The Board agreed that Mali has made meaningful progress overall in implementing the 2016 EITI Standard.
The Board's decision
The Board came to the following decision regarding Mali's status:
The Board agrees that Mali has made meaningful progress overall in implementing the 2016 EITI Standard. In taking this decision the EITI Board recognised the challenges facing Mali, including terrorism and underlying socio-economic problems. The Board commended the stakeholders’ resilience to continue implementing the EITI during the 2012-2013 political and security crisis. The EITI Board also noted that EITI information is more comprehensive, credible and trusted, as well as the efforts to go beyond the EITI’s requirements on the inclusion of sub-contractors in EITI reporting. The EITI Board highlighted that the EITI has provided a positive platform for reforms of the cadastre system and widespread dissemination of information on the mining sector as well as public finance management. The EITI Board was encouraged by stakeholders’ efforts to improve contract transparency and monitor sub-national payments.
The Board’s determination of Mali’s progress with the EITI’s requirements is outlined in the assessment card, below. The EITI Board agreed that Mali had not made satisfactory progress on requirements 1.4., 1.5., 2.2., 2.3, 4.1., 4.9, 5.2. and 7. The major areas of concern, where Mali made inadequate progress relate to multi-stakeholder group internal governance (1.4), license allocations (2.2), data quality (4.9) and subnational transfers (5.2).
Accordingly, the EITI Board agreed that Mali will need to take corrective actions outlined below. Progress with the corrective actions will be assessed in a second validation commencing on 24 November 2018. Failure to achieve meaningful progress with considerable improvements across several individual requirements in the second Validation will result in suspension in accordance with the EITI Standard. In accordance with the EITI Standard, the MSG may request an extension of this timeframe, or request that Validation commences earlier than scheduled.
The Board’s decision followed a Validation that commenced on 1 July 2016. In accordance with the 2016 EITI Standard, an initial assessment was undertaken by the International Secretariat. The findings were reviewed by an Independent Validator, who submitted a Validation Report to the EITI Board. Mali’s MSG was invited to comment throughout the process. The MSG’s comments on the report were taken into consideration. The final decision was taken by the EITI Board.
The Government of Mali first announced its commitment to implement the EITI in 2006. An MSG was established in 2007 and Mali was accepted as a candidate country on 27 September 2007. Having published four EITI Reports covering fiscal 2006 - 2009, Mali undertook Validation in 2010. The EITI International Board designated Mali EITI compliant with the 2011 EITI Rules in August 2011. Mali has published EITI reports covering nine fiscal years (2006-2014).
The Validation process commenced on 1 July 2016. In accordance with the Validation procedures, an initial assessment was prepared by the International Secretariat following a country visit from 10 to 14 October 2016. The assessment was then reviewed by the Independent Validator, who prepared the Validation Report. The MSG provided comments on both reports.
The Validation Committee reviewed the case on 25 April 2017. Based on the findings by the International Secretariat, the Validator and stakeholders’ comments on the reports, the Validation Committee agreed to recommend the assessment card and corrective actions outlined below.
The Committee also agreed to recommend an overall assessment of “meaningful progress” in implementing the 2016 EITI Standard. Requirement 8.3.c. of the EITI Standard states that:
ii. Overall assessments. Pursuant to the Validation Process, the EITI Board will make an assessment of overall compliance with all requirements in the EITI Standard.
iii (c) Meaningful progress. The country will be considered an EITI Candidate and requested to undertake corrective actions until the second validation.
The Validation Committee agreed to recommend a period of 18 months to undertake the corrective actions. This recommendation takes into account the complexity of corrective actions, and seeks to align the Validation deadline with the deadline for the next EITI Report.
The EITI Board agreed the following corrective actions. Progress in addressing these corrective actions will be assessed in a second Validation commencing on on 24 November 2018:
- In accordance with requirement 1.2, it is recommended that industry representatives on the MSG improve coordination of industry positions in advance of MSG meetings. Companies could also benefit from a clear system for appointing their alternates to the MSG.
- In accordance with requirement 1.3, it is recommended that civil society undertakes a capacity building needs assessment and that actions to address capacity constraints are implemented.
