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Mali has achieved a fairly low overall score in implementing the 2019 EITI Standard

Outcome of the Validation of Mali

Decision number
2022-51
Decision basis
EITI Articles of Association 2019-2021, Article 12.1. ix)
13 October 2022

Board decision

Mali has achieved a fairly low overall score in implementing the 2019 EITI Standard (65.5 points). The overall score reflects an average of the three component scores on Stakeholder engagement, Transparency, and Outcomes and impact.

The Board notes that Mali has achieved a fairly low score on Transparency (66 points). The Board commends Mali for expanding the scope of its EITI disclosures to mining industry sub-contractors, local content and subnational transfers of non-extractive revenues, topics of significant public interest. Mali has established its EITI implementation as a central public repository of information on large scale industrial mining. However, there is significant scope for Mali to use its EITI implementation to tackle other disclosures of public interest such as artisanal and small-scale mining, the informal sector, the links between mining and violent insurgencies in the country, and the management of environmental impacts. The Board urges Mali to strengthen its use of EITI implementation to provide an annual public diagnostic of actual extractive industry governance practices, including in the awarding of extractive rights, the disclosure of extractive contracts and licenses and significant exploration activities. The Board welcomes Mali’s establishment of a legal framework for the public disclosure of beneficial ownership data and encourages all stakeholders, particularly the government, to swiftly implement these legal provisions in practice.

Mali achieved a fairly low component score on Stakeholder engagement (60 points). The Board acknowledges that Mali has sought to sustain its multi-stakeholder oversight of the EITI during a period of political change, significant insecurity, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The MSG continued to meet regularly since the previous Validation, although tensions with the then-National Coordinator in 2020-21 distracted some attention from Mali’s priorities for EITI implementation. However, broader constituency coordination mechanisms do not appear to be regular or effective for either civil society or industry. The Board expresses significant concern at the increasing constraints in the environment for civil society participation in the EITI process, including public debate on natural resource governance, in recent years. The Board also expresses concern regarding allegations of broad-based civil society self-censorship on natural resource governance issues covered by the EITI due to fears of government repression, but acknowledges the efforts taken after start of Validation, notably by civil society, to demonstrate ability to publicly engage on sensitive issues. The Board encourages continuation of these efforts, and the government and MSG are strongly urged to swiftly implement corrective actions aimed at promoting an enabling environment for citizen participation in extractive sector governance and addressing any breaches of the EITI protocol: Participation of civil society related to freedom of expression.

Mali has achieved a moderate score on Outcomes and impact (70 points). Mali EITI has deployed considerable resources to analyse the outcomes and impact of its work and perform self-diagnostics of Mali’s EITI implementation and communications. The Board encourages Mali to act on these recommendations to improve the EITI’s contribution to public debate, policy-making and ultimately stronger outcomes and impacts. All stakeholders engaged in the EITI are encouraged to strengthen their engagement in following up on EITI recommendations and in disseminating findings of EITI Reports and related thematic studies. Greater alignment of EITI Mali work planning with national priorities for the extractive industries could also help ensure that EITI implementation is serving broader objectives for all three constituencies. Mali was awarded one additional point for the effectiveness and sustainability of EITI implementation.

The Board has determined that Mali will have until a next Validation commencing on 1 October 2023 to carry out corrective actions regarding Government engagement (Requirement 1.1), Industry engagement (Requirement 1.2), Civil society engagement (Requirement 1.3), MSG governance (Requirement 1.4), Work plan (Requirement 1.5), Contract and license allocations (Requirement 2.2), Contracts (Requirement 2.4), Beneficial ownership (Requirement 2.5), Exploration data (3.1), Production data (Requirement 3.2), Export data (Requirement 3.3), Comprehensive disclosures (Requirement 4.1), Disaggregation (Requirement 4.7), Data reliability (Requirement 4.9), Social and environmental expenditures (Requirement 6.1), Contribution to the economy (Requirement 6.3), Public debate (Requirement 7.1), Follow-up on EITI recommendations (Requirement 7.3), and Outcomes and impact (Requirement 7.4). Failure to demonstrate progress on Outcomes and impact, Stakeholder engagement or Transparency in the next Validation may result in temporary suspension in accordance with Article 6 of the EITI Standard. In accordance with the EITI Standard, Mali’s MSG may request an extension of this timeframe or request that Validation commences earlier than scheduled.

Corrective actions and strategic recommendations

The EITI Board agreed the following corrective actions to be undertaken by Mali. Progress in addressing these corrective actions will be assessed in the next Validation commencing on 1 October 2023:

  1. In accordance with Requirement 1.1, the government should ensure that it is fully, actively and effectively leading all aspects of the EITI process, including in the provisions of technical and financial resources for implementation, leadership in follow up on EITI recommendations and the provision of required data and quality assurances to ensure the robustness of EITI implementation. To strengthen implementation, the government may wish to consider further means of institutionalising the EITI process in government systematic disclosures, national laws and regulations, as well as in the government’s budget-making process.
  2. In accordance with Requirement 1.2, the industry constituency should ensure that it is fully, actively and effectively engaged in all aspects of the EITI process and that it practices robust constituency coordination mechanisms that strengthen representation of the broader constituency, including actors involved in artisanal and small-scale mining, in the EITI process.
  3. In accordance with Requirement 1.3 and the EITI protocol: Participation of civil society, the government should ensure that civil society can express views related to any aspect of the EITI Standard, including the environmental impact of mining, without fear of reprisal. The MSG should discuss necessary measures to achieve this, involving key stakeholders such as state security agencies and civil society from communities affected by mining. The MSG and the civil society constituency are expected to discuss extractive industry issues considered sensitive but of public interest, both in the context of MSG meetings and in the EITI Mali’s efforts to generate public debate on a more regular basis. The central government is expected to take appropriate measures to ensure that local governments respect freedom of expression and that any cases of violence or unlawful detention related to expression of views on natural resources are investigated and prosecuted. Civil society coalitions engaged in the EITI process should liaise with their broader constituency, including civil society in communities affected by mining. The constituency is expected to strengthen its representativeness by refreshing its representation on the MSG through a free, open and inclusive nomination process that strikes a balance between renewal of representation and preservation of institutional knowledge about the EITI process.
  4. In accordance with Requirement 1.4.a.ii, Mali should ensure that stakeholders are adequately represented in the EITI process, including in the MSG. Each stakeholder group must have the right to appoint its own representatives, bearing in mind the desirability of pluralistic and diverse representation. The nomination process must be independent and free from any suggestion of coercion. The multi-stakeholder group and each constituency should consider gender balance in their representation to progress towards gender parity. In accordance with Requirement 1.4.b, Mali should ensure that the Terms of Reference for its EITI MSG cover all aspects of Requirement 1.4.b, including provisions requiring MSG members to regularly liaise with their respective constituencies and to have sufficient capacity to undertake their duties. Where the MSG has a practice of per diems for attending EITI meetings, or other payments its members, this practice should be transparent, the amount should be proportionate to actual costs and should not create conflicts of interest.
  5. In accordance with Requirement 1.5, Mali should ensure that the work plan is the outcome of consultations with broader government, industry and civil society constituencies. Mali EITI should ensure that the work plans are published in a timely manner and easily available on its website. To strengthen implementation, the MSG is encouraged to integrate into the work plan the recommendations from reporting, Validation and recommendations from studies commissioned by the EITI, it wishes to follow up in the given timeframe. Mali is encouraged to review the narrative of the work plan in the ways the EITI can play a more significant role in monitoring the application of the 2019 Mining Code and implementation of Government Decrees related to the publication of contracts, beneficial ownership transparency, environmental reporting ad artisanal and small-scale mining. 
  6. In accordance with Requirement 2.2, Mali should ensure that information on mining, oil and gas license transfers is publicly disclosed, including the identity of licenses transferred and the process for transferring licenses, including technical and financial criteria assessed and an assessment of any material deviations from the applicable legal and regulatory framework governing license transfers and awards in the period under review by EITI reporting. The MSG is urged to consider public allegations of mining rights awards to armed groups made outside of the statutory framework for contract and license allocations. Where companies hold licenses that were allocated prior to the period covered by EITI implementation, Mali is encouraged to disclose the information set out in Requirement 2.2.a on those license awards. To strengthen implementation, Mali EITI may wish to include additional information on the allocation of licenses as part of the EITI disclosures and is encouraged to include commentary on the efficiency and effectiveness of licensing procedures, and a description of procedures, actual practices and grounds for renewing, suspending or revoking a contract or license. To strengthen implementation, Mali is encouraged to consider following up on past Mali EITI recommendations to undertake a dedicated study of artisanal and small-scale mining with a view to increasing transparency in licensing practices in this segment of the extractive industries that garners significant public interest.
  7. In accordance with Requirement 2.4, Mali should disclose any contracts and licenses that are granted, entered into or amended from 1 January 2021. It is a requirement to include an overview of which contracts and licenses are publicly available. Mali should provide a list of all active contracts and licenses, indicating which are publicly available and which are not. For all published contracts and licenses, it should include a reference or link to the location where the contract or license is published. If a contract or license is not published, the legal or practical barriers should be documented and explained. Where disclosure practice deviates from legislative or government policy requirements concerning the disclosure of contracts and licenses, an explanation for the deviation should be provided.
  8. In accordance with Requirement 2.5, Mali is required to publicly disclose the beneficial owners of all companies holding or applying for extractive licenses. To achieve this target, Mali should implement national legal provisions that require the government to request all companies applying for and holding oil, gas and mining licenses to disclose beneficial and legal ownership information and provide adequate assurances for data reliability. The government is encouraged to implement provisions in Decree 2022-0107/PT-RM related to establishing a public register of beneficial owners of all extractive companies operating in Mali. An assessment of the comprehensiveness and reliability of beneficial ownership information on extractive companies should be published by the MSG.
  9. In accordance with Requirement 3.1, Mali should ensure annual public disclosures of an overview of the extractive industries, including any significant exploration activities as well as significant developments in the artisanal, small-scale and semi-mechanised mining sectors. To strengthen implementation, Mali is encouraged to use its EITI implementation to reference third-party estimates of informal exploration and prospection activities, with a view to supporting the government’s stated objectives of formalising the artisanal and semi-mechanised mining sector.
  10. In accordance with Requirement 3.2, Mali must disclose timely production data, including production volumes and values related to artisanal, small-scale and semi-mechanised gold mining. To strengthen implementation, Mali is encouraged to publicly disclose the sources and methods for calculating production volumes and values.
  11. In accordance with Requirement 3.3, Mali must disclose timely export data, including estimates of export volumes and values for informal extractive commodity exports. To strengthen implementation, Mali is encouraged to publicly disclose the sources and methods for calculating export volumes and values.
  12. In accordance with Requirement 4.1, Mali should ensure disclosure of all material payments by oil, gas and mining companies to governments and all material revenues received by governments from oil, gas and mining companies to a wide audience in a publicly accessible, comprehensive and comprehensible manner. Mali must ensure that all government entities receiving material revenues from oil, gas and mining companies are required to comprehensively disclose these revenues in accordance with the agreed scope. Unless there are significant practical barriers, the government, including the Customs Department, is additionally required to provide aggregate information about the amount of total revenues received from each of the benefit streams agreed in the scope of EITI implementation, including revenues that fall below agreed materiality thresholds. All oil, gas and mining companies making material payments to the government are required to comprehensively disclose these payments in accordance with the agreed scope. A company should only be exempted from disclosure if it can be demonstrated that its payments are not material. To strengthen implementation, extractive companies are expected to publicly disclose their audited financial statements, or the main items (i.e., balance sheet, profit/loss statement, cash flows) where financial statements are not available.
  13. In accordance with Requirement 4.7, Mali should ensure that financial data on company payments and government revenues from the mining, oil and gas sectors is publicly disclosed disaggregated by government entity, revenue stream, company and, where relevant, by individual project. A project is defined as operational activities that are governed by a single contract, license, lease, concession or similar legal agreement, and form the basis for payment liabilities with a government. If multiple such agreements are substantially interconnected, Mali EITI must clearly identify and document which instances are considered a single project.
  14. In accordance with Requirement 4.9, Mali should ensure that appropriate measures have been taken to ensure the reliability of disclosures of company payments and government revenues from oil, gas and mining, with the aim of the EITI contributing to strengthening routine government and company audit and assurance systems and practices and ensure that stakeholders can have confidence in the reliability of the financial data on payments and revenues. Mali is required to agree a procedure to address data quality and assurance based on a standard procedure endorsed by the EITI Board. The MSG is required to apply the standard procedure without any material deviations. Should the MSG wish to deviate from the standard procedures, approval from the EITI Board must be sought in advance.
  15. In accordance with Requirement 6.1, Mali should ensure regular public disclosures of all social expenditures by extractive companies mandated by law, regulation or contract, where such payments are material. Mali should ensure public disclosures of all payments by extractive companies to the government related to the environment mandated by law, regulation or contract, where such payments are material. To strengthen implementation in light of significant public interest, Mali is encouraged to consider ensuring public disclosure of discretionary social expenditures and both mandatory and discretionary environmental expenditures to third parties (including contributions to environmental rehabilitation funds), where material.
  16. In accordance with Requirement 6.3, Mali should ensure public disclosures of information about the contribution of the extractive industries to the economy, covering estimates of informal sector activities, including but not necessarily limited to artisanal and small scale mining as well as potential mining activities by armed groups operating in Mali. To strengthen implementation, Mali is encouraged to use its EITI implementation to strengthen government and company systematic disclosures of information on the contribution of the extractive industries to the national economy, including to GDP, government revenues, exports and employment.
  17. In accordance with Requirement 7.1, Mali should ensure regular active outreach and dissemination activities related to its EITI reporting with a view to ensuring that EITI reporting contributes to public debate. To strengthen implementation, Mali is encouraged to tailor its dissemination activities to the issues stakeholders are interested in, such as the extractive industries’ economic contributions at the regional level, the environmental impact of mining and the monitoring of license allocations. Mali is encouraged to explore other means of communicating the results from EITI reporting and studies conducted by the EITI. Mali is encouraged to undertake capacity-building efforts with members outside of the MSG, in particular civil society, the parliament and the media, to improve the understanding of the findings of EITI reporting and online disclosures, and to encourage the use of the information for public debate.
  18. In accordance with Requirement 7.3, Mali should ensure that there is a robust mechanism in place for its EITI implementation to regularly consider and follow up on the recommendations resulting from EITI implementation, with a view to ensuring that implementation is a continuous learning process that contributes to policy-making, and ensures that recommendations are being followed up on throughout the year.
  19. In accordance with Requirement 7.4, Mali should ensure that broader government, industry and civil society constituencies have the opportunity to comment on the annual review of outcomes and impacts of EITI implementation. Civil society groups and industry involved in the EITI in particular should be able to provide feedback on the EITI process and have their views reflected in the annual review of impact and outcomes. In this annual review, Mali should include an assessment of progress towards meeting all EITI (sub-)requirements, and any steps taken to exceed the EITI Requirements. This should include any actions undertaken to address issues that the MSG has identified as priorities for EITI implementation in its work plan. To strengthen implementation, the MSG is encouraged to document how it has taken gender considerations and inclusiveness into account.

