Trinidad and Tobago has achieved a high overall score in implementing the 2019 EITI Standard (89 points). The overall score reflects an average of the three component scores on Stakeholder engagement, Transparency, and Outcomes and impact.
The Board commends Trinidad and Tobago for using the EITI to address topics of public debate and for the quality of the MSG’s advocacy related to natural resource governance in the past three years. The very high component score on Outcomes and impact (96.5 points) reflects Trinidad and Tobago’s efforts to ensure that EITI implementation contributes to public debate and policymaking related to the extractive sector. In particular, the pertinence of its content tailored towards a wide audience and the use of images, graphs and metaphors to transmit key messages are highlighted as best practice in EITI dissemination and outreach. The coverage of recent developments in the extractive industries in Trinidad and Tobago’s EITI reporting has contributed to its relevance to public debate. TTEITI has produced policy briefs and recommendations to policymakers to support changes to key legislation governing the extractive industries. Trinidad and Tobago was awarded two and a half additional points on the Effectiveness and sustainability indicators for its efforts on ensuring that EITI disclosures are relevant, for its advances on systematic disclosures, efforts to strengthen civil society participation to the budgeting process, its use of data and the resulting changes to extractive industry governance practices.
Trinidad and Tobago achieved a high score on stakeholder engagement (90 points) given the overall robust support to the EITI process by the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries. However, more high-level engagement is needed to overcome some of the barriers to EITI reporting and disclosures which have caused delays and gaps, despite TTEITI’s efforts and advocacy. The Board recognises the government’s provision of technical and financial resources for the EITI process, including in EITI outreach and advocacy in the Caribbean region. Industry commitment and participation remains strong, and civil society participate and voice their concerns and issues clearly. The MSG’s expansion to include representation from private mining companies as a permanent observer has helped ensure that views from the mining sector are reflected in the EITI process to support TTEITI’s piloting of coverage of the small mining sector, highlighting challenges in the sector’s transparency despite its low contribution to government revenues. Trinidad and Tobago is commended for achieving gender balance on its MSG.
Trinidad and Tobago achieved a moderate component score on Transparency (80 points). The Board commends Trinidad and Tobago for significantly improving disclosures related to licence allocations and the license register, in particular in oil and gas. TTEITI has been key in ensuring that the systematically disclosed data on the MEEI website remains up to date. Environmental topics in the oil and gas sectors are being addressed both in EITI reporting and through CSO engagement, with innovations including a pilot covering emissions disclosures by the country’s state-owned enterprise in the natural gas sector. Trinidad and Tobago performed less well on the timeliness of its EITI disclosures, with repeated delays in procurement of the Independent Administrator and data collection. Despite strict confidentiality constraints on the publication of oil and gas contracts that make it difficult for citizens to understand whether the country is getting a fair deal for its natural gas sales in a competitive oil and gas exploration market, the Board commends TTEITI for taking meaningful steps to shed more light on the process for commercialising Trinidad and Tobago’s natural gas. TTEITI has been a key advocate for the routine publication of EITI data on government websites. It has also moved ahead disclosing beneficial ownership information through its own website, pioneering such disclosures in the Latin America and Caribbean region. Building on TTEITI’s long-standing pilot on the mining sector, there is scope for greater use of the EITI process to support improvements in the sector’s governance by strengthening its diagnostic of the sector and providing a forum for multi-stakeholder debate.
The Board has determined that Trinidad and Tobago will have until a next Validation commencing on 1 April 2026 to carry out corrective actions regarding license register (Requirement 2.3), contracts (Requirement 2.4), beneficial ownership (Requirement 2.5), production data (Requirement 3.2), in-kind revenues (Requirement 4.2), data timeliness (Requirement 4.8), and data reliability (Requirement 4.9). Failure to demonstrate progress on 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, Trinidad and Tobago’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 action to be undertaken by Trinidad & Tobago. Progress in addressing this corrective action will be assessed in the next Validation commencing on 1 April 2026:
- In accordance with Requirement 2.3.b, Trinidad and Tobago should ensure that dates of application are available for all active mining and petroleum licenses and contracts displayed in the cadastre lists. It should ensure that the percentage share of each party in active oil and gas contracts and licenses is publicly disclosed. Trinidad and Tobago should consider including lease out, farm out (LOFOs) and incremental production service contracts (IPSCs) in its register. Trinidad and Tobago should clarify if there are any active sublicenses which are not recorded in the register. To strengthen implementation, Trinidad and Tobago is encouraged to assess the comprehensiveness and frequency of update of the petroleum and mining registers. To strengthen implementation, Trinidad and Tobago is encouraged to fully leverage the EITI as a tool for addressing and following up on licencing challenges.
