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The Board agreed that Ghana has made meaningful progress overall in implementing the 2016 EITI Standard.

Decision number
2017-08
Decision basis
2016 EITI Standard, Requirement 8.3 EITI Validation deadlines and consequences
28 October 2019

Board decision

On 8 March 2017, the EITI Board came to the following decision on Ghana’s status:

The Board agrees that Ghana has made meaningful progress overall in implementing the 2016 EITI Standard. The Board’s determination of Ghana’s progress with the EITI’s requirements is outlined in the assessment card below.

The EITI Board agreed that Ghana has made meaningful progress in meeting requirements 2.3, 2.6, 3.2, 3.3., 4.1, 4.2, 4.5 and 6.2. The major areas of concern relate to license registers (#2.3), state participation (#2.6), production and export data (#3.2 and #3.3), comprehensiveness (#4.1), in-kind revenues (#4.2), State Owned Enterprise (SOE) transactions (#4.5) and SOE quasi-fiscal expenditures (#6.2).

Accordingly, the EITI Board agreed that Ghana will need to take corrective actions outlined below. Progress with the corrective actions will be assessed in a second Validation commencing on 8 March 2018. Failure to achieve meaningful progress with considerable improvements across several individual requirements in the second Validation will result in suspension in accordance with the EITI Standard. In accordance with the EITI Standard, Ghana’s EITI National Steering Committee (NSC) may request an extension of this timeframe, or request that Validation commences earlier than scheduled.

The Board’s decision followed a Validation that commenced on 1 July 2016. In accordance with the 2016 EITI Standard, an initial assessment was undertaken by the International Secretariat. The findings were reviewed by an Independent Validator, who submitted a Validation Report to the EITI Board. The NSC was invited to comment on the findings throughout the process. The NSC’s comments on the report were taken into consideration. The final decision was taken by the EITI Board.

Background

The Government of Ghana committed to implementing the EITI in June 2003. In 2005, a multi-stakeholder group—the Ghana EITI (GHEITI) National Steering Committee (NSC)—was established, and Ghana was accepted as an EITI Candidate in February 2007. Following Validation in early 2010,[1] the EITI Board designated Ghana Compliant with the EITI Rules in October that year, making Ghana the second country in Africa to achieve this status.

The Validation process commenced on 1 July 2016. In accordance with the Validation procedures, an initial assessment was prepared by the International Secretariat. The MSG was invited to comment. Comments were received from the MSG. The assessment was then reviewed by the Independent Validator, who prepared the Validation Report. The MSG was invited to comment on the report. Again, comments were received from the MSG.

The Validation Committee reviewed the case on 15 February 2017. Based on the findings above, the Validation Committee agreed to recommend the assessment card and corrective actions outlined below. As per Requirement 8.3.c. this includes a requirement that the MSG agrees and discloses a time-bound action plans for addressing weaknesses in data comprehensiveness within 3 months.

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

ii.(a)    Overall assessments. Pursuant to the Validation Process, the EITI Board will make an assessment of overall compliance with all requirements in the EITI Standard.

iv.(c)   Meaningful progress. The country will be considered an EITI candidate and requested to undertake corrective actions until the second Validation.

The Validation Committee agreed to recommend a period of 10 months to undertake the corrective actions. This recommendation takes into account that the challenges identified are relatively few and seeks to align the Validation deadline with the deadline for the next (2015) EITI Report.

 

[1]https://eiti.org/document/2010-ghana-eiti-validation-report

Corrective actions and strategic recommendations

The EITI Board agreed the following corrective actions to be undertaken by Ghana. Progress in addressing these corrective actions will be assessed in a second Validation commencing on 8 March 2018

  1. In accordance with Requirement 2.3.b, Ghana is required to maintain a publically available register or cadastre system(s) with the following timely and comprehensive information regarding each of the licenses pertaining to companies covered in the EITI Report: (i) license holder(s), (ii) where collated, coordinates of the license area, (iii) date of application, date of award and duration of the license, (iv) in the case of production licenses, the commodity being produced. Any significant legal or practical barriers preventing such comprehensive disclosure should be documented and explained in the EITI Report, including an account of government plans for seeking to overcome such barriers and the anticipated timescale for achieving them.