Mali is encouraged to consider the following recommendations to strengthen EITI implementation:

Outcomes and impact
 

  1. To strengthen implementation, Mali is encouraged to ensure that data from reports commissioned under the EITI is published in open format. To further encourage data use and analysis for informing public debate, Mali is encouraged to consider needs of different stakeholders on data from mining suppliers and artisanal and small-scale mining to support progress towards the objective of increasing transparency in the mining sector’s contribution to the national economy. Mali is encouraged to proactively communicate the availability of extractive data in open format to potential data users in the statistics office, universities, and civil society groups.

Stakeholder engagement
 

Transparency
 

  1. To strengthen implementation of Requirement 2.1, Mali may wish to use its EITI implementation to strengthen the government’s systematic disclosures of ongoing and planned reforms in the legal environment and fiscal regime for the mining, oil and gas sectors, with a view to improving the accountability of the public reform process.
  2. To strengthen implementation of Requirement 2.3, Mali is strongly encouraged to ensure that its publicly-accessible mining cadastre system includes information about licenses held by all entities, including companies and individuals or groups that are outside the agreed scope of EITI implementation, and is urged to follow up on recommendations from past Mali EITI Reports to resolve discrepancies in active mining lists across different government departments such as the National Geology and Mining Department (DNGM) and the government’s Mining and Energy Sector Planning and Statistics Cell (Cellule de Planification et de statistique du secteur mines et énergie – CPS). Any significant legal or practical barriers preventing such comprehensive disclosure covering all extractive rights including artisanal mining permits should be documented and explained, including an account of government plans for seeking to overcome such barriers and the anticipated timescale for achieving them.
  3. To strengthen implementation, Mali is encouraged to reconsider on an annual basis the existence and materiality of state participation in the extractive industries, either through direct equity participations or through debt financing (loans and guarantees), with a view to achieving the same degree of transparency as for conventional company payments to government disclosed through EITI reporting. Where state participation gives rise to material government revenues, Mali should ensure that all aspects of Requirement 2.6 are comprehensively addressed.
  4. To strengthen implementation, Mali is encouraged to consider annually whether there are any agreements, or sets of agreements involving the provision of goods and services (including loans, grants and infrastructure works), in full or partial exchange for oil, gas or mining exploration or production concessions or physical delivery of such commodities in accordance with Requirement 4.3. To be able to do so, the MSG and the Independent Administrator need to gain a full understanding of: the terms of the relevant agreements and contracts, the parties involved, the resources which have been pledged by the state, the value of the balancing benefit stream (e.g. infrastructure works), and the materiality of these agreements relative to conventional contracts. Where the MSG concludes that these agreements are material, it is required to ensure that EITI implementation addresses these agreements and disclosures provide a level of detail and disaggregation commensurate with the other payments and revenue streams.
  5. To strengthen implementation of Requirement 4.8, Mali is encouraged to explore opportunities for improving the timeliness of its EITI disclosures, potentially building on strengthened systematic disclosures of EITI data by extractive companies and government, with a view to enhancing the relevance of EITI data to public debate and policy making.
  6. To strengthen implementation of Requirement 5.1, Mali EITI is encouraged to discuss allegations of off-budget financing of certain government expenditures from the proceeds of sales of extractive commodities. Mali is encouraged to reference national revenue classification systems, and international standards such as the IMF Government Finance Statistics Manual, in its annual disclosures of government revenue data.
  7. To strengthen implementation of Requirement 5.3, Mali is encouraged to use its EITI implementation to work with relevant government entities including the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Ministry of Budget to ensure regular public disclosure of updated budget and public finance management documents such as the TOFE (Tableau des operations financières de l’Etat) with a view to strengthening public oversight and accountability in the management of extractive revenues and expenditures. Mali may wish to use its EITI reporting to disclose timely information from the government that will further public understanding and debate around issues of revenue sustainability and resource dependence. This may include the assumptions underpinning forthcoming years in the budget cycle and relating to projected production, commodity prices and revenue forecasts arising from the extractive industries and the proportion of future fiscal revenues expected to come from the extractive sector.
  8. To strengthen implementation, Mali is encouraged to use its EITI implementation to provide an annual diagnostic of the implementation of statutory provisions in the 2019 Mining Code for the establishment of a local development fund drawing from mining revenues.
  9. To strengthen implementation of Requirement 6.4, Mali is encouraged to use its annual EITI implementation to disclose information on the management and monitoring of the environmental impact of the extractive industries, including an overview of relevant legal provisions and administrative rules as well as actual practice related to environmental management and monitoring of extractive investments. Mali could use the EITI to disclose information on regular environmental monitoring procedures, administrative and sanctioning processes of governments, as well as environmental liabilities, environmental rehabilitation and remediation programmes.

The government and the MSG are encouraged to consider these recommendations, and to document the MSG’s responses to these recommendations in the next annual review of outcomes and impact of EITI implementation.

Background

In June 2019, the Board agreed that Mali had made “meaningful progress” in implementing the 2016 EITI Standard. The next Validation of Mali was scheduled to commence on 17 June 2020. In July 2020, the Board granted Mali’s request for a six-month extension to its Validation deadline given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In December 2020, the EITI Board agreed a revised Validation schedule, with Mali’s Validation scheduled to commence on 1 October 2021. In October 2021, the Board granted Mali’s request for a further six-month extension to its Validation deadline given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Validation commenced on 1 April 2022.  

Mali EITI collated documentation for Validation using the Board-agreed data collection templates on Stakeholder engagement, Transparency, and Outcomes and impact. The files are available on the Mali EITI website. The International Secretariat’s Validation team prepared an initial assessment following the Validation procedure and Validation Guide. In accordance with the Validation procedure, a public call for stakeholder views on EITI implementation was open from 1 March to 1 April 2022. Virtual stakeholder consultations were undertaken from 9 to 25 May 2022. The draft assessment was shared with the MSG for feedback on 11 August 2022. MSG comments were received on 7 September 2022, after which the assessment was finalised for the Validation Committee’s review.

In accordance with Article 4.c of Section 4 of the 2019 EITI Standard, the overall assessment consists of component scores on Stakeholder engagement, Transparency, and Outcomes and impact, as well as an overall numerical score. The component score represents an average of the points awarded for each applicable requirement. The points awarded on the effectiveness and sustainability indicators are added to the component score on Outcomes and impact. The overall score is the average of the three component scores.

 

Scorecard for Mali: 2022

Assessment of EITI requirements

  • Not met
  • Partly met
  • Mostly met
  • Fully met
  • Exceeded
Component View more
Score

The three components of Validation each receive a score out of 100, as follows:

Low 0-49
Fairly low 50-69
Moderate 70-84
High 85-92
Very high 93-100
View more

Outcomes and impact

70 Moderate
Scorecard by requirement
Assessment
Assessment of EITI Requirements

Validation assesses the extent to which each EITI Requirement is met, using five categories. The component score is an average of the points awarded for each requirement that falls within the component.

Outcomes and impact

Effectiveness and sustainability indicators

1

1.5 Work plan

60

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 1.5 is mostly met, which represents backsliding since the last Validation. Most stakeholders consulted did not voice any opinions on the annual work plans, although some government officials consulted considered that the objective of the annual EITI work plan providing a key accountability document for the MSG vis-à-vis broader constituencies had been fulfilled given the MSG’s regular discussions of work plan implementation. Stakeholders consulted confirmed that the 2022 EITI work plan was reviewed (at the MSG’s 23 December 2021 meeting) and the minutes note amendments made following MSG discussions. However, neither available documentation nor consultations provided evidence that the MSG members consulted with their respective broader constituencies for input in developing the work plan’s objectives or activities. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MSG noted that the 2020 EITI Mali work plan had been disseminated to civil society at several workshops but did not provide evidence that such consultations occurred in the work plan's development prior to MSG approval. The Secretariat’s view is that annual planning for EITI implementation through the work plan supports implementation of sectoral priorities for the extractive industries and lays out mostly realistic activities. However, as noted in the November 2020 impact study, there is significant scope to improve the EITI’s relevance in Mali by linking implementation objectives to broader extractive governance challenges and national priorities for the mining sector, such as strengthening governance of artisanal and semi-industrial mining. The objectives of successive annual EITI Mali work plans have remained unchanged for several years. As there is no evidence that the work plan is the outcome of consultations with broader government, industry and civil society constituencies beyond those members directly represented on the MSG, the Secretariat’s view is that the objective is mostly met. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MSG argued that it could not change the structure of the work plan that it considered to be prescribed by the EITI Standard but argued that the activities had evolved over several work plans covering 2019, 2020 and 2021. Mali has updated the activities of its EITI work plan annually and published it on its website. The EITI work plans list new and updated activities besides some regular items, reflecting the evolving focus of EITI implementation. The work plan narrative makes some linkages between the objectives of EITI implementations and Mali’s national priorities for the extractive industries. Yet in its comments on the draft assessment, the MSG noted that the priority objectives of the work plan were to improve EITI Reports and follow-up on recommendations from EITI reporting and Validation. The work plan activities reference the expected result, responsible party, cost, funding source and approximate timeframe (quarterly). Several activities that are related to activities mainly carried out by the Mali EITI Secretariat are not costed. The work plan includes activities to address capacity constraints of stakeholders participating in EITI reporting. The narrative includes a reference to activities on systematic disclosures being incorporated in the work plan, but the plan itself does not reference concrete plans to progressively mainstream disclosures required by the EITI Standard beyond mapping the existing data in the extractives sector, improving the data in the online mining cadastral portal and producing a feasibility study on mainstreaming of EITI data. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MSG argued that the plans for a mainstreaming feasibility study constituted a key activity related to systematic disclosures. The work plan includes activities to address legal and regulatory obstacles and follow-up on recommendations from reporting and Validation, albeit only in general terms. The work plan does not include plans for the EITI to support specific reforms, such as the rumoured as planned revisions to the Mining Code. Indeed, stakeholder consultations revealed a frustration over how recommendations were followed up consistently over time, a role that the work plan could play. The work plan includes activities to strengthening contract and beneficial ownership disclosures. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MSG argued that the activities related to the publication of a contract disclosure plan and to systematic disclosures demonstrated that the work plan could contribute to reforms in the mining sector.

