year will bring an increased number of implementing countries and supporting companies, and more efforts in these countries to strengthen data systems, inform public debate, and build trust.

He disclosed that forty-eight countries, of which 31 are compliant with the EITI Requirements, are now implementing the EITI. “Colombia, Myanmar, the United Kingdom and the United States are among the countries having joined in 2014. The EITI can be applied in many different situations and we now have 48 different reasons for implementing, 48 different models, 1 Standard. The annual activity reports, required for the first time this year, give concrete examples of the efforts undertaken to meet and/or maintain compliance with the EITI Requirements and document the impact of the EITI in each implementing country.

“Myanmar is using the EITI process as a forum for its massive reforms in the sector including disclosing beneficial ownership, exploring contract transparency and sovereign wealth funds.  Peru is using EITI reporting to account for the over 50 per cent of revenue that goes directly to the states. Deepening the knowledge about how oil money is spent is a priority for the EITI in Nigeria. A recent audit into the allocation of spending of extractives resources was conducted to track how the revenues from the extractive sector were allotted, where they were transferred, and how they were utilised by the federal, state, and local governments”, he added.

Moberg hinted that despite 48 different EITI processes, common themes emerge for all implementing countries to focus on. “One example is beneficial ownership. Eleven countries are taking part in a pilot project and will disclose the identity of the real owners behind the extractive companies operating in their countries. The objective is to assess the feasibility of requiring beneficial ownership disclosure through the EITI, including reviewing existing disclosure practices in implementing countries participating in the pilot and identifying suitable approaches for disclosure. Other countries have expressed an interest and are undertaking work on beneficial ownership outside the scope of the pilot.

“The EITI is increasingly becoming a forum where governments, companies, and civil society meet to agree a common agenda for better governance of natural resources. Over 1000 people together form 48 EITI national coalitions and the international EITI Board, and nearly 350 people around the world work in EITI secretariats, implementing the EITI on a daily basis. Ninety-one companies involved in oil, gas and mining are supporting the EITI at the international level with eight companies having pledged their support in 2014. A new protocol for civil society outlining the expectations for civil society to be able to participate in EITI processes has been agreed by the EITI Board”.