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The EITI Board agreed that Colombia has made satisfactory progress in implementing the 2016 EITI Standard.

Outcome of the Validation of Colombia

Decision reference
2018-38 / BM-40
Decision basis
2016 EITI Standard, Requirement 8.3 EITI Validation deadlines and consequences

Board decision

Following the conclusion of Colombia’s Validation, the EITI Board decided that Colombia has made satisfactory progress overall in implementing the EITI Standard.

The Board congratulated the Government of Colombia and Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) on the progress made in improving transparency and accountability in the extractive industries by providing a trusted source of data to inform public debate. The Board welcomed the EITI’s impact in establishing a mechanism for discussing revenue transparency, the sector’s contribution to the economy and the challenges in revenue distribution, social contributions, environmental regulation and illegal mining. The EITI has produced and compiled information in a regularly-updated online platform bringing together previously-scattered data and investigating poorly-understood issues. In its three years of EITI implementation, Colombia has expanded the scope of EITI reporting to include a wide range of areas from mineral transportation to environmental regulation. The EITI has shed light on current government agencies’ regulatory practices, gaps in government systems, and on complex issues such as the distribution and allocation of royalties. This work has informed reforms in government agencies including the mining and hydrocarbon regulators. EITI Colombia is well-placed to continue contributing to improved governance of the extractive sector. Opportunities and challenges include monitoring reforms such as strengthening licensing management, including through beneficial ownership disclosures, improving engagement at the regional and community levels, coordinating efforts in expanding transparency across government agencies, contributing to curbing illegal mining,and improving compliance with environmental regulations. In addressing these challenges and seizing these opportunities, sustained engagement from all constituencies, including in the use of EITI data, and adequate resources for EITI implementation will be key. 

In accordance with requirement 8.3.d.i, the Board has determined that Colombia will have three years, i.e. until 29 June 2021, before a re-Validation under the EITI Standard.  

The Board’s decision followed a Validation that commenced on 1 January 2018. 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 draft Validation report to the MSG for comment. The MSG’s comments on the report were taken into consideration by the independent Validator in finalising the Validation report and the independent Validator responded to the MSG’s comments. The final decision was taken by the EITI Board.


The Government of Colombia committed to implement the EITI in May 2013 at the 6th EITI Global Conference in Sydney. A multi-stakeholder group was formed in December 2013. Colombia submitted an EITI Candidature application in July 2014 and was admitted as an EITI Candidate country in October 2014 at the Board’s 28th meeting in Naypyidaw.

The Validation process commenced on 1 January 2018. In accordance with the Validation procedures, an initial assessment [English | Spanish] was prepared by the International Secretariat. The Independent Validator reviewed the findings and wrote a draft Validation report assessment [ English | Spanish]. Comments from the MSG were received on 11 June 2018 [English: parts 1, 2, 3 | Spanish: parts 1, 2, 3]. The Independent Validator reviewed the comments and responded to the MSG, before finalising the Validation report [English | French | Spanish].

The Validation Committee reviewed the case on 6 June and 28 June 2018. Based on the findings above, the Validation Committee agreed to recommend the assessment card and corrective actions outlined below.

The Committee also agreed to recommend an overall assessment of “satisfactory progress” in implementing the 2016 EITI Standard. Requirement 8.3.b. of the EITI Standard states that:

b) Consequences of compliance

Where Validation verifies that a country has made satisfactory progress on all of the requirements, the EITI Board will designate that country as EITI Compliant.

EITI Compliant countries must maintain adherence to the EITI Principles and Requirements in order to retain Compliant status. Where a country has become EITI Compliant, but concerns are raised about whether its implementation of the EITI has subsequently fallen below the required standard, the EITI Board reserves the right to require the country to undergo a new Validation. Stakeholders may petition the EITI Board if they consider that Compliant status should be reviewed. This request may be mediated through a stakeholder’s constituency representative(s) on the EITI Board. The EITI Board will review the situation and exercise its discretion as to whether to require an earlier Validation or Secretariat Review. Subject to the findings of that assessment, the EITI Board will determine the country’s status.

Where a Compliant country is being re-validated and validation concludes that the country has not met all EITI requirements, the consequences set out in (c) below apply.

The Validation Committee agreed to recommend a period of three years before Colombia’s re-Validation under the EITI Standard, in line with Requirement 8.3.d.i, which states:

d) Timeframes for achieving compliance.

(i) EITI Candidate countries are required to commence the first Validation within two and a half years of becoming an EITI Candidate. EITI Compliant countries are required to be re-validated every three years. In accordance with provision 8.5, a country may request an extension of this timeframe. A country may also request to commence Validation earlier than scheduled by the EITI Board.