7.1 Public debate

60

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 7.1 is mostly met, which represents backsliding compared to the previous Validation. Most stakeholders consulted considered that the objective of enabling evidence-based public debate on extractive industry governance through active communication of relevant EITI data in ways that are accessible and reflect stakeholders’ needs is mostly fulfilled and that the EITI has contributed to some degree of public debate. Stakeholders considered that there had been outreach activities related to EITI Reports in the period under review. Company stakeholders consulted considered that the information on local revenue management in mining communities had sparked discussions between the communities and the mayors. Nonetheless, there is little documentation available on activities in 2019 and 2020 in particular, including alternative activities to in-person outreach efforts during the pandemic. There appears to have been little EITI outreach and dissemination in the period between the end of the previous Validation (February 2019) and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MSGhighlighted factors that led to the slow-down in communications activities including the COVID-19 pandemic, political instability since June 2020, and the ECOWAS and UEMOA embargoes that led to the suspension of funding from development partners and budget restrictions for the government. The thrust of activities in dissemination and developing communications products were undertaken in late 2021 and early 2022. In assessing outreach and dissemination activities in 2020 and 2021, the International Secretariat considered the context of the pandemic as well as the continued security challenges and political instability in the country (with two coup d’états in August 2020 and May 2021, followed by the postponement of elections planned for February 2022). The MSG has taken steps to ensure that the 2017-2019 EITI Reports are comprehensible, actively promoted and publicly accessible. Outreach activities in late 2021 and early 2022, including summaries of the 2017 and 2018 EITI Reports in local languages and the production of two video sketches in local languages on the EITI process and the 2019 EITI Report, are ways Mali EITI is meeting information needs, considering linguistic diversity and alternative presentation of information. There have been some activities on Facebook (estimates are that about 10% of the population of Mali has a Facebook account). A new newsletter format was developed in June 2019 but not repeated. A university EITI club CLUB FDPRI-ITIE/MALI (a law faculty EITI club) was founded in September 2019, although it is unclear whether this club continued its activities since then. The annual activity report documents many activities related to outreach 2020 that were not carried out. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MSG highlighted capacity building sessions undertaken by civil society despite broader constraints and argues for “fully met” (90 points) on this requirement. These included the establishment of a monitoring platform for the Local Development Mining Fund, a workshop on beneficial ownership, the 2019 EITI Standard and the cadastral information portals, a peer exchange meeting on fiscal information, meetings on operationalising the Local Development Mining Fund, and a workshop on the implementing regulations to the new Mining Code. A five-day capacity building session was carried out in September 2021 in preparation to Validation for MSG members. From the review of documentation, capacity building from the EITI was only carried out for MSG members, not for members of the broader constituencies or other potential users of EITI data. The EITI Mali commissioned a study published in November 2020 on the traceability of mining revenues at the level of local authorities. There is little evidence that the results of this study were subsequently disseminated, however. An EITI Mali impact study published in November 2020 concluded that the EITI had had a tangible impact in informing citizen debate and building trust based on the disclosure of comprehensive and credible data on the extractive sector. It further found that the main product of the EITI - the EITI Report - was largely under-utilised. The study identified information on the mining sector’s contribution (local content), the contribution of extractive companies and government to mining regions and environmental impacts of mining, as well as work on anti-corruption, artisanal and small-scale mining, revenue modelling and gender, as areas where the EITI could enhance its impact on public debate. The Secretariat’s view is that the resumption of dissemination activities in late 2021 is an encouraging development. The International Secretariat takes noteof videos and radio debates on sensitive issues, including civil society participation, undertaken during comment period in September 2022, However, the pace of outreach and dissemination has been inconsistent in the period under review and that has hindered the broader contribution of the EITI to public debate.

7.2 Data accessibility and open data

90

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 7.2 is fully met. Some stakeholders consulted did not consider the objective of enabling the broader use and analysis of information on the extractive industries to be fulfilled. The Secretariat’s view is that the objective is fulfilled given the publication of the underlying data in the most recent EITI Report in open format, although not yet in a systematic manner. The ample data from studies and EITI Reports are usually not published in open format alongside the PDF file, and hence do not encourage the broader use and analysis of data. The availability of open data, where available, is not actively advertised. Mali EITI has agreed and published an open data policy in November 2017 covering the terms of release, use and reuse of EITI data. Mali’s EITI Reports have continued to be published in PDF format on the EITI Mali website, with accompanying summary data files published in .xlsx format for 2017 and 2018 Reports. The data tables in those EITI Reports were not published in open format. The 2019 EITI Report is accompanied by an excel file containing all the report data in detail but the 2019 EITI summary data file has not yet been prepared or submitted to the International Secretariat for comment as of June 2022. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MSG highlighted the recent publication of the 2019 summary data file. The data from the study on traceability of mining revenues at the local level (December 2020) was not published in open format. Mali’s license register systematically discloses licenses and is updated daily and the information contained in the register can be downloaded in .csv format. The Ministry of Budget website provides data on budget figures available for download in open (.csv) format, although it does not appear to have been updated since the imposition of international sanctions in early 2022. Other data required by the EITI that is systematically disclosed on government portals has not yet been published in open format. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MSG noted that its systematic disclosures feasibility study was ongoing in 2022.

7.3 Follow up on recommendations

60

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 7.3 is mostly met, without considerable improvements since the previous Validation. Opinions of stakeholders consulted were split over whether there was an effective mechanism for follow-up on recommendations. Civil society members argued that there was a lack of systematic follow-up on an ongoing basis with government entities. They considered that there was a lack of government commitment to follow-up on recommendations from EITI Reports in particular. Government MSG representatives however considered that the processes for following up were clear but that there had been a delay in many areas due to personnel changes in key reporting entities. Available evidence indicates that the mechanism for follow-up on EITI recommendations was established ad hoc for the purpose of preparing for this Validation, rather than as a basis for encouraging continuous learning and prioritisation of recommendations and corrective actions. The MSG undertook a five-day retreat in September 2021 to follow up on the recommendations of the EITI Reports and Validation, and to develop an action plan in view of the commencement of Validation, including responsibilities, expected output and deadlines. An ad hoc committee for Validation was charged with the follow-up and produced a report published on 1 February 2022 which includes an overview of the follow-up on corrective actions and recommendations from EITI Reports 2014-2018. There is no similar document from the follow-up on recommendations to the 2019 Report, which was published in March 2022. It remains unclear whether these ad hoc mechanisms will be further institutionalised by the MSG after this Validation, to ensure that follow-up on recommendations yield tangible reforms. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MSG disagreed with the Secretariat’s view that the mechanism for follow-up on recommendations had been established in preparation for Validation rather than as a mechanism for regular follow-up and argued for at ”fully met” (90 points), noting that successive EITI Mali work plans had included activities related to follow-up on EITI recommendations. The MSG also noted that its ad hoc committee had a mandate to undertake all activities to prepare for Validation and that the MSG could create committees at short notice to effectively respond to situations. The MSG’s comments also noted that a report on follow-up on recommendations from the 2019 EITI Report was planned but delayed pending the dissemination of the 2019 EITI Report that was planned for September 2022 after the rainy season. The MSG has considered some of the recommendations from EITI Report in their work plan. Their work plan also refers to producing an overview of outstanding recommendations and corrective actions. The 2020 annual progress report contains an overview of the recommendations from previous EITI Reports, albeit without prioritisation of the different recommendations. However, there is no evidence of a regular review and prioritisation of recommendations from EITI Reports, studies and Validation aside from the EITI Report annex (which focuses on recommendations from the past EITI Report only) and the copy paste of that table into the annual progress report. The MSG does not appear to discuss follow-up on past EITI recommendations at its meetings, according to available meeting records.

7.4 Review of outcomes and impact of implementation

75

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 7.4 is mostly met, with considerable improvements since the previous Validation. Mali has published a comprehensive impact assessment in December 2020 and has addressed its progress on the work plan objectives in its 2020 annual progress report, both recommendations from the previous Validation. However, neither available documentation nor stakeholder consultations indicated evidence that MSG members consulted with their respective broader constituencies for input in reviewing the outcomes and impacts of the EITI, key to ensuring the public accountability of EITI implementation. On technical criteria, the 2020 annual progress report, published in November 2021, lacks a detailed overview on the progress on sub-requirements and does not include an updated overview and prioritisation of recommendations from EITI reporting, EITI studies and corrective actions. The 2020 annual progress report provides an overview of the activities undertaken in 2020 (and which were not) including the outcomes of those activities. The MSG did not adopt the 2019 annual progress report due to disagreements on the MSG (see Requirement 1.4). On the assessment of meeting the requirements, the 2020 annual progress report treats requirements in bulk (“Exploration and production”, “data collection” etc) and not individually as sub-requirements. The 2020 annual progress report contains an overview of progress in addressing the recommendations from EITI reporting and corresponding activities that have been undertaken and the status of progress for the recommendations of the 2014-2018 EITI Reports (and copies the status as listed in the reports, not as of the date of adoption of the annual progress report). Recommendations from other publications from EITI implementation like the impact study or the study on traceability of mining revenues on the local level are not recorded. A narrative report was published in February 2022 to include actions on the corrective actions of Mali’s 2019 Validation. The 2020 annual progress report includes an assessment of progress towards achieving the objectives set out in the work plan, but does not include a narrative overview of the impact and outcomes of progress towards the work plan objectives. The 2020 annual progress report includes an overview of the actual expenses per work plan activity, which contributes to the public accountability of the EITI. The annual progress report is available on the EITI Mali website and easily located. The annual progress report also includes an analysis of strengths and weaknesses of EITI implementation, and the activities needed to address the weaknesses. The 2020 annual progress report does not consider how gender considerations and inclusiveness have been taken into account. Additionally, the EITI published an impact report in November 2020 which concluded that the missing institutional anchoring and access to funding have weakened the EITI and are the main reasons for a lack of impact on governance, as well as the weak representation of the regions on the MSG. The report contains a range of requirements not only to improve communication around the EITI, but more largely to act as a “think tank” on reforms and as issuing targeted analyses drawing on disclosures on the sector to inform public debate. It is unclear how the recommendations from this report have been followed up upon. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MSG noted that plans to undertake another EITI impact assessment in the 2021 work plan had been delayed to the 2022 work plan, but that the ECOWAS sanctions against Mali in January 2022 had delayed this activity further. The MSG noted that it planned to carry out this study before the end of 2022 following the lifting of ECOWAS sanctions in July 2022. The MSG’s comments also noted that it was aware of the lack of dissemination of the findings of the 2020 impact report but noted that the 2022 work plan included as follow-up on a recommendation from the impact report the preparation of an institutional, organisational, financial and accounting audit. For these reasons, the MSG argued for “fully met” (90 points). However, the lack of consultations of broader constituencies for input in reviewing the outcomes and impacts of the EITI, as well as the lack of a detailed overview on the progress on sub-requirements and an updated overview and prioritisation of recommendations from EITI reporting, EITI studies and corrective actions, outweigh the MSG’s upcoming dissemination projects.

Stakeholder engagement

60 Fairly low
Scorecard by requirement
Assessment
Assessment of EITI Requirements

Validation assesses the extent to which each EITI Requirement is met, using five categories. The component score is an average of the points awarded for each requirement that falls within the component.

Multi-stakeholder oversight

1.1 Government engagement

60

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 1.1 is mostly met, which represents back-sliding since the previous Validation. Several stakeholders consulted from different constituencies considered that the government was fully engaged in the EITI process despite the political volatility of the past two years, weaknesses in operational engagement of some entities and gaps in funding. The MSG’s comments on the draft assessment emphasised these views. However, other stakeholders from all constituencies considered that there were weaknesses in the government’s provision of resources, data and leadership in overcoming barriers to EITI implementation that meant that the objective was mostly met. The Secretariat’s view is that the objective of full, active and effective government engagement is mostly met in the period under review. The 2019-23 action plan for the Mining and Petroleum Sector Development Policy cites EITI implementation under the first objective aimed at improving the governance of the extractive industries. The senior government lead for EITI implementation has consistently been the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water in the period under review. Minister of Mines Lelenta Hawa Baba Bah made public statements of support for the EITI when she chaired two MSG meetings in 2019-20, while Minister Lamine Seydou Traoré has done so in the September 2021 MSG meeting he chaired, which was covered in the press. There do not appear to be other public statements of support for the EITI from other government ministers during the period under review. Minister of Mines Traoré reiterated the government’s commitment to the EITI in several meetings with the EITI International Secretariat in 2022. The government has taken steps to establish an enabling environment for EITI implementation, issuing several decrees to support EITI implementation in 2019 and 2021. The Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water has included a general reference to the EITI in the 2019 Mining Code (albeit not in its November 2020 implementing Decree) and in a February 2022 Decree establishing legal requirements for a public register of beneficial ownership data on extractive companies. The government has also taken steps to disclose data for both the EITI Report and disclosures on the Mali EITI website, for instance of 130 mining contracts, although the comprehensiveness of these disclosures has not yet been reviewed by EITI Mali (see Requirement 2.4). In terms of government operational engagement in the EITI process, there is evidence that the main entities (Ministries of Mines and of Finance) participate regularly in meetings. Attendance charts in the MSG’s ‘Stakeholder engagement’ template show that most government MSG members attended around two thirds of (19) meetings in the period under review, while participation from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Tax Office (DGI) and Parliament was weaker. There is evidence of limited engagement in the EITI dissemination activities, driven by the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water. However, as the MSG’s template notes, there is no mechanism for coordination or consultation with the broader government constituency. Government members of the MSG appear to follow up internally within their ministries, but without close coordination with other agencies. This was cited by several stakeholders as a constraint on consistent follow-up on EITI recommendations for reform (see Requirement 7.3). The Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water houses the Mali EITI Secretariat institutionally and physically. The government covers overhead costs such as rent, staff salaries as well as some outreach and dissemination activities. While the government had funded the production of EITI Reports up to the 2016 EITI Report, funding of EITI Reports has been covered by the World Bank since then. According to successive Mali EITI work plans over the 2019-22 period, the state’s contribution to funding the EITI has declined from 63% of costs in 2019 to 29% (XOF 269.2m, around USD 41.8k) in 2022, while donor funding has risen from 35% of costs in 2019 to 70.44% (XOF 652.2m, around USD 101k) in 2022, with the World Bank’s Mining Governance Programme since 2020. However, in practice, only around half the budgeted government funding for the EITI were actually disbursed in 2020 according to Mali EITI’s 2020 annual progress report. Mali EITI’s 2020 impact study notes that weaknesses in financial and institutional government support for the EITI were the main reason for shortfalls in work plan implementation and follow-up. Some development partners consulted expressed concern over the low level of funding from the government for EITI implementation. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MSG emphasised that the decline in funding for EITI was due to broader government budget cuts. While most technical aspects of Requirement 1.1 are addressed, the Secretariat’s view is that weaknesses in the provision of funding for implementation, and in the coordination across agencies to strengthen follow-up on EITI recommendations, are gaps that need to be addressed for the objective of full, active and effective government leadership of the EITI process to be achieved. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MSG highlighted general activities in the 2022 work plan aimed at “strengthening stakeholder engagement in the EITI” and noted government plans in 2022 to undertake an audit of the mining cadastre system. However, the Secretariat’s view is that, while these planned activities are welcome, the government’s engagement in the EITI process has weakened in the period under review (2019-2022).