- In accordance with Requirement 2.4.a, Trinidad and Tobago is required to disclose the full text of any contracts and licenses granted, entered into or amended from 1 January 2021, including all related annexes, amendments and riders. In accordance with Requirement 2.4, Trinidad and Tobago should produce a publicly available list of all active contracts and licenses, including exploration contracts, annexes, amendments and riders, indicating which contracts and licenses are publicly available and which are not, and which of them have been modified since 1 January 2021. In accordance with Requirement 2.4.d, Trinidad and Tobago is required to assess whether lease-out, farm-out and incremental production service contracts should be assessed in the same manner as other contracts and licenses in the petroleum sector.
- In accordance with Requirement 2.5, Trinidad and Tobago should ensure that all companies holding or applying for oil, gas and mining rights publicly disclose their beneficial ownership information. Trinidad and Tobago should ensure that there is public information on the identity of beneficial owners such as name, nationality, country of residence and whether the BO is also a politically exposed person, as well as form of control, covering all companies holding or applying for extractive rights. An assessment by TTEITI of the comprehensiveness and reliability of beneficial ownership disclosures to date must be made publicly available. To strengthen implementation of Requirement 2.5, the government is encouraged to progress on implementing the 2019 amendments to the Companies Act, to ensure that the government is the main point of data collection and verification.
- In accordance with Requirement 3.2, Trinidad and Tobago is required to disclose total production values for all extractive commodities produced, including natural gas. To strengthen implementation of Requirement 3.2, Trinidad and Tobago is encouraged to provide information on what share of total natural gas is consumed domestically, and how much is transformed to LNG. To strengthen implementation of Requirement 3.2, Trinidad and Tobago is encouraged to use the EITI process to address the concerns by stakeholders of the oversight of reporting production figures in the mining sector, which could help strengthen revenue collection. Trinidad and Tobago is encouraged to further disaggregate production figures for oil and gas by project.
- In accordance with Requirement 4.2, Trinidad and Tobago must ensure, where the state’s in-kind revenues are considered material, public disclosure of the volumes of the state’s in-kind revenues of crude oil collected, the volumes sold and the value of the proceeds of the sales of the state’s crude oil (by Heritage), disaggregated by individual buyer. To strengthen implementation of Requirement 4.2, Trinidad and Tobago may wish to publish the proceeds of the state’s share of gas by the operator on an annual basis, disaggregated by buyer. This would strengthen the transparency around the sale of the state’s in-kind revenues of natural gas, in response to public concerns over transfer pricing risks related to the sale of natural gas in Trinidad and Tobago.
- In accordance with Requirement 4.8, Trinidad and Tobago should ensure the publication of EITI Reports within two years of the end of the fiscal period covered by EITI reporting.
- In accordance with Requirement 4.9.b.iii and the standard Terms of Reference for the Independent Administrator agreed by the EITI Board, the MSG and Independent Administrator must ensure that future EITI Reports include a clear statement on the reliability and comprehensiveness of reconciled financial data. To strengthen implementation, Trinidad and Tobago is encouraged to closely monitor the establishment of the new Revenue Authority (TTRA), and to use its EITI reporting to track the implementation of reforms in the Auditor General’s statutory audit rights related to the tax administration.
Trinidad & Tobago is encouraged to consider the following recommendations to strengthen EITI implementation:
Outcomes and impact
- To strengthen implementation of Requirement 1.5, Trinidad & Tobago is encouraged to undertake efforts to link its EITI work plan to a monitoring framework.
- To strengthen implementation of Requirement 7.2, Trinidad & Tobago is encouraged to continue their efforts to identifying and publishing data routinely through the mainstreaming pillar of the work plan. Trinidad & Tobago is encouraged to make systematically disclosed data machine readable and inter-operable, and to code or tag EITI disclosures and other data files so that the information can be compared with other publicly available data.
- To strengthen implementation of Requirement 7.4, Trinidad & Tobago is encouraged to review outcomes and impact of its implementation of the EITI work plan on an annual basis, include financial reporting on how the budget was spent, sources of financial support on implementation and to make that publicly available on the TTEITI website. The MSG is encouraged to consider gender considerations and inclusiveness.
- To strengthen implementation of Requirement 1.1, Trinidad and Tobago is encouraged to strengthen the government’s lead of all aspects of EITI implementation and its active resolution of bottlenecks to EITI implementation such as legal barriers to disclosure or procurement challenges. The government is encouraged to actively engage in follow-up on recommendations from EITI reporting, building on the robust TTEITI mechanism for follow-up on lessons learned from EITI implementation.
- To strengthen implementation of Requirement 1.2, Trinidad and Tobago is encouraged to explore more sustainable ways of overcoming taxpayer confidentiality constraints on revenue disclosures, including through multi-year confidentiality waivers to be signed by companies, in the absence of progress on the legislative proposal. To strengthen implementation, the industry constituency is encouraged to adopt constituency guidelines clarifying the selection procedure, coordination mechanisms, roles and term mandate duration. EITI Supporting Companies are encouraged to more actively advocate that the government practice systematic contract and revenue transparency, in line with the EITI Supporting Companies expectations.