Scorecard for Colombia: 2018

Assessment of EITI requirements

  • Not met
  • Partly met
  • Mostly met
  • Fully met
  • Exceeded
Scorecard by requirement View more Assessment View more

Overall Progress

MSG oversight

1.1Government engagement

The government is fully and actively engaged in the EITI process. Government’s agencies have played an active role in implementing the EITI including engaging in the MSG process as observers and collaborating in different technical support groups. Other agencies collaborate with the EITI as expert resources.

1.2Company engagement

There is an enabling environment for company participation. Challenges to EITI reporting posed by taxpayer confidentiality provisions have been overcome through annual confidentiality waivers signed by all reporting companies. Mining, oil and gas companies are actively and effectively engaged in the EITI process.

1.3Civil society engagement

There are no suggestions of any legal, regulatory or practical barriers to civil society’s ability to engage in EITI-related public debate, to operate freely, to communicate and cooperate with each other, to fully, actively and effectively engage on EITI-related matters. CSOs can speak freely on transparency and natural resource governance issues, as well as to ensure that the EITI contributes to public debate.

1.4MSG governance

The MSG has been formed and includes self-appointed representatives, with no suggestion of interference or coercion. The mechanism for civil society nominations on the MSG was open. CSO members of the MSG are operationally and in policy terms independent from government and companies. MSG members participation is regular. Rotation of some members have not affected functioning of MSG. No per diems are permitted.

1.5Work plan

The 2017-2019 work plan is publicly accessible, produced in a timely manner and updated annually, with objectives aligned with national priorities. The work plan includes specific activities to follow up on recommendations from EITI reporting. The three constituencies have consulted their broader stakeholder groups in preparing annual work plans.

Licenses and contracts

2.2License allocations

The requisite information regarding the award and transfer of licenses are disclosed in the 2016 EITI Report both for the hydrocarbon and mining. Information on awarding hydrocarbon contracts is available in the regulator (ANH) website. Information on awarding of mining titles is publicly available in the regulator (ANM) website including the cadastre system. Cadastre is being updated to improve navigability.

2.3License register

Information regarding all active mining, oil and gas licenses is publicly available, as highlighted in the 2016 EITI Report aside from the commodity(ies) covered by mining licenses. The report provides links to both the mining cadastre and the hydrocarbon repository of contracts. Additionally, the public can access additional information, including commodity(ies) covered, upon request from the sector regulators.

2.4Policy on contract disclosure

The government’s policy on contract transparency is described, which also provides an overview of current disclosure practice. In mining, current contractual arrangements are standardised per the Mining Law and are publicly available, with proprietary technical information redacted. All oil and gas contracts are published on the hydrocarbon regulator ANH website.

2.1Legal framework

The 2016 EITI Report provides a comprehensive description of the legal framework and fiscal regime governing the extractive industries, including the degree of fiscal devolution, and addresses recent applicable reforms. It also includes a description of the roles of the main regulatory bodies.

2.5Beneficial ownership

Not assessed

Colombia published the roadmap for disclosing beneficial ownership information. Limited progress has been done in implementing the beneficial ownership roadmap. An initial part of the plan relied on the passing of a beneficial ownership bill that is stalled in Congress. The MSG has started to consider alternative legal ways to ensure compliance with this requirement by 2020.

2.6State participation

The 2016 EITI Report contains and links to information regarding the relationship between the government and Ecopetrol including transfers of funds between the SOE and the state, retained earnings, reinvestment, third party financing, the financial relationship with the government, the government ownership including changes in 2016 and loans and guarantees.

Monitoring production

3.1Exploration data

The 2016 EITI Report provides an overview of the extractive industries including exploration activities and procedures applicable to these activities in both the hydrocarbon and mining sectors.

3.2Production data

Total production volumes are disclosed for each mineral commodity produced in 2016, alongside reference prices allowing readers to estimate production values. Production by municipalities are included for the main commodities and producing regions. The report also links to information on how the regulatory agencies conduct inspections to check reported production figures.

3.3Export data

EITI Colombia has disclosed export volumes and values disaggregated by commodity exported, including gold. The 2016 EITI Report provides information on oil and coal exports and links to the national statistical office, which in turn publishes aggregate extractives export data since 1970. Previous reports provided information on gold exports.

Revenue collection

4.3Barter agreements

Not applicable

There are no agreements involving the provisions of good and services in exchange for oil, gas and mining exploration or production concessions.

4.6Direct subnational payments

Direct payments made by companies to subnational level, based on a thorough assessment, were not material. Yet, to gain a better understanding of the importance of these revenues, the MSG contracted a study on direct subnational payments based on voluntary company reporting.