1.2 Industry engagement

60

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 1.2 is mostly met, which represents back-sliding since the previous Validation. Some stakeholders consulted from civil society and development partners considered that the objective of full, active and effective industry engagement in the EITI process was mostly met given that only industry engagement in the EITI was limited to large-scale industrial miners and the Chamber of Mines. Industry stakeholders consulted considered that they were engaged in the process, including in participating in EITI dissemination events organised by the Mali EITI Secretariat. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MSG argued that all stakeholders considered that extractive companies were actively and effectively engaged in the EITI process. The mining industry constituency’s representation on the MSG is defined as seven full and seven alternate members. These consist of representatives of four production license-holding companies, two exploration license-holders and one from the Chamber of Mines, appointed by consensus or by secret ballot. The constituency agreed a set of guidelines in 2018 to codify its nominations procedures, coordination and communication methods. In December 2018, the industry constituency held its MSG nominations, with around 40 companies convened by the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water rather than by a private-sector body. In practice, the liaison within the constituency appears to be handled by the Mali EITI Secretariat, rather than by the Chamber of Mines, which has been the subject of controversy according to press coverage in Maliactu and Maliweb. Large-scale extractive companies have broadly participated in EITI reporting, with all but two of the material mining companies submitting their templates for the latest (2019) EITI Report. The Chamber of Mines was included in the MSG with the intention that it would represent the artisanal and small-scale mining sector. However, it appears that the Chamber has not been able to produce any information on the artisanal and small-scale mining sector for inclusion in Mali’s EITI Reports to date. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MSG noted that the Chamber of Mines was tasked with following up on the roadmap on the formalisation of the artisanal mining sector. Beyond the provision of data for EITI reporting, industry MSG members and material companies have participated in some EITI dissemination and outreach. Industry MSG members have provided some input to the development of the EITI work plan and the MSG’s review of outcomes and impact, although the broader industry constituency does not appear to have been regularly canvassed for views and input to the EITI process. In addition, the guidelines for industry coordination on EITI implementation do not appear to be yet fully implemented in practice.

1.3 Civil society engagement

60

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 1.3 is mostly met. While the environment for free public expression has deteriorated since the second coup d’état, particularly in 2022 with the ban of certain international media, the assessment of Requirement 1.3 and adherence to the EITI protocol: Participation of civil society could be considered borderline between ‘partly met’ and ‘mostly met’, the Secretariat’s view is that Mali’s civil society is active and engaged and has provided evidence of recent public debate on topics of public interest. Thus, the Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 1.3 is mostly met in the period under review. Civil society representatives on the MSG appear to be fully, actively and effectively engaged in the EITI process. Available documentation and stakeholder consultations indicate that civil society MSG members are a key driver of EITI implementation, including in the design of the EITI process, MSG discussions and EITI-related outreach and dissemination. Since the previous Validation, the civil society constituency has agreed and published a Code of Conduct to structure its nominations to the MSG and codify statutory requirements for regular consultations of the broader constituency. The last nominations to the MSG involved the two largest CSO umbrella organisations in Mali but led to the reappointment of the majority of civil society MSG members that have participated since the start of Mali’s EITI implementation in 2007. The MSG’s comments on the draft assessment argued that the civil society constituency was only established in 2019 and thus that three-year term limits (renewable once) should only apply from 2019 onwards. In practice, civil society has undertaken outreach and dissemination activities. There is less evidence of regular consultations with the broader civil society constituency on EITI implementation issues in practice. The majority of Bamako-based CSOs consulted considered that the coordination mechanisms were effective in practice. Yet some CSOs based in mining regions and not substantially engaged in the EITI process considered that there was little outreach to CSOs outside of the capital city. The MSG’s comments argue that it was not possible to consult the more than 5,000 CSOs (this figure includes CSOs not active on topics related to the extractive industries) operating in Mali and note that workshops to canvass the broader constituency were hampered by broader constraints linked to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and political challenges since 2020. Despite constitutional and legal provisions ensuring freedoms of expression, operation and assembly, there is evidence of broader constraints in civic space in Mali. Arbitrary arrests of journalists in the context of the violent insurgency appear to have created conditions for self-censorship by journalists and civil society activists, as documented by the United Nations. The United Nations has also documented human rights abuses by the government armed forces and insurgents during this period. Bans on public demonstrations and violent dispersal of protests in 2020-22 have curbed civil society’s ability to stage public demonstrations. While not related to direct government constraints, civil society’s ability to access international funding has been severely impeded since January 2022, when international sanctions on Mali were enacted by UEMOA. There are significantly different views among stakeholders consulted on the extent to which these broader constraints have impacted civil society’s engagement in the EITI process and public debate on natural resource governance. Most stakeholders from civil society, government and industry considered that these broader constraints had not impacted the broader civil society constituency’s engagement in the 2019-22 period. The MSG’s comments on the draft assessment argue that there are no government constraints on civil society’s freedom of expression in relation to the EITI process or the extractive industries in general. They argue that the ban on certain foreign media had no bearing on EITI implementation in Mali. However, some development partners and a few community based CSOs not engaged in the EITI process but working on mining issues considered that the broader constraints had an impact on all CSOs working on extractive issues, given allegations of pervasive self-censorship due to fears of reprisals that could include disappearance or execution by officials of the transitional government. Some stakeholders consulted considered that there were direct government restrictions on freedom of expression on topics of natural resource governance such as license awards and transfers, environmental impacts of mining and management of extractive industry revenues. There is no evidence however of systematic repressions by the government. The Secretariat’s initial view was that there were credible allegations of self-censorship due to fear of reprisals from government officials that may affect members of civil society substantially engaged in the EITI process due to limited discussion on sensitive issues. There was no evidence of substantive public discussions in the public domain. During the commenting period, MSG civil society members conducted several debate formats to demonstrate their ability to discuss sensitive issues. The MSG, in its comments, highlighted a meeting between CSO members and the licensing authority (the DNGM) with the objective to understand the licensing process and confirm the absence of licenses granted to armed groups – the meeting was subject to a TV report; a public debate with journalists, CSO members and a technical advisor to the Minister of mines, where the opportunity was given to the audience to discuss freedom of expression and freedom of the press (including the cases of the international media that were suspended in Mali), contract transparency and license allocation, alleged licensing to armed groups, the transfer of the Yatela mine to the government, ASM and informal sector, the Chinese involvement in ASM, river pollution due to mining activities; as well as other radio or TV debates where similar topics were discussed. The Secretariat is therefore of the view that discussions on mining issues of public interest are possible. The Secretariat maintains the view that the proactive engagement of civil society MSG members must be weighed against the lack of evidence of meaningful consultations with the broader constituency, particularly in the regions hosting either industrial or artisanal and small-scale mining operations even if mobility constraints linked to the broader security situation must be acknowledged. Links between Bamako-based CSOs and civil society in communities affected by mining are weak, which affects representation in the EITI and appears due to CSOs’ capacity and resource constraints as well as the broader security situation in many extractive regions. Civil society representatives consulted on the MSG did not consider that there was a need to refresh the constituency’s MSG representation. Yet the lack of evidence of regular consultation and coordination mechanisms between Bamako-based CSOs engaged in the EITI process and community-based CSOs working on mining issues is a significant concern that was echoed by some community-based CSOs and several development partners consulted. In addition, the Secretariat has identified breaches of the EITI protocol: Participation of civil society related to expression (Provision 2.1). Civil society actors working at the community level on extractives-related issues have experienced harassment for expressing critical views. The evidence is not conclusive whereas the repression is systematic and must be understood in a context of significant violence linked to the anti-terrorist efforts. While the government’s legal reforms to protect human rights defenders are welcome in practice, apparent impunity around extrajudicial killings and unlawful detention continues to pose challenges in practice.

1.4 MSG governance

60

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 1.4 is mostly met, without considerable improvements since the previous Validation. Most MSG members consulted downplayed the breakdown in relations between the MSG and the National Coordinator in 2020-21 and considered that the objective of balanced multi-stakeholder oversight of implementation was fulfilled in the period under review. However, several CSOs expressed concern at the MSG’s oversight of implementation, arguing that it did not constitute a platform for decision-making given relative disengagement from the other two constituencies. Other stakeholders consulted outside of the MSG from civil society and development partners considered that there was a lack of renewal in representation on the MSG in practice that caused the multi-stakeholder balance in oversight to weaken. Some non-MSG members considered that the 2020-21 crisis within Mali EITI had consumed significant MSG resources to resolve and it highlighted dysfunctions in the MSG’s oversight of the National Secretariat. The Secretariat’s view is that, while the MSG’s oversight of implementation weakened during the 2020-21 crisis but appears to have improved after the crisis was resolved, the MSG’s oversight has neither substantially weakened nor strengthened in the period under review as a whole and thus that the objective of balanced multi-stakeholder oversight of the EITI remains mostly met. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MSG argued strongly that the objective was fully met based on its perception that the three constituencies worked together closely, that the three constituencies were adequately represented on the MSG free of any coercion, that each constituency had clear guidelines for their engagement in the EITI, and that they provided effective oversight of the production of key EITI documents. As an evidence inclusiveness and consultation, the MSG has shared email exchanges between members of the extractive industries constituency. The correspondence, however, is only constituted by transfers of documents or meeting confirmations. The MSG’s last comprehensive renewal of membership was confirmed by Ministerial Order in November 2019 (Arrêté 2019-3893/MMP-SG), after nominations by the three constituencies following formalisation of the industry and civil society MSG nominations procedures. Government MSG members were appointed in December 2019. However, the majority of civil society members of the previous MSG were nominated again, although this time with term limits under civil society’s new constituency guidelines of a three-year term renewable once (these term limits were only effective from 2019 onwards). While industry included the Chamber of Mines as a MSG member to represent the artisanal and small-scale mining sector, the constituency’s representation on the MSG appears to be limited to large-scale industrial mining activities in practice (see Requirement 1.2). The MSG proceeded with a renewal of MSG members from government and industry in February 2022, although renewal of civil society MSG members is scheduled to be undertaken in the third quarter of 2022. The MSG faced a crisis in its operations in late 2020 and early 2021, following a breakdown in trust between the majority of MSG members and the National Coordinator at the time. The then-National Coordinator proposed revisions to the Government Decree on EITI in early 2021 without consultations with the MSG, updates that aimed at enlarging the civil society constituency to trade unions and the national order of accountants and at removing the requirement for the National Coordinator to have the trust of the MSG. The tensions between the MSG and the National Coordinator culminated in July 2021, when the MSG objected to the publication of the 2019 annual progress report given allegations that it included activities that had not been carried out in practice. Following the MSG’s withdrawal of support for the National Coordinator, he was replaced in the third quarter of 2021 without the proposed new Government Decree on EITI being enacted. The MSG continued to operate on the basis of Terms of Reference codified in the latest (January 2019) updates to the Government Decree establishing the EITI. The MSG’s internal rules (règlement interieur) were updated in February 2019 to reflect the new Decree. The updates include codification of the practice of per diem payments to MSG members, although they do not specify the level of per diems to be paid that is due to be formalised in an Inter-Ministerial Order (arrêté) by the Ministries of Finance and of Mines, although this has not been issued to date. The MSG’s ‘Stakeholder engagement’ template notes that the level of per diems is set at XOF 10,000 (around USD 19) per MSG member per session, although successive Mali EITI work plans have referenced XOF 100,000 per member. Some stakeholders consulted outside the MSG (from civil society and development partners) considered that the Mali EITI per diem practices may have created at least the perception of conflict of interest as they noted the lack of meaningful renewal of MSG members as a potential indication of this risk, even if the level of per diems was not considered to be excessively high. Mali EITI’s November 2020 impact study highlighted a lack of sufficient provisions in the MSG’s internal rules related to requirements for MSG members to have sufficient capacity to undertake their functions, for them to regularly liaise with their broader constituencies and for MSG members to have the ability to table additional issues for discussion by the MSG. The 2020 impact study also highlighted the lack of sufficient institutionalisation of EITI implementation and funding constraints as key barriers to increasing the impact of EITI implementation in Mali. There appear to have been some deviations from the MSG’s ToR in practice during the period under review. The MSG met once a quarter in 2019-22 and held an additional extraordinary meeting in 2020 and 2021 each. Decision-making by the MSG appears to have been mostly by consensus, aside from the July 2021 MSG vote on the 2019 annual progress report, which was based on simple majority voting. Attendance by a majority of MSG members appears to have been consistent during this period, although five of the 17 MSG members from government and four of the seven from industry have attended less than half of the MSG meetings, while all six full MSG members from civil society have consistently attended. There is little evidence of MSG members liaising with their broader constituencies, beyond some pre-Validation meetings undertaken by CSOs. Stakeholder consultations confirmed that the broader constituencies had not been consulted in the development of the annual EITI work plan or annual progress report. Several CSOs substantially engaged in the EITI process expressed concern at what they considered to be a relative lack of engagement from other constituencies on the MSG and considered that the MSG was not exercising sufficient oversight of implementation. The Secretariat’s view is that the MSG has made efforts to address some of the corrective actions from the previous Validation, but that there have not yet been considerable improvements in the period under review. Following up on a corrective action from the previous Validation, the industry and civil society constituencies have formalised MSG nominations procedures that are publicly accessible, which appear to have been followed in practice based on available documentation. However, consultations with stakeholders outside the MSG highlighted concerns at the lack of renewal of civil society MSG membership to strike a balance between the preservation of institutional memory and the inclusion of new stakeholders. Industry and civil society constituency coordination procedures set the expectation of regular consultations within the broader constituencies, yet there is little evidence of such regular contacts in practice. Thus, the Secretariat’s view is that the technical aspects of Requirement 1.4 remain mostly met, as in the previous Validation.