  2. In accordance with Requirement 2.6(a), the EITI Report must include an explanation of the prevailing rules and practices regarding the financial relationship between the government and state-owned enterprises (SOEs), e.g., the rules and practices governing transfers of funds between the SOE(s) and the state, retained earnings, reinvestment and third-party financing. In accordance with Requirement 2.6(b), Ghana must provide disclosures from the government and SOE(s) of their level of ownership in mining, oil and gas companies operating within the country’s oil, gas and mining sector, including those held by SOE subsidiaries and joint ventures, and any changes in the level of ownership during the reporting period. This information should include details regarding the terms attached to their equity stake, including their level of responsibility to cover expenses at various phases of the project cycle, e.g., full-paid equity, free equity, carried interest. Where there have been changes in the level of government and SOE(s) ownership during the EITI reporting period, the government and SOE(s) are expected to disclose the terms of the transaction, including details regarding valuation and revenues. Where the government and SOE(s) have provided loans or loan guarantees to mining, oil and gas companies operating within the country, details on these transactions should be disclosed.

  3. In accordance with Requirement 3.2, Ghana must disclose production data for the fiscal year covered by the EITI Report, including total production volumes and the value of production by commodity, and, when relevant, by state/region. Ghana should confirm all existing production for all commodities for the year covered by the report.

  4. In accordance with Requirement 3.3, Ghana must disclose export data for the fiscal year covered by the EITI Report, including total export volumes and the value of exports by commodity, and, when relevant, by state/region of origin. Ghana should confirm all existing exports for all commodities for the year covered by the report.

  5. In accordance with Requirement 4.1.a, the multi-stakeholder group is required to agree which payments and revenues are material and therefore must be disclosed, including appropriate materiality definitions and thresholds. The multi-stakeholder group should document the options considered and the rationale for establishing the definitions and thresholds. In accordance with Requirement 4.1.c, Ghana must provide a comprehensive reconciliation of government revenues and company payments, in accordance with the agreed scope. All companies making material payments to the government are required to comprehensively disclose these payments in accordance with the agreed scope.

  6. In accordance with Requirement 4.2, the government, including state-owned enterprises, are required to disclose the volumes sold and revenues received. The published data must be disaggregated by individual buying company and to levels commensurate with the reporting of other payments and revenue streams (4.7).

  7. In accordance with Requirement 4.5, the NSC must ensure that the reporting process comprehensively addresses the role of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), including material payments to SOEs from oil, gas and mining companies, and transfers between SOEs and other government agencies.

  8. In accordance with Requirement 6.2, the NSC must include disclosures from SOE(s) on their quasi-fiscal expenditures. The multi-stakeholder group is required to develop a reporting process with a view to achieving a level of transparency commensurate with other payments and revenue streams, and should include SOE subsidiaries and joint ventures.

The NSC is encouraged to consider the other recommendations in the Validator’s Report and the International Secretariat’s initial assessment, and to document the MSG’s responses to these recommendations in the next annual progress report. In particular, the EITI Board requested that the NSC undertake further work to document the coverage of the Master Facility Agreement of 2011 in accordance with Requirement 4.3, and that the next Validation provides an update on Ghana’s compliance with this provision.

Scorecard for Ghana: 2016

Assessment of EITI requirements

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

Overall Progress

MSG oversight

1.1Government engagement

The government is fully, actively and effectively engaged in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the EITI process and the government appears to have a strong commitment to the implementation of EITI in Ghana. The attendance of the Chair is less frequent than that of other MSG members, but this does not seem to reflect a lack of government engagement on the whole.

1.2Industry engagement

Companies are actively engaged with EITI implementation and see value and tangible outcomes resulting from their participation in the process, citing in particular an improvement in their relationship with communities. The more limited participation by companies from the oil/gas sector beyond those represented on the MSG reflects the relatively recent emergence of the sector and lack of organisation among petroleum companies in the country.