In accordance with Requirement 4.7, the data is disaggregated by individual company, revenue stream and government entity for all revenue streams. Relevant reconciled data is not disaggregated by project.

4.9Data quality

Reconciliation of payments and revenues was undertaken by a credible Independent Administrator, appointed by the MSG, and applying international auditing standards. The IA and the MSG agreed ToR consistent with the standard ToR. The final report provides a statement from the IA on the reliability of the (financial) data presented in light of agreed procedures, including an informative summary.


Materiality is documented including the options considered, constitutional tax confidentiality provisions, the reconciliation coverage targets and the rationale for the agreed definitions. Material revenue streams are clearly identified, alongside the government entities. Ex post verification of tax reconciliation coverage and stakeholder consultations confirmed comprehensiveness.

4.2In-kind revenues

The 2016 EITI Report confirms that the government receives oil royalty payments in-kind and discloses and reconciles volumes of oil collected in-kind, volumes sold and proceeds of these sales to the sole buyer Ecopetrol. Given that all of the government-s in-kind oil revenues are sold to a single buyer, Ecopetrol, they are effectively disaggregated by buyer in the 2016 EITI Report.

4.4Transportation revenues

The report identified transport operators, including national ports, the Ministry of Mines and other government agencies. It was estimated total transport taxes and port fees paid by oil, gas and coal companies. Transport operators, the national infrastructure agency and the ports provided revenue information with appropriate level of disaggregation.

4.5SOE transactions

The 2016 EITI Report describes thoroughly the role of the SOE Ecopetrol including disclosure of all Ecopetrol payments to the state. The report explains that Ecopetrol does not collect payments from companies and comprehensively discloses and reconciled Ecopetrol’s payments to government.

4.8Data timeliness

In accordance with Requirement 4.8, Colombia has published EITI Reports on an annual basis and the data has not been older than the second to the last complete accounting period. There is evidence the MSG approved the reporting period of EITI Reports.

Revenue allocation

5.1Distribution of revenues

The 2016 EITI Report includes a description of the distribution of revenues from extractive industries and confirms that all extractives revenues are recorded in the national budget. The report includes additional information on the national royalty system and links for monitoring distribution and use of royalties.

5.2Subnational transfers

While the 2016 EITI Report include thorough information about the revenue sharing mechanism and data on the resources that are available to regions according to the mandated royalty sharing, the report did not calculate the amount to be transferred in accordance with the revenue sharing formula but reported the Planning Department DNP own calculations.

5.3Revenue management and expenditures

In the International Secretariat’s view, Colombia has gone beyond the minimum requirements by providing additional information on revenue management and expenditures as encouraged by the EITI Standard.

Socio-economic contribution

6.1Mandatory social expenditures

The 2016 EITI Report identifies mandatory social expenditures in both the mining and oil and gas sectors. The report explains the applicable social payments regime for hydrocarbon and mining companies and discloses both mandatory and voluntary social payments in 2016. Names of beneficiaries are published and the report confirms that all mandatory social expenditures are paid in cash.

6.2Quasi-fiscal expenditures

Not applicable

The 2016 EITI Report demonstrates that Ecopetrol does not undertake any quasi-fiscal expenditures.

6.3Economic contribution

The 2016 EITI Report includes, in absolute and relative terms, the size of the extractive industries, their contribution to government revenue, exports and employment. A description of the informal sector is also provided. It includes an online platform for searchable data, including location-based, on the contribution of the extractive industries to local and national economy.

Outcomes and impact

7.2Data accessibility

Requirement 7.2 encourages the MSGs to make EITI reports accessible to public in open data formats. Such efforts are encouraged but not required and are not assessed in determining compliance with the EITI Standard. Colombia has made pioneering efforts to address these issues.

7.4Outcomes and impact of implementation

The MSG has reviewed and discussed the outcomes and impact of the EITI implementation, including through annual progress reports in accordance with Requirement 7.4. In preparing the annual progress report (and the work plan) the MSG has extensive discussions on achievements, implementation gaps and improvements, and future challenges.

7.1Public debate

Reports have been widely disseminated including through pioneering digital means. EITI data is open and in line with international data standards for open government. Reports have been presented in comprehensive, accessible, user-friendly and innovative ways. A number of outreach efforts have facilitated dialogue and public debate. Regional outreach has been challenging.

7.3Follow up on recommendations

Discrepancies from their reconciliation exercises and have largely identified and resolved them. Improvements in EITI implementation such as online data collection and capacity-building for reporting entities have facilitated the reconciliation process. Government agencies have prepared more extensively for reporting. The MSG has taken stock on strengths and weaknesses of its follow-up on recommendations.