Transparency

66 Fairly low
Scorecard by requirement
Assessment
Assessment of EITI Requirements

Validation assesses the extent to which each EITI Requirement is met, using five categories. The component score is an average of the points awarded for each requirement that falls within the component.

Overview of the extractive industries

3.1 Exploration data

60

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 3.1 is mostly met, which represents backsliding comparted to the previous Validation. Stakeholders consulted considered that EITI reporting provided more transparency on exploration activities and considered the objective broadly met, even though many stakeholders from different constituencies highlighted the importance of artisanal mining and the role of Chinese investors. The Secretariat’s view is that the objective is mostly met, given that Mali’s EITI reports focus on the industrial mining sector, while estimates of the artisanal and semi-mechanised mining sector’s contribution to total industrial gold mining production annually is up to 50% (according to 2018 estimates from the OECD) and is not covered in Mali’s EITI reporting. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MSG highlighted new regulations establishing artisanal and semi-mechanised mining corridors in 2019 and the inclusion of estimates of artisanal gold mining production sourced from the regional central bank in the 2019 EITI Report, equivalent to 8% of total production (6 tons in 2019). However, the MSG’s comments do not explain the lack of disclosures either through the EITI Report or through systematic disclosures related to artisanal and semi-mechanised mining activities at least in the artisanal mining corridors beyond general estimates of aggregate production. The Secretariat’s view is that the lack of even a general description of these activities presents a gap in progress towards the objective of transparency in mining activities. Mali’s 2019 EITI Report provides an overview of the extractive industries, including significant deposits, companies in the sector and ongoing exploration activities by industrial mining companies. There are few systematic disclosures on government or company websites related to information on extractive activities. Mali has not used its EITI reporting to provide more information on the artisanal and semi-mechanised mining sector, which represents such a large share of Mali’s total gold production and of exploration activities, nor on the implementation of efforts to formalise artisanal and semi-mechanised mining through the creation of artisanal mining corridors. There is no evidence in MSG meeting minutes that the MSG has considered allegations of mining prospection and exploration linked to private military contractors and other armed groups, which have surfaced in the international press and reports by international think tanks.

6.3 Contribution of the extractive sector to the economy

60

The Secretariat's assessment is that Requirement 6.3 is mostly met, which represents backsliding comparted to the previous Validation. Most stakeholders consulted from the three main constituencies considered that the objective of ensuring a public understanding of the extractive industries’ contribution to the national economy had been fully met given their perception of the EITI focusing exclusively on large-scale industrial mining. However, some CSOs not engaged in the EITI process and development partners consulted raised concerns over the lack of EITI data on the contribution of artisanal and semi-industrial mining to the economy. Development partners also raised concerns over the lack of information on mining revenues net of VAT refunds to mining companies, with these government payments to mining companies estimated to total half the value of government gross revenues from mining. The Secretariat’s view is that Mali has fully met the objective of transparency in the economic contribution of the extractive industries with regards to large-scale industrial mining activities, but that the significant gaps related to artisanal and small-scale mining are a significant gap given the estimated materiality of this sector in terms of production levels, the significant impact of these activities in mining regions, and the level of public interest in these issues. Mali has used its EITI reporting to centralise information on the extractive industries’ contribution to the national economy. The 2019 EITI Report provides, in absolute and relative terms, the extractive industries’ contribution to GDP, government revenues, exports and employment. Employment data is provided broken down by company, occupation and gender. Mali’s EITI reporting provides an adequate overview of the location of the main extractive activities in the country. However, most of this information is only disclosed through EITI reporting, not yet through systematic disclosures by government and extractive companies. Of greater concern, Mali’s 2019 EITI Report provides no reference to third-party estimates of the contribution of informal extractive activities to the economy, with estimates of the value of informal mining production ranging up to over half of industrial mining output (according to OECD estimates in 2018), despite the public availability of credible third-party estimates (see Requirement 3.2). Despite the 2016 EITI Report’s recommendation for a dedicated study on artisanal and small-scale mining, the 2019 EITI Report notes that there has been no follow up on this recommendation and that this study has not been commissioned to date. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MSG notes the inclusion in the 2019 EITI Report of estimates from the regional central bank on artisanal gold mining production volumes of 6 tons and export values of XOF 121bn. The MSG’s comments also explain the process for the reimbursement of VAT on imports for extractive companies and notes that the VAT offsets are one of the reasons for the discrepancies in reconciled financial data in the 2019 EITI Report. However, the lack of sufficient analysis of the contribution of artisanal and semi-mechanised gold mining to the economy and of estimates of the impact of VAT reimbursements on total government revenues from the extractive industries remain a concern and support the assessment that the objective of transparency in the contribution of the extractive industries to the economy is mostly met.

Legal and fiscal framework

2.1 Legal framework

90

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 2.1 is fully met. Stakeholders consulted broadly considered that the objective of public understanding of all aspects of the regulatory framework for the extractive industries had been fulfilled. The Secretariat’s view is that the objective has continued to be fulfilled given Mali’s use of its EITI disclosures to provide an overview of the legal and fiscal framework for the extractive industries, including with regards to mining sub-contractors, even if there is an opportunity to expand the use of EITI reporting to provide a diagnostic of the implementation of statutory laws and regulations in practice. Through EITI reporting, Mali has disclosed a summary description of the legal framework governing its extractive industries, including an overview of the roles of government agencies, levels of fiscal devolution, the tax regime applicable to the industries and a description of ongoing and planned reforms relevant to the sector in the period under review. The latter includes the implementation of the 2019 Mining Code which was implemented once regulations were enacted in November 2020. This change of Mining Code could provide opportunities for Mali to strengthen its systematic disclosure of the legal and fiscal framework, given provisions related to the EITI. Some development partners noted the significant VAT refunds to mining companies whose imports of goods were exempted from VAT and called for greater focus by Mali EITI on the implementation of VAT refund provisions in practice, noting the existence of an IMF technical assistance programme since 2021 focusing on tax exemptions in the mining sector. The Secretariat’s view is that there is scope for Mali EITI to make a significant contribution to public debate and policy making on the issue of VAT refunds in the mining sector, both in terms of disclosures on the implementation of the fiscal regime and on the value of Mali’s net government revenues from mining (see Requirement 4.1).

2.4 Contracts

30

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 2.4 is partly met. The Secretariat’s view is that the objective of transparency in extractive agreements is not fulfilled, given the lack of comprehensive review by Mali EITI of the specific gaps in contract and license disclosure to date and the lack of publication of most amendments to mining contracts, which constrain public understanding of the current terms of active mining contracts. In addition, while the government policy on contract transparency is codified both in the 2019 Mining Code and its implementing decree, the policy on license transparency does not seem to stand on similar solid grounds. Opinions of stakeholders consulted were split over the level of progress towards the objective. Several civil society stakeholders consulted considered that the objective was mostly met, given efforts to disclose a greater number of mining contracts in recent months, even if gaps in publication of certain documents remained. While industry representatives consulted did not express views on progress towards this objective, some government officials considered that the objective had been fulfilled due to the concrete plans by Mali EITI to ensure comprehensive publication of all mining contracts. While the 2019 Mining Code includes provisions for the publication of all mining contracts, including annexes, amendments and riders, it does not appear to cover mining licenses despite defining licenses as a separate category from contracts. The November 2020 implementing decree to the 2019 Mining Code indicates that the model contract template is available to the public. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MSG confirmed that the Mining Code codified the requirement for all mining contracts to be published. However, in the oil sector, there are no provisions to contract and license disclosure in the 2015 Hydrocarbons Code or its implementing regulations. On mining licenses, a standard clause within the licenses (“arretés”) states that the license will be “registered, disclosed and communicated wherever there is need”, which raises questions about the consistency of license disclosure. There is no evidence of a model license, nor of a comprehensive review by the MSG of the status of obligations contained in the licenses issued since January 2021. The 130 extractive contracts published on the Mali EITI website include 107 contracts awarded since 1 January 2021, although it is unclear whether this is comprehensive of all mining contracts awarded or amended since the start of 2021. The sole active petroleum contract has been published, including annexes and six amendments concluded between 2008 and 2022. Opinions of stakeholders consulted were split over whether there had been any new amendments to mining contracts were concluded since the start of 2021. The MSG has been transparent about gaps in publication of certain (unspecified) mining contracts awarded since the start of 2021, but has not yet published a comprehensive list of all active extractive licenses and contracts, including annexes, amendments and riders, indicating which have been publicly disclosed and which have not. The Mali EITI publication plan appears to only have consisted of a snapshot as of April 2021, rather than a systematic plan for publishing all new (or newly amended) contracts. While a number of mining contracts awarded since 2021 was published in March 2022, there is no publicly accessible comprehensive list of mining contracts and licenses that clearly identifies all contractual documents and confirm the public accessibility of all documents related to contracts and licenses awarded since the start of 2021. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MSG argued that all mining contracts had been published up to 1 April 2022 but that “some” annexes had not yet been published. The comments argued that a list of all mining contracts had been published on the EITI Mali website, although this list only covers 35 contracts. Thus, the Secretariat maintains concerns over the comprehensiveness of the list of contracts and notes the MSG’s confirmation that several annexes have not yet been publicly disclosed. The above list does not include licenses, or information how to access the full text thereof. In addition, the MSG’s comments noted the lack of clarity on the rules related to the public disclosure of petroleum contracts and licenses. The Secretariat’s view is that significant technical aspects of Requirement 2.4 remain outstanding.

6.4 Environmental impact

Not assessed

The Secretariat's assessment is that Requirement 6.4 remains not assessed, given that several encouraged aspects of this requirement remain to be addressed by Mali EITI. There was significant interest from civil society stakeholders consulted in the issue of environmental impact assessments, including their public accessibility and level of implementation, with most considering that Mali had yet to use its EITI implementation to make progress towards the objective of providing a public basis for assessing the adequacy of the regulatory framework and monitoring efforts to manage the environmental impact of extractive industries. Mali does not yet appear to have used its EITI reporting to disclose information on the management and monitoring of the environmental impact of the extractive industries. The 2019 EITI Report provides cursory references to laws and regulations that make reference to managing environmental impacts of extractive activities but does not provide additional information on either the statutory rules or practices related to environmental management and monitoring of extractive investments in the country. There is scope for expanding EITI disclosures in this area given the low level of systematic disclosures on government and company websites and the high level of public interest in the environmental impacts of mining in particular.

