The EITI Board accepts the São Tomé and Príncipe EITI National Committee’s request for adapted implementation with respect to reconciliation of revenues and disclosure of contextual information related to the Nigeria- São Tomé and Príncipe Joint Development Zone. The request is accepted concerning the 2015 and 2016 EITI Reports. In line with the request, the EITI Board expects the National Committee and the Government of São Tomé and Príncipe to continue their efforts to ensure full disclosure of information required by the EITI Standard by the Joint Development Authority and by the companies operating in the Joint Development Zone.
The EITI Standard allows for adapted implementation “where the country faces exceptional circumstances that necessitate deviation from the implementation requirements” (Requirement 1.5). In taking this decision, the EITI Board recognises São Tomé and Príncipe’s concern that the Government of São Tomé and Príncipe and the National Committee do not have the legal authority to compel the Joint Development Authority, or companies operating in the Joint Development Zone that are based in another country, to participate in the EITI process.
In line with the request for adapted implementation, the Board requires that the Government of São Tomé and Príncipe and the National Committee continues its efforts to engage the Joint Development Authority and the companies making material payments to the Joint Development Authority in São Tomé and Príncipe’s EITI reporting process, and seeks to ensure full disclosure of both revenues and contextual data in line with the EITI Standard. Where comprehensive information is not obtained from these entities, the National Committee is expected to include links to other publicly available sources of information. The National Committee’s efforts to involve the Joint Development Authority and companies operating in the Joint Development Zone should be assessed in Validation.
Companies operating in the Joint Development Zone that are registered in São Tomé and Príncipe are not included in the scope of adapted implementation and the National Committee is required to ensure that they fully comply with EITI Requirements. It is also a requirement that there continues to be full unilateral disclosure of any revenues received by the Government of São Tomé and Príncipe from the Joint Development Authority and any other information related to the Joint Development Zone that can be obtained from a Santomean government entity in accordance with the EITI Standard.
In addition, the Board requests that the National Committee takes steps to ensure that EITI Reports include an assessment of the comprehensiveness of the information, particularly with respect to information related to the Joint Development Zone. As per requirement 5.3d, the reports should identify any “any gaps or weaknesses in reporting … and an assessment of whether this is likely to have had material impact on the comprehensiveness of the report”. The Board also recommends that the National Committee takes steps to strengthen collaboration with Nigeria EITI through the Nigeria-São Tomé and Príncipe EITI sub-committee to find a sustainable solution for ensuring transparency in the Joint Development Zone.