- In accordance with requirement 1.4, it is also recommended that the MSG explores options for improving representation of each constituency on the MSG. Stakeholders should have the opportunity to provide input to the MSG’s policy regarding the number of MSG representatives from each stakeholder group, alternates and rotation in accordance with clear procedures in the MSG’s TOR as set out in Requirement 1.4. It is recommended that the MSG address inconsistent meeting attendance by some Ministries, including the Ministry of Finance, AUREP, the Ministry of Land, the Ministry of Planning and Land Management, and the Ministry of Environment. The MSG is also encouraged to conduct an analysis of the performance of the EITI structures and to consider the possibility of merging the Supervisory Committee with the MSG. The MSG is encouraged to ensure that mechanisms are developed to enable stakeholder groups to communicate with their constituencies.
- In accordance with requirement 1.5, it is recommended that the MSG links EITI implementation to national priorities in its 2017 work plan.
- In accordance with requirement 2.1, the government is encouraged to clarify ambiguities regarding the fiscal regime applicable to mining companies, e.g., in relation to stabilisation clauses. The MSG should ensure that the situation is clearly documented in the EITI Report, including any recommendations for further work in this area.
- In accordance with requirement 2.2, it is required that the government discloses information regarding the oil and mining license awards and transfers made during the financial year covered by the EITI report, including: a description of the process for transferring or awarding the license; the technical and financial criteria used; information about the recipient(s) of the license; and any non-trivial deviations in license transfers and awards. The MSG should review this work and address any gaps in reporting. The MSG is also encouraged to comment on the efficiency and effectiveness of the license allocation system, and to make recommendations for reforms where appropriate.
- The MSG should ensure that all reporting entities disclose comprehensive and reliable figures in accordance with requirement 4.1 and 4.9. The MSG will be required to disclose a time-bound action plans for addressing weaknesses in data reliability and comprehensiveness. It is a requirement that the MSG and the Government of Mali review recordkeeping systems of government agencies participating in EITI reporting to ensure that adequate procedures are followed, in view of improving revenue traceability, transparency, and accountability. Progress with implementation of this plan will be considered in subsequent Validations. It is recommended that the MSG considers necessary improvements to the reporting templates in consultation with the Independent Administrator for future EITI reports. The MSG is also encouraged to include disaggregated payments for companies below the materiality threshold. The MSG should address stakeholder concerns that the one-month reporting period may be too short and explore options with the government regarding delays and inefficiencies of manual record-keeping at the treasury.
- In accordance with requirement 4.8, the MSG and the Government of Mali are encouraged to promote routine disclosure of data required by the EITI Standard by the government agencies participating in EITI reporting to improve the accessibility and timeliness of the disclosed data.
- In accordance with requirement 5.2, the MSG should ensure full disclosure of payments by companies of the trade tax and sub-national transfers between the central and local governments.
- In accordance with requirement 5.3.a, the MSG is encouraged to disclose further information on revenue management and expenditures, including a description of the state budget and expenditures earmarked for health, education, and other social programmes. This should include a description of the methods for ensuring accountability and efficiency in their use per 5.3.a.
- In accordance with requirement 6.3.a, the MSG should examine opportunities to provide more detailed reporting on artisanal and small scale mining in future reports, linking to wider efforts to address these issues.
- In accordance with requirement 7.1, the MSG should proceed with the dissemination of the most recent EITI Reports as soon as funding becomes available. In accordance with requirement 7.1.b, the MSG should agree a clear policy on the accessibility, dissemination and use of EITI data (a requirement from 1 January 2017), and to provide EITI data in open data formats.
- In accordance with requirement 7.3, the MSG should consider the recommendations from EITI Reports and agree relevant follow-up and implementation. It is recommended that the MSG undertake an impact assessment to identify opportunities for increasing the impact of implementation.
- In accordance with requirement 7.4, the MSG should provide opportunities for all stakeholders, including stakeholders not serving on the MSG, to participate in the production of APRs and to review the impact of EITI implementation.
The MSG is encouraged to consider the other recommendations in the Validator’s Report and the International Secretariat’s initial assessment, and to document the MSG’s responses to these recommendations in the next annual progress report