Licenses

2.2 Contract and license allocations

30

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 2.2 is partly met. While the MSG made efforts to address corrective actions from the previous Validation, it has not discussed license and contract allocations and transfers that have been the centre of public debate, such as the transfer of ownership of the Yatela mine to the state in 2019 (discussed by civil society) or the semi-industrial nature of operations on many artisanal and small-scale permits, of key relevance to the government’s mining formalisation strategy through the creation of ‘artisanal mining corridors’ (‘couloirs d’exploitation artisanale’). There is no evidence that Mali EITI has expanded the coverage of its EITI reporting to semi-mechanised mining licenses granted by the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water (in consultation with the relevant mayors). The lack of discussion of these licensing issues within the framework of Mali EITI is a significant concern and hinders a comprehensive assessment of whether statutory procedures for awarding and transferring mining rights are followed in practice. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MSG noted that it had reviewed the materiality of payments associated with artisanal and small-scale mining licenses and had concluded that they were not material, but that the 2019 EITI Report had nonetheless provided the government’s unilateral disclosure of revenues from companies holding such licenses. The MSG’s comments did not clarify the reasons why it did not review the practices of awards and transfers of artisanal and small-scale mining licenses, however. The comments noted that artisanal mining activities were only allowed in artisanal mining corridors and that artisanal mining activities in other areas were entirely informal. Most stakeholders consulted from all constituencies considered that the objective of transparency in licensing practices was achieved through Mali’s EITI reporting. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MSG highlighted the separate note it published on its review of a sample of mining license awards in December 2019. However, there are still concerns over the comprehensiveness and reliability of the MSG’s assessment non-trivial deviations in contract and license awards and transfers in 2019, given the exclusion of certain awards and transfers from the MSG’s sample of licenses analysed and the lack of information on the methodology adopted for identifying non-trivial deviations from statutory procedures. The Secretariat’s view is that there remain both technical gaps in disclosures related to reviewing licensing practices, and still much distance from the objective of transparency in licensing practices given the lack of Mali EITI attention to important public debates related to the mining sector, such as license transfers and renewals that have been the subject of public debate.

2.3 Register of licenses

90

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 2.3 is fully met. Most stakeholders consulted from all constituencies considered that the objective of transparency in extractive property rights had been achieved through the real-time updates to the mining cadastral portal and 2019 the EITI Report’s coverage of the sole active petroleum license. However, development partners consulted expressed strong reservations and considered that the objective was partly met, due to allegations of the potential award of mining rights to armed groups through secret agreements that were not reflected on the cadastral portal. However, these two stakeholders did not provide any documented evidence or categorical confirmation that such secret agreements awarding mining rights had in fact been concluded as of the commencement of Validation (1 April 2022). The Secretariat’s view is that the objective is fulfilled given the public availability of information on all licenses held by material companies. Mali has used its EITI reporting to provide an overview of the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water’s mining cadastral system, although it has not yet undertaken a review of the comprehensiveness of the cadastre. The cadastral portal provides all information listed under Requirement 2.3.b for the 2,644 mining licenses active at the commencement of Validation. Most stakeholders consulted from all constituencies categorically rejected the allegation that there were ‘secret’ agreements awarding mining rights to armed groups. The Secretariat considers that the lack of sufficient MSG follow-up on previous (2017) EITI Report recommendations to review the comprehensiveness and reliability of license data in the mining cadastre (given differences in mining license information from the DNGM and the CPS), combined with a lack of discussion of media allegations of so-called ‘secret’ mining license awards at the MSG level, is a concern, although this is covered under Requirement 2.2. A review of a random sample of licenses in the mining cadastral portal indicates that there appear to be some inconsistencies in the license data, with the dates of award of several licenses pre-dating the related dates of application. However, these licenses are not held by material companies. With regards to oil and gas licenses, the Secretariat continues to consider that the lack of information on the date of application for Block 25 remains a marginal gap, in line with the assessment in the previous Validation. In addition, most other information listed under Requirement 2.3.b can be reconstituted based on publicly-accessible information, and the current date of expiry of the sole active petroleum license does not remain unclear anymore as per the codicil shared by the MSG in its comments. The MSG’s comments on the draft assessment noted the recent publication of the amendment to the sole oil and gas contract that extended its period of validity to March 2025.

Ownership

2.5 Beneficial ownership

30

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 2.5 is partly met. Stakeholders consulted from various constituencies considered that the objective of transparency in the beneficial ownership of extractive companies was mostly met. In its comments, the MSG argued for an upgrade to “fully met”, asking to consider the efforts made in a particularly difficult context of insecurity. The Secretariat’s view is that, while an enabling legal and regulatory environment for the collection and public disclosure of beneficial ownership information from extractive companies has recently been established, the objective is not fulfilled given the lack of systematic collection and disclosure of beneficial ownership information from all extractive companies and the lack of review by Mali EITI of the status of collection and disclosures of this information to date. Mali has used its EITI implementation to drive reforms in the regulatory framework for the collection and disclosure of beneficial ownership data from extractive companies. The government included provisions requiring the collection of beneficial ownership information from companies applying for mining licenses in the 2019 Mining Code and issued Decree 2022-0107/PT-RM in February 2022 requiring the collection and disclosure of beneficial ownership information from all extractive companies. Mali has used its EITI reporting to provide a cursory description of the legal framework for beneficial ownership transparency, and to pilot public disclosures of legal and beneficial ownership information. However, in practice only one mining company has disclosed its beneficial ownership information and information on disclosures to their respective stock exchanges for 5 of the 14 material mining companies that are subsidiaries of publicly listed companies. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MSG shared the declarations of beneficial owners of three additional companies. It seems, however, that what has been disclosed by the three companies was legal rather than beneficial owners. The MSG also noted that mining companies that were subsidiaries of publicly listed companies accounted for 99.48% of government extractive revenues in 2019 and thus argued that it considered that the disclosure of ownership information was sufficiently comprehensive. However, it is important to remember that the scope of Requirement 2.5 on beneficial ownership covers all companies holding or applying for extractive licenses, irrespective of the materiality of payments to government from each company. The government does not yet appear to have systematically requested and disclosed beneficial ownership information from all companies applying for or holding an extractive license. Mali EITI does not yet appear to have published a review of the comprehensiveness and reliability of beneficial ownership information collected and disclosed to date. Information on legal owners does not appear to be publicly available for all extractive companies. Given that several aspects of the criteria assessed in Phase 1 of the beneficial ownership Validation framework in force up to December 2021 as well as criteria assessed in Phase 2 have not yet been addressed, the Secretariat’s view is that significant aspects of Requirement 2.5 have not yet been addressed.

State participation

2.6 State participation

90

The Secretariat's assessment is that Requirement 2.6 is fully met. There was consensus among stakeholders consulted that the state did not hold majority interests in extractive companies and that the state had not provided any loans or guarantees to extractive companies in the period under review (2019-22). The Secretariat’s view is that the objective has been fulfilled given EITI Mali’s disclosures on the state’s minority interests in mining companies. Dividend payments from mining companies in which the state holds a minority equity participation are covered as conventional company payments to government (see Requirement 4.1). Mali’s 2019 EITI Report confirms the lack of any state-owned enterprise in the extractive industries in the year under review. However, it describes the state’s entitlement to a 10% equity interest in all mining production license-holders, with the option to acquire an additional interest of up to 20% on commercial terms. All state equity participations in extractive companies are provided in the report, which also provides sufficient information to determine the terms attached to the state’s equity interests in each company. The 2019 EITI Report confirms that the state’s 10% equity interest in mining production holders gave rise to material payments to government in 2019, and comprehensively discloses and reconciles these payments to government. Given that there were no extractive SOEs operating in the extractive sector, significant aspects of this requirement are not applicable in Mali. However, EITI Mali has disclosed information on the terms attached to state minority equity participation in the extractive industries in accordance with the applicable provisions of Requirement 2.6. Development partners consulted raised concerns over the ad hoc nature of management of state interests in mining companies and delays in company submission of financial reports to the state. While there is evidence that the IA requested information on any loans from reporting entities in preparing the 2019 EITI Report, the report itself does not contain any conclusions about the existence of any loans or guarantees from the state to extractive companies, nor the terms attached to any such loans or guarantees if applicable. Nonetheless, stakeholder consultations confirmed the lack of any state loan or guarantee to any extractive companies outstanding in 2019.

4.2 In-kind revenues

Not applicable

The Secretariat's assessment is that Requirement 4.2 is not applicable in Mali in the period under review, as in the previous Validation. Mali’s 2019 EITI Report confirms that the state did not collect any in-kind revenues in the period under review, given that the oil sector was still at the exploration stage.

4.5 SOE transactions

Not applicable

The Secretariat's assessment is that Requirement 4.5 is not applicable in Mali in the period under review, as in the previous Validation. Mali’s 2019 EITI Report confirms that there were no state-owned enterprises in the extractive industries in the period under review. The report describes the state’s entitlement to equity interests in mining production license-holders, although the revenue flows to which such equity interests give rise are covered as payments from private extractive companies to the state (see Requirement 4.1).

6.2 SOE quasi-fiscal expenditures

Not applicable

The Secretariat's assessment is that Requirement 6.2 is not applicable in Mali in the period under review, as in the previous Validation. Mali’s’ 2019 EITI Report confirms that there were no state-owned enterprises in the extractive industries in the period under review. Although the EITI Report does not specifically comment on the MSG’s review of quasi-fiscal expenditures funded by extractive revenues, the Secretariat understands that there could not have been any quasi-fiscal expenditures as defined in Requirement 6.2 in 2019 given the lack of SOEs in the extractive industries.

Production and exports

3.2 Production data

60

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 3.2 is mostly met, which represents backsliding since the previous Validation. Several civil society representatives consulted considered that the objective of ensuring public understanding of extractive commodity production levels was mostly met given concerns over the reliability of official government production data. Several development partners raised significant concerns over the comprehensiveness of official government production data, given allegations of annual gold production from artisanal and semi-mechanised mining in the 20-40 ton range. Industry and government stakeholders consulted considered that the objective had been fulfilled through EITI reporting, given their conception of the focus of Mali EITI implementation on large-scale industrial mining. The Secretariat’s view is that the objective is mostly met given the existence of estimates of significant gold produced through artisanal and semi-mechanised mining that have not been discussed by Mali EITI to date. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MSG argues for an upgrade to 90 points and notes again the establishment of artisanal and semi-mechanised mining corridors in 2019 and the provision of the regional central bank’s estimates of artisanal gold mining production volumes equivalent to 8% of total production in the 2019 EITI Report. However, the concerns of several stakeholders consulted over the comprehensiveness of production data provided in the 2019 EITI Report, combined with the lack of estimates of artisanal gold mining production values in the EITI Report (which only provides estimates of export values) remains a concern and supports the assessment that the objective of transparency in production data has only been mostly fulfilled. The MSG indicates that the regularization and oversight of the artisanal and semi-mechanised mining sector are challenges that affect many African countries including Mali. Mali has used its EITI reporting (most recently for 2019) to compare official government production data (volumes and values) with disclosures from mining companies within the scope of EITI reporting. The data is disaggregated by company, and therefore de facto by mine for all companies. Several civil society stakeholders raised concerns over the significant discrepancies in the reconciliation of production data between extractive companies and the government in the 2017 and 2018 EITI Reports, but welcomed the resolution of most discrepancies in the 2019 EITI Report. However, they called for more transparency on the reasons for initial differences in production data between companies and government, as they considered that this revealed weaknesses in government record-keeping since the government’s production data was only based on self-reporting by extractive companies. Several industry stakeholders consulted called for more information on artisanal and semi-mechanised gold mining through Mali’s EITI disclosures. Despite the 2016 EITI Report’s recommendation for a dedicated study on artisanal and small-scale mining, the 2019 EITI Report notes that there has been no follow up on this recommendation and that this study has not been commissioned to date. Mali has not yet used its EITI reporting to disclose estimates of informal mining, nor to disclose additional information on the methods for tracking and calculating production volumes and values. Several stakeholders from all constituencies noted that around half of the discussions at EITI dissemination and outreach events focused on artisanal and small-scale mining issues, which reflected the high public demand for any further information on these activities. Several civil society stakeholders consulted expressed significant interest in strengthening Mali EITI disclosures about the methodology for calculating official production data.

