Validation deadlines: questions and answers

Many are watching the EITI these days as 19 of the 32 EITI implementing countries have to complete EITI Validation by 9 March. Two countries (Azerbaijan and Liberia) have already achieved Compliant status. We at the EITI International Secretariat have here assembled answers to some of the most frequently asked questions related to Validation and this deadline. The source is EITI Rules, including the Validation Guide.

What is the difference between EITI Candidate and EITI Compliant?

Countries that are implementing the EITI can become recognised as an EITI Candidate when the International EITI Board has been assured of political commitment and some preparatory steps. These EITI Candidate countries will then have to implement an EITI process in the country, and complete an EITI Validation within two years in order to become EITI Compliant.

How does EITI Validation work?

It is the EITI implementing country that commissions the EITI Validation. Countries chose one of 13 independent companies that the International EITI Board has accredited as EITI Validators. Before a contract with the Validator is signed, the International Secretariat issues a note of no objection, ensuring that the contract is in accordance with EITI rules.

The Validator visits the EITI Implementing country, consults all relevant stakeholders and makes an assessment of whether the EITI Validation indicators (in the EITI Rules including Validation Guide) have been met. The Validator then submits a draft report to the implementing government and in-country multi-stakeholder group. If this draft is agreed by the multi-stakeholder group, it is then submitted to the International EITI Board and its Validation Committee. Comments can at this stage be made and final report is issued by the Validator and endorsed by the multi-stakeholder group before it is submitted to the International EITI Board. If the Validator considers the indicators to have been met, and the EITI International Board confirms this assessment, the country is considered to be EITI Compliant.

What happens if the EITI Validation finds that a country has not met the requirements in the EITI standard?

If the Validator and the EITI International Board concludes that no meaningful progress has been achieved, a country will be delisted from the EITI. If it is concluded that meaningful progress has been achieved, but that the country is not yet Compliant with the EITI Validation requirements, candidature can be renewed. If it is concluded that a country is close to Compliance, a country will achieve Compliant status following an EITI International Secretariat review. For further information, see Policy Note # 3 in the EITI Rules.

What is the purpose of EITI Validation?

Validation is the EITI’s quality assurance mechanism and an essential feature of the EITI process. EITI Validation evaluates implementation of the EITI in consultation with stakeholders, verifies achievements with reference to the EITI global standard, and identifies opportunities to strengthen the EITI process. It safeguards the integrity of the EITI by holding all EITI implementing countries to the same global standard. It also promotes dialogue and learning in implementing countries.

Which countries are EITI Compliant today?

Azerbaijan and Liberia went through EITI Validation and were subsequently recognised by the EITI International Board as EITI Compliant in 2009.

Does EITI Compliance mean that the country’s extractive sector is transparent?

Not necessarily. EITI Compliance is the status awarded countries that have met the EITI’s implementation indicators. A functioning EITI process is a first step towards increasing accountability between government, companies and the people.

What are the Validation deadlines?

The deadlines were agreed by the International EITI Board in February 2008. At that time there were 22 countries implementing the EITI (there are now 32). These first 22 countries were accepted as EITI Candidate countries with a deadline to complete EITI Validation at 9 March 2010. Azerbaijan and Liberia were accepted as EITI Compliant in 2009, and Guinea currently has its EITI Candidate status suspended. Countries that joined later have later deadlines for completing EITI Validation.

Why are EITI Validation and deadlines needed?

EITI is a country-led process, and EITI implementation takes on different forms in each country implementing the EITI. Validation ensures that each country is measured against the internationally agreed EITI standard. Deadlines keep the process moving. EITI Candidate countries have been making much progress over the last months to ensure that they make progress towards EITI Compliance.

What happens if a country has not completed an EITI Validation by the deadline?

If an EITI Candidate country has not completed an EITI Validation within the two-year candidature period, the International EITI Board will remove the country’s status as an EITI Candidate. The International EITI Board has decided that countries may in some circumstances apply for an extension of the deadline if they have not fully completed EITI Validation by the deadline. 

When will the status of countries with 9 March deadlines be decided?

It is up to the International EITI Board to reach decisions on the status of the EITI processes in implementing countries. The EITI Board will next meet in Berlin 15-16 April. Many of the 19 countries with deadlines will be assessed and their status decided at that meeting.

Is the EITI risking its credibility by extending the Validation deadlines?

No. The EITI have a clear set of rules regarding the validation deadlines and their extensions, and is applying these systematically while taking care to consider the challenges implementing countries face in implementing fundamental reforms. Such requests will also be considered by the International EITI Board when it meets in April.

What happens if a country is delisted?

A delisted country will be removed from the EITI list of implementing countries. The country can reapply for candidate status when appropriate.

 

For further information about EITI Validation, contact Regional Director Sam Bartlett at the EITI International Secretariat.