- To strengthen implementation of Requirement 1.3, Trinidad and Tobago is encouraged to use its EITI implementation and MSG regularly review the environment for civil society engagement in EITI-related activities, with a view to identifying and addressing any allegations of government constraints on civil society engagement in the EITI process or public debate on natural resource governance.
- To strengthen implementation of Requirement 1.4, Trinidad and Tobago is encouraged to consider expanding the MSG membership to government and industry representatives of the quarrying sector, given the interests of stakeholders in using the EITI to address mining sector challenges.
- To strengthen implementation of Requirement 3.1, Trinidad and Tobago is encouraged to systematically publish information on reserves.
- To strengthen implementation of Requirement 6.3, Trinidad and Tobago is strongly encouraged to reference third-party estimates of informal (unlicenced) mining sector activity in its annual EITI reporting. To strengthen implementation of Requirement 6.3.d, Trinidad and Tobago is encouraged to use the EITI to support the Central Statistical Office’s Continuous Sample Survey of Population to further disaggregate employment data by company and occupational within gender breakdowns, as encouraged in Requirement 6.3.d.
- To strengthen implementation of Requirement 6.4, Trinidad and Tobago is encouraged to use its EITI reporting to provide an assessment of potential non-trivial deviations from standard procedure in the issuance of CECs and EIAs. Likewise, EITI reporting could be used as a regular diagnostic of the management and use of Rehabilitation and Performance Bonds in the mining sector and Escrow accounts in the oil and gas sector.
- To strengthen implementation of Requirement 2.2, Trinidad and Tobago should clarify if the same technical and financial criteria used in the transfer of oil and gas exploration and production licenses are used for the award, and how those are weighed. Trinidad and Tobago is encouraged to provide information about the method of reaching the conclusion of non-trivial deviations. Trinidad and Tobago is encouraged to publish the full list of applicants for bidding rounds. Trinidad and Tobago is encouraged to include a commentary on the efficiency and effectiveness of mining licence allocation and transfers, and to fully leverage the EITI as a tool for addressing and following up on licencing challenges.
- To strengthen implementation of Requirement 2.6, Trinidad and Tobago is encouraged to ensure that a description of the rules and practices related to SOEs’ corporate governance, e.g. appointment of the Board of Directors, Board’s mandate and code of conduct, is publicly accessible.
- To strengthen implementation of Requirement 3.3, Trinidad and Tobago is encouraged to further disaggregate exports by region, company or project.
- To strengthen implementation of Requirement 4.1, TTEITI MSG is encouraged to discuss the materiality definition for revenue streams and companies anew every financial year with regards of the total industry revenue. The MSG may wish to set different revenue thresholds for payments of particular interest.
- To strengthen implementation of Requirement 4.5, Trinidad and Tobago is encouraged to document where government transfers to material SOEs are publicly disclosed on government websites, to levels of disaggregation commensurate with Requirement 4.7.
- To strengthen implementation of Requirement 4.7, Trinidad and Tobago is encouraged to provide more clear guidance on what constitutes a project under different licencing and contractual regimes, and where to find project level data.
- To strengthen implementation of Requirement 5.1, Trinidad and Tobago is encouraged to create a mechanism to trace extractive revenue utilization.
- To strengthen implementation of Requirement 5.3, Trinidad and Tobago is encouraged to use its EITI disclosures to provide timely information from the government that will further public understanding and debate around issues of revenue sustainability and resource dependence, which 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.
- To strengthen implementation of Requirement 6.1, Trinidad and Tobago is encouraged to comprehensively disclose discretionary social expenditures and both mandatory and voluntary environmental expenditures made to third parties.
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.
In February 2019, the Board agreed that Trinidad & Tobago had made “meaningful progress” in implementing the 2016 EITI Standard. The next Validation of Trinidad & Tobago was scheduled to commence on 27 August 2020. In December 2020, the EITI Board agreed a revised Validation schedule, with Trinidad & Tobago’s Validation scheduled to commence on 1 July 2022. In June 2022, the Board granted Trinidad & Tobago’s request for a two-month extension to its Validation deadline. The Validation commenced on 1 September 2022.
Trinidad & Tobago 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 Trinidad & Tobago 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 August to 1 September 2022. Virtual stakeholder consultations were undertaken from 12 to 22 September 2022. The draft assessment was shared with the MSG for feedback on 4 November 2022. MSG comments were received on 2 December 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.
Assessment of EITI requirements
- Not met
- Partly met
- Mostly met
- Fully met
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The three components of Validation each receive a score out of 100, as follows:
Outcomes and impact
96.5 Very high