3.3 Export data

60

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 3.3 is mostly met, which represents backsliding since the previous Validation. Several government and industry stakeholders consulted considered that the objective of ensuring public understanding of extractive commodity export levels had been fulfilled given their view that Mali EITI disclosures focused on large-scale industrial mining and that there were no reliable estimates of informal exports available in the public domain. Some CSOs consulted highlighted the existence of extensive informal exports of gold from Mali, including both gold produced from artisanal and semi-mechanised mining in Mali and gold imported from neighbouring countries. However, they considered that the objective had been fulfilled given Mali EITI’s referencing of official government export data. Several development partners consulted considered that the lack of Mali EITI disclosures on estimates of informal gold exports was a significant gap, given estimates of informal annual gold exports in the 20-40 ton range. The Secretariat’s view is that the lack of Mali EITI disclosures referencing estimates of informal gold exports is a gap that means the objective is for now mostly met. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MSG argues for an upgrade to “fully met” and notes again the establishment of artisanal and semi-mechanised mining corridors in 2019 and the provision of the regional central bank’s estimates of artisanal gold mining production volumes equivalent to 8% of total production in the 2019 EITI Report. However, the concerns of several stakeholders consulted over the comprehensiveness of export data provided in the 2019 EITI Report remains a concern and supports the assessment that the objective of transparency in export data has only been mostly fulfilled. Mali’s 2019 EITI Report discloses the reconciliation of mineral export data (volumes and values) disclosed by mining companies in the scope of EITI reporting and by the Director General of Customs. The data disclosed is disaggregated by company, but not clearly by project or location. Mali has not yet used its EITI reporting to disclose the methods used for tracking and calculating export data for its mineral commodity exports. Several stakeholders from all constituencies highlighted credible allegations of extensive smuggling of gold produced in neighbouring countries into Mali, which was re-exported as Malian gold. They noted that there was a fiscal incentive for exporting gold from Mali, given the imposition of export taxes on the first 50kg of gold exported from Mali only by each exporter, as confirmed in coverage in the press and academic publications. Several CSOs consulted noted PWYP International plans to commission a study on informal gold export flows, which were postponed in 2021 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Revenue collection

4.1 Comprehensiveness

60

The Secretariat's assessment is that Requirement 4.1 is mostly met, which represents back-sliding compared to the previous Validation. Several stakeholders consulted from all constituencies noted that there had been a weakening of EITI reporting of government revenues in the most recent (2019) EITI Report, with some industry stakeholders attributing this to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some stakeholders from civil society and the IA considered that the objective of comprehensive disclosures of company payments and government revenues from mining was mostly met given concerns over the comprehensiveness of government disclosures of extractive revenues. Mali has continued its conventional EITI reporting during the COVID-19 pandemic, publishing its 2017 and 2018 EITI Reports in December 2020 and its 2019 EITI Report in March 2022, based on a conventional reconciliation of company payments and government revenues. The MSG’s materiality decisions for both revenue streams and companies are described in the 2019 EITI Report. The coverage of all revenue streams with a de facto materiality threshold of zero ensures comprehensive coverage of all extractive revenues collected from material companies. The selection of extractive companies based on each entity’s aggregate payments to government in 2019 and on the selection of the same companies as in 2018 provides some assurance that all material company payments were covered, although the lack of unilateral government disclosures of extractive revenues from non-material companies hinders independent confirmation of this point based on data in the EITI Report. Mali has continued to include contractors and suppliers of large-scale mining companies in the scope of its EITI disclosures of government revenues, as in the previous Validation. These disclosures are commendable in responding to public demands for information on mining contractors and the impact of government efforts to support the development of local content in the mining sector. All material companies appear to have reported with the exception of two mining companies, although their combined payments to government appear negligible (at 0.6% of government extractive revenues). All material government entities reported revenues from material companies but did not provide unilateral disclosure of revenues from non-material companies. During consultations, the IA noted concerns over the comprehensiveness of disclosures by government entities given the lack of reporting of revenues from all extractive companies by the Customs Department, which was also significantly delayed in providing data on revenues from material companies. The IA noted that there were over 100 mining companies excluded from the scope of reconciliation for 2019 given that their payments to government were below the materiality threshold for selecting companies for reporting and that collection of this data was likely too challenging for the Customs Department to complete in the given timeframe for reporting. Mali has continued to use its EITI disclosures to cover company payments and government revenues from sub-contractors in the mining sector. This represents a welcome expansion in the scope of disclosures to mining support activities related to the large-scale industrial mining sector, an issue of significant public interest amidst efforts to enhance local content in Mali’s mining sector. However, the 2019 EITI Report identifies significant discrepancies (of XAF 72bn – around USD 115.6m) in the reconciliation of mining sub-contractors’ tax payments to government given the lack of registration of many sub-contractors with the Large Taxpayer Unit (Direction des Grandes Entreprises – DGE) and the lack of disclosures by decentralised branches of the tax office (Direction Générale des Impots – DGI) of revenues collected from mining sub-contractors. The IA explained that this formed the basis of a strong recommendation in the 2019 EITI Report, given the legal requirement for all extractive companies and contractors to be registered with the DGE. Mali has used its EITI reporting to review audit practices by material extractive companies in the period under review, but not yet to improve the accessibility of extractive companies’ audited financial statements. While the nature of discrepancies in the reconciliation of company payments and government revenues do not raise questions about the comprehensiveness and reliability of the reconciled financial data, the lack of unilateral government disclosures is a concern that raises questions over the comprehensiveness of the reconciliation. During consultation, the IA noted that large initial discrepancies in the reconciliation had been resolved through adjustments but noted that this had required significant work with the reporting entities. The MSG’s written comments in the Transparency template note that the reliability of financial data was not ensured through the reconciliation. This supports the Secretariat’s assessment that Requirement 4.1 is mostly, but not yet fully, met. Several development partners consulted raised concerns over the Mali EITI’s focus on gross government revenues from the extractive industries, without consideration for the repayments by government to extractive companies in line with tax incentives applicable to the mining sector. They noted that the government usually reimbursed companies for the VAT paid on imports of goods and services (e.g., fuel), payments that totalled around one third of total government mining revenues, meaning that government net revenues from the mining sector were one third lower than the gross revenues disclosed through EITI reporting. While Mali’s EITI disclosures are in line with provisions of the EITI Standard by covering company payments to government, several development partners (but not MSG members) argued strongly for an expansion in the scope of Mali EITI disclosures to cover government refunds to extractive companies, in view of providing a more accurate picture of the total contribution of extractive revenues to the government budget. Other stakeholders consulted from constituencies including civil society did not express views on the value of disclosing government tax refunds to extractive companies. The MSG’s comments on the draft assessment explain the process for the reimbursement of VAT on imports for extractive companies and notes that the VAT offsets are one of the reasons for the discrepancies in reconciled financial data in the 2019 EITI Report. However, the weaknesses in the government’s unilateral disclosure of revenues from companies outside of the scope of reconciliation, combined with the IA’s concerns over the comprehensiveness of reconciliation, support the assessment that Requirement 4.1 remains mostly met.

4.3 Infrastructure provisions and barter arrangements

Not applicable

The Secretariat's assessment is that Requirement 4.3 is not applicable in the period under review, as in the previous Validation. There was consensus among stakeholders consulted (other than development partners) that Requirement 4.3 was not applicable during the period under review given the lack of evidence of any new barter-type arrangement involving the exchange of goods and services for extractive commodity exploration and production rights or for the physical delivery of extractive commodities. While some development partners consulted highlighted allegations in late 2021 and early 2022 that the government was close to concluding contracts involving the exchange of mining rights for military goods and services, they noted that there was no reliable evidence that such an agreement had been concluded at the time of consultations (in May-June 2022). Other development partners considered that there may be payment for military goods and services drawing on the proceeds of the sale of artisanal-mined gold smuggled to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) but did not consider that this represented a barter-type arrangement. The Secretariat’s view is that there is no evidence of any barter-type arrangement in accordance with the definition in Requirement 4.3 that was active in the period under review in this Validation. Mali’s 2019 EITI Report states that there is no evidence of any barter agreement or infrastructure provisions in accordance with Requirement 4.3 in Mali, although this assessment is based on a review of submitted reporting templates by material extractive companies. There is no evidence of the MSG’s discussion of the applicability of Requirement 4.3 in available minutes of its meetings. However, there is no documented evidence that any such barter-type agreement was concluded as of the date of commencement of this Validation. Thus, the Secretariat’s view is that Requirement 4.3 remains not applicable in the period under review but highlights the importance of regular review by the MSG of the existence and materiality of any new barter-type arrangement involving the exchange of goods and services for extractive exploration and production rights or the physical delivery of such extractive commodities.

4.4 Transportation revenues

Not applicable

The Secretariat's assessment is that Requirement 4.4 is not applicable in the period under review, as in the previous Validation. There was consensus among stakeholders consulted that the government did not receive any revenues from the transportation of extractive commodities. Mali’s 2019 EITI Report states that Requirement 4.4 is not applicable to Mali given that oil and gas companies were at the exploration stage in the period under review. While the EITI Report does not comment on the MSG’s consideration of any transport revenues related to the transportation of mineral commodities, the Secretariat understands that the government does not collect any transport revenues, either directly or through SOEs, from the transportation of mineral commodities, in the same way as in the period reviewed during the previous Validation.

4.7 Level of disaggregation

60

The Secretariat's assessment is that Requirement 4.7 is mostly met. Most of the stakeholders consulted expressed views on progress towards the objective of disaggregation in public disclosures of company payments and government revenues from oil, gas and mining. However, during consultations the IA noted that more work was required on project-level reporting ahead of the inception phase for future EITI disclosures to ensure that government revenues levied at a project level were disclosed at this level of disaggregation. The Secretariat’s view is that, while project-level reporting has been de facto provided for companies holding only one mining exploration or production license, the objective remains mostly met given the lack of data collection of relevant company payments and government revenues at a per-project basis for all projects. Mali’s 2019 EITI Report describes the MSG’s efforts on project-level reporting, indicating that the MSG agreed a definition of project in line with the EITI Standard in October 2021 and has publicly categorised the revenue streams levied at a project level. While there is no evidence that the MSG has categorised any project that covers several licenses with substantially interconnected infrastructure, the Secretariat finds that there are no such projects covering several licenses in Mali at present. The 2019 EITI Report presents reconciled financial data on company payments and government revenues disaggregated by company on the one hand, and by revenue stream on the other, while the annexes to the EITI Report present the data disaggregated by government entity, revenue stream and company. Reconciled data was disclosed disaggregated by project for 12 of the 23 companies that participated in EITI reporting for 2019. During consultations, the IA confirmed that financial data for those 12 companies were disclosed by project because these 12 companies held only one extractive license in the period under review. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MSG argues for an upgrade in the assessment of Requirement 4.7 despite conceding that nine of the 21 reporting companies did not report payments to government disaggregated by project. These weaknesses in project-level reporting support the assessment of Requirement 4.7 as mostly met.

4.8 Data timeliness

90

The Secretariat's assessment is that Requirement 4.8 is fully met. Government and industry stakeholders consulted considered that the objective of ensuring sufficiently timely EITI disclosures to be relevant to inform public debate and policymaking had been fulfilled. However, several CSOs consulted raised concerns over delays in publication of the 2019 EITI Report. While these delays were partly due to the procurement process for the IA, CSO members also considered that delays in government EITI reporting were to blame, and thus that the objective has not yet been fulfilled. The Secretariat’s view is that the objective is met given the Board’s previous approval of Mali’s extension on 2019 reporting deadlines, but that there is scope for significantly improving the timeliness of Mali EITI disclosures. Mali published its 2017 and 2018 EITI Reports in December 2020 and its 2019 EITI Report in March 2022. While the latest EITI Report was published after the two-year timeframe set by the EITI Standard, Mali’s request for a three-month extension to its reporting deadline was approved by the EITI Board (see Board decision 2022-11) and it published the EITI Report within this Board-approved timeframe. There is evidence that the MSG has approved the reporting periods for each EITI Report to date. The MSG approved an action plan to strengthen systematic disclosures at its July 2021 meeting, although it remains unclear how such plans will improve the timeliness of EITI reporting in the short to medium term.