1.3Civil society engagement

Civil society stakeholders are actively engaged in the EITI process. There is an enabling environment for civil society participation in Ghana, and civil society representatives have been key drivers of the EITI process and implementation. There seem to be some challenges related to communicating and consulting with all interested civil society stakeholders during the EITI reporting cycle, and not only after the publication of reports, which might be related to limited capacity on both sides.

1.4MSG governance

Stakeholders are adequately represented on the multi-stakeholder group (MSG). The MSG has a chair and co-chair and meets regularly to review and guide implementation in the country. They have also participated in ad hoc meetings and have established sub-committees tasked with specific aspects of EITI implementation. There seem to be some issues and practices of the MSG that would need to be clarified in the Ghana EITI Bill.

1.5Work plan

The work plan has clear objectives linked to national priorities for the extractive sector, as well as detailed actions and timelines, although it does not reflect the full scope of GHEITI’s work. Costing is missing for some items, and implementation is slightly behind schedule. In particular missing funds for the 2015 GHEITI report is of concern.

Licenses and contracts

2.1Legal framework

The legal framework and fiscal regime governing the extractive industries are described in different sections of the 2014 EITI Reports. Information on the roles and responsibilities of the relevant government agencies is included in the reports, as is information on reforms of the system.

2.2License allocations

The 2014 EITI Reports comprehensively disclose the respective process for awarding licences. The technical and financial criteria for awarding licenses are described in general terms on the Ghana EITI website. The efficiency and effectiveness of licensing procedures are discussed in the reports, leading to recommendations for change which have potentially contributed to sector reforms.

2.3License register

The EITI Reports have for some time recommended to establish an online cadastre system, and a mining cadastre is in its final stages and is likely to address many of the gaps. In the absence still of the almost-ready online cadastre, the reports document outstanding licenses fairly comprehensively, but not fully so and required data points are missing.

2.4Policy on contract disclosure

The government’s policy of not publishing contracts is clearly described in the 2014 EITI Reports. The report also describes the actual practice of publishing certain contracts. The reports have recommended to make contract public.

2.5Beneficial ownership

Not assessed

Stakeholders in Ghana seem committed to and in favour of beneficial ownership transparency and requirements related to beneficial ownership disclosure appear to be well understood. The multi-stakeholder group has already initiated the implementation of the beneficial ownership requirements by advocating for beneficial ownership disclosure in the amended Companies Act 2016.

2.6State participation

The 2014 oil and gas report contains interesting information about the role of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation’s (GNPC) and its operations, but is missing information on own account and as conduit for government revenue. Its financial relationships with the government are not clear, and the requisite quantification cannot be traced.

Monitoring production

3.1Exploration data

The 2014 EITI Reports contain informative overviews of both the oil/gas and mining sectors and broad information on exploration activities.

3.2Production data

Production volumes, but not values, for oil, gas and mining are adequately disclosed in the 2014 EITI Reports, including oil production by major field.

3.3Export data

Export values, but not volumes, are adequately disclosed in the two reports, including by export commodity and from the artisanal and small-scale mining sector. For the artisanal and small-scale mining sector, export volumes are deemed to be equal to production volumes.

Revenue collection

4.1Comprehensiveness

In each sector, all producing companies are deemed material (as measured by royalty payments). This does not include exploration companies. Although there is good coverage of the payments, there is no materiality definition. Good participation of selected companies; only one notable exception in the oil sector which leaves a significant gap in the reconciliation. Commendable coverage of ASM sector.

4.2In-kind revenues

While there is much information provided on the in-kind revenue collected, there is no clear thread running through the 2014 EITI Report of the oil/gas report that would allow the public to understand the management of in-kind revenues collected on the behalf of the government by GNPC, including the process of oil lifting by GNPC on behalf of the state, commercialisation of the in-kind revenue collected, transfer of the sales proceeds to the government and disclosure of taxes paid and reconciliation with company records. There do not appear to be any in-kind revenues in the mining sector.

4.3Barter agreements

Not applicable

The requirement on infrastructure provisions and barter arrangements is not applicable to Ghana.

4.4Transportation revenues

Not applicable

No evidence that such revenues exist in Ghana. The requirement on transportation revenue is therefore not applicable to Ghana.

4.5SOE transactions

The