4.9 Data quality and assurance

60

The Secretariat's assessment is that Requirement 4.9 is mostly met, which represents back-sliding compared to the previous Validation. While government and industry stakeholders consulted expressed broad satisfaction with the reliability of financial data disclosed through EITI reporting, the IA and several CSOs consulted expressed significant doubt over the reliability of the financial data in the 2019 EITI Report given the lack of adherence to agreed quality assurances by government entities that participated in EITI reporting. The Secretariat’s view is that weaknesses in adherence to agreed quality assurances were partly offset by subsequent certification of government financial disclosures but that the IA’s concerns over the reliability of reported financial data mean that the objective is mostly fulfilled. Mali has used its EITI reporting to review audit and assurance procedures for the government and extractive companies, although it has yet to draw on its EITI implementation to strengthen broader audit and assurance practices related to the government’s collection of revenues from the extractive industries. The ToR for Mali’s 2019 EITI Report deviate substantially from the standard ToR for Independent Administrators approved by the EITI Board, with significantly less detail on the methodology for the IA’s work and the omission of the statement of materiality in Annex 1. MSG members consulted confirmed that the MSG’s working group on data collection had oversight of the development of the ToR for the 2019 EITI Report but could not explain the reasons for the significant deviations between the agreed ToR and the Board-approved ToR to produce the EITI Report. The 2019 EITI Report provides a review of statutory audit procedures for both government and companies, but describes the practice in the year under review only for extractive companies, not for government revenue-collecting entities. The review of statutory audit procedures could be further strengthened with an assessment of any deviations between audit standards in Mali and applicable international standards. There is evidence that the MSG approved the reporting templates for EITI reporting in 2019, as well as the quality assurances for EITI reporting by companies and government entities that are described in the 2019 EITI Report. The EITI Report provides a detailed description of reporting entities’ adherence to the agreed quality assurances, and it includes a statement on the comprehensiveness and reliability of the reconciled financial data. The statement notes that it does not consider the disclosed financial data to be reliable. During consultations, the IA raised concerns on weaknesses in reporting by the Customs Department as well as the lack of certification of government EITI reporting. The IA raised explicit concerns on the lack of comprehensive reconciliation of payments to government from mining sub-contractors, even if such disclosures are only encouraged, not required, under the EITI Standard (see Requirement 4.1). In its comments on the draft assessment, the MSG noted the publication in September 2022 of a report by the Section of Accounts of the Supreme Court providing certification of the government extractive revenues disclosed in the 2019 EITI Report. The comments also noted the publication of a report in September 2022 by a private audit company SARECI certifying disclosures of revenues collected from extractive companies by the National Social Security Institute (Institut Nationale de Prévoyance Sociale - INPS). The findings of these two reports indicated that there were no apparent anomalies in the disclosure of these revenues from the extractive industries in 2019. The MSG’s comments argue strongly for an upgrade in the assessment of Requirement 4.9 to reflect its confidence in the reliability of the financial data in the EITI Report. While the certification of government financial disclosures was only finalised six months after the publication of the 2019 EITI Report, and despite concerns from the IA over the reliability of the reconciled financial data, the draft assessment of Requirement 4.9 as ‘partly met’ is upgraded to ‘mostly met’ in the final assessment. Nonetheless, there is sufficient information in the 2019 EITI Report to assess the materiality of payments and revenues related to each non-complying reporting entity, meaning that a majority of payments and revenues were not accompanied with the agreed quality assurances. During consultations the IA and several CS members expressed concern at the disengagement of the Section of Accounts of the Supreme Court of Mali, which had not provided the agreed certification for government financial data in the 2019 EITI Report. While some stakeholders from all constituencies noted the logistical challenges of preparing the 2019 EITI Report when the IA faced challenges in coming to Mali from its base in Senegal, although other stakeholders including the IA highlighted weaknesses in government provision of data and quality assurances as the key challenge in ensuring the comprehensiveness and reliability of financial data in the 2019 EITI Report. Development partners consulted highlighted human and technical capacity constraints within the Section of Accounts, including both in staff turnover and the lack of a legal status of judge for members of the Section of Account. Nonetheless, all non-financial information in the 2019 EITI Report appears adequately sourced and the IA appears to have taken steps to preserve the confidentiality of information prior to reconciliation.

Revenue management

5.1 Distribution of revenues

90

The Secretariat's assessment is that Requirement 5.1 is fully met, as in the previous Validation. Most stakeholders consulted considered that all extractive revenues were collected by either Treasury accounts or special accounts that were recorded in the national budget and its annexes and thus that the objective of traceability of extractive revenues to the national budget had been fulfilled. However, consultations with some development partners and CSOs outside of the EITI process noted allegations that certain government purchases of military goods and services from private military contractors were financed since 2021 by the proceeds of sales of artisanal-mined gold by politically exposed persons, in a form of off-budget financing of government military expenditures. The Secretariat was not able to locate reliable evidence in the public domain to confirm these allegations and it is unclear how the proceeds of private sales of artisanal-mined gold would be considered government revenues. Given that all statutory extractive industry revenues appear to be recorded in the national budget, the Secretariat’s view is that the objective remains fully met in the period under review. Mali’s 2019 EITI Report states that all government revenues from the extractive industries are transferred to the single Treasury account and recorded in the national budget, except for social security contributions to the National Institute of Social Security (INPS). However, the report also implies that revenues collected by the Petroleum Research and Promotion Authority (AUREP) are not recorded in the national budget, but does not continue to explain this apparent inconsistency in the report. The value of revenues collected by INPS is disclosed in the EITI Report, but not the value of revenues collected by AUREP in 2019 (and subsequently became the ONRP (Office national de la recherche pétrolière) in 2020). The report does not provide a description of the management of extractive revenues that are collected by the INPS and AUREP. Several government officials consulted however explained that revenues collected by AUREP in 2019 and subsequently ONRP since 2020 were transferred to earmarked accounts (‘comptes d’affectations’) and that these accounts were recorded in the annexes to the annual government budget. While confirming that all statutory extractive industry revenues were collected by Treasury accounts that were covered by the national budget, several development partners expressed concern over the fact that they had not received information on an updated TOFE or national budget since the imposition of international sanctions in early 2022. Some development partners noted the existence of allegations that the financing of the government’s purchases of military goods and services was partly through off-budget sources, some of which were linked to the proceeds of sales of artisanal-mined gold that were used to finance such off-budget purchases. There is no further evidence in the public domain to support such allegations as of June 2022 (see Annex B). Several stakeholders consulted from all constituencies considered that all purchases of military equipment in the context of the government’s military modernisation strategy were recorded in the national budget, which currently devoted 20% of expenditures to the military. The 2019 EITI Report does provide cursory reference to regulations governing the national revenue classification system operated by the government, albeit without describing this classification system.

5.3 Revenue management and expenditures

Not assessed

The Secretariat's assessment is that Requirement 5.3 remains not assessed, given that several encouraged aspects of this requirement remain to be addressed by Mali EITI. Most stakeholders consulted did not express views on progress towards the objective of strengthening public oversight of the management of extractive revenues, although several CSOs and industry called for greater focus by Mali EITI disclosures on assumptions underlying the budget process and the management of budget expenditures. The Secretariat’s view is that Mali has used its EITI implementation to improve transparency in the budget and audit processes in only a limited way and that there is significant scope for expanding EITI disclosures of information to further public understanding and debate around issues of revenue sustainability and resource dependence. Mali has used its recent EITI reporting to provide an overview of the government’s budget and audit processes. The 2019 EITI Report confirms that there are no earmarked government extractive revenues in Mali. There is no evidence that Mali EITI has yet used its EITI reporting to disclose information that could further public understanding and debate around issues of revenue sustainability and resource dependence, such as the assumptions underpinning forthcoming years in the budget cycle and relating to projected production, commodity prices and revenue forecasts arising from the extractive industries and the proportion of future fiscal revenues expected to come from the extractive sector. Systematic disclosures of public finance management information, including key budget documents, remains extremely limited in Mali, with a regression in disclosures of the TOFE and the budget reports since the imposition of international sanctions in early 2022. The latest budget execution report available on the Ministry of Economy and Finance website covers Q1 2021, while the Ministry of Budget website provides data on the initial 2022 budget agreed in late 2021, rather than adjusted expenditure figures following the imposition of sanctions.

Subnational contributions

4.6 Subnational payments

Not applicable

The Secretariat's assessment is that Requirement 4.6 is not applicable in the period under review, as in the previous Validation. There was consensus among stakeholders consulted that extractive companies did not make any payments to subnational governments in the period under review.

5.2 Subnational transfers

100

The Secretariat's assessment is that Requirement 5.2 is exceeded, as in the previous Validation. Most stakeholders consulted from all constituencies expressed satisfaction at the progress made in Mali EITI disclosures on subnational transfers of common tax revenues. While these revenues were not extractive-specific, stakeholders highlighted the public demand for this information at the subnational level and considered that these disclosures were contributing to one of the more important outcomes of Mali’s EITI implementation. The Secretariat’s view is that, while Requirement 5.2 is not strictly applicable to Mali in the period under review, Mali EITI’s efforts to expand the scope of EITI disclosures to an area of significant public interest means that the objective of transparency in subnational transfers has been fulfilled. There are two types of subnational transfers of revenues in Mali, although neither is specifically linked to revenues from the extractive industries. The first type concerns transfers of a share of revenues from “la patente”, a form of professional tax levied on all companies in Mali. The second consists of the subnational transfers of all revenues collected as ‘road tax’ (‘taxe de voirie’), which is levied on all legal and physical people who are liable to pay ‘la patente’ and live within a concession. While this implies that Requirement 5.2 is not applicable in Mali given that it concerns only subnational transfers of extractive revenues, Mali EITI has pursued disclosures of these subnational transfers since the previous Validation. This has been driven by significant public interest in these disclosures, as reflected in consultations with stakeholders from government and civil society who noted that a significant portion of EITI dissemination and outreach events were devoted to discussing subnational transfers of ‘la patente’. Given that Mali has made progress in addressing encouraged aspects of this requirement, the Secretariat’s view is that it remains exceeded in the period under review. Several development partners called for greater use and analysis of the EITI data on subnational transfers, noting that two rural communes (Kéniéba and Sitakily) that had received a large share of subnational transfers over the past decade nonetheless did not appear to have any more infrastructure than other communes receiving less transfers.

6.1 Social and environmental expenditures

60

The Secretariat's assessment is that Requirement 6.1 is mostly met. Several government and industry stakeholders consulted considered that the objective of public understanding of extractive companies’ social and environmental contributions had been fulfilled. However, several CSOs stated categorically that they did not consider this objective to have been achieved given their lack of confidence in the accuracy of social expenditure data reported by extractive companies in EITI Reports. The Secretariat’s view is that conflicting views among EITI office holders consulted over the extent of mandatory social expenditures by extractive companies, combined with diverging views on the existence and materiality of environmental payments to government, mean that the objective is mostly met despite Mali EITI’s efforts to disclose both mandatory and voluntary social expenditures. A review of applicable laws and regulations, including provisions of the 2012 Mining Code, indicates the existence of legal requirements for mining companies holding contracts under the 2012 Mining Code to commit to social expenditures under an Environmental and Social Impact Management Plan. The disclosure of only one mining company’s mandatory social expenditures thus raise concerns over the comprehensiveness of EITI disclosures. Mali’s 2019 EITI Report does not explicitly clarify whether extractive companies are required to undertake mandatory social expenditures or payments to government related to the environment. Nonetheless, the MSG has included requests for disclosures related to social expenditures and environmental payments in the reporting templates for material companies, with a de facto materiality threshold of zero. Annexes (6 & 7) to the 2019 EITI Report provide reporting companies’ disclosures of their mandatory and voluntary social expenditures, although the legal or contractual basis for mandatory social expenditures remains unclear from Mali EITI disclosures. The 2012 Mining Code however includes requirements for mining companies to conclude Environmental and Social Impact Management Plan that provide for specific (mandatory) social expenditures, which was confirmed in stakeholder consultations. The companies’ unilateral disclosures related to both mandatory and voluntary social expenditures provide the information listed in Requirement 6.1.a, albeit with some gaps in the description of the nature of in-kind expenditures in the case of around half of the voluntary social expenditures reported. However, the disclosures of mandatory social expenditures provided in annex to the 2019 EITI Report contain only one mining company’s disclosures, with reference to a protocol of agreement but without explanation of the nature or terms of the protocol itself. Several industry stakeholders and the IA noted that mining companies holding a contract concluded on the basis of the 1991 contract template were not subject to mandatory social expenditures, but that some companies holding contracts concluded under the more recent 2012 Mining Code had mandatory social expenditure obligations. One CSO explained that the 2012 Mining Code included only general requirements for mining companies to make contributions to community development, but that the 2019 Mining Code had formalised requirements for mining companies to conclude Community Development Plans and Agreements. A review of both the 2012 and 2019 Mining Codes indicates legal requirements for mining companies holding contracts under these two Codes to undertake mandatory social expenditures, although the provisions of the 2019 Mining Code are more specific than those in the 2012 Mining Code. While several CSOs welcomed EITI disclosures of social expenditures, they expressed scepticism over whether the reported sums were actually spent by the companies in practice, but noted that to date CSOs had not used EITI data to verify the realisation of social projects in practice. Some CSOs noted plans for a study in future to review the actual realisation of social expenditures by mining companies. With regards to environmental payments to government, the 2019 EITI Report only cites requirements of the mining and petroleum laws that oil and gas companies obtain an environmental permit and that mining companies undertake measures to protect the environment but does not explicitly describe any government revenues from extractive companies related to the environment. There are no further disclosures of such environmental payments to government by Mali EITI, if applicable. There was general uncertainty among stakeholders consulted from all constituencies over whether any extractive companies’ (tax or non-tax) payments to government were related to the environment (such as environmental impact assessment fees or environmental license fees). There is no indication that Mali EITI has expanded the scope of EITI reporting to cover mandatory or voluntary expenditures related to the environment. Government officials consulted noted that mining companies were required to contribute 5% of their turnover to an environmental rehabilitation fund under both the 2012 and 2019 Mining Codes but noted that Mali EITI had not yet worked with the Ministry of Environment to expand the scope of EITI disclosures to these areas. Several CSOs noted that their constituency had repeatedly proposed to expand the scope of EITI disclosures to environmental payments and management, which had been agreed by the MSG but never subsequently prioritised. Several CSOs considered that the lack of further Mali EITI work on environmental issues was due to capacity constraints given the lack of technical experts on environmental issues within the MSG. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MSG states that it requested unilateral government disclosures of revenues from extractive companies regardless of the type of payment flow. It explains that no government revenues from extractive companies related to the environment were reported and confirms the lack of statutory requirement for extractive companies to make payments to government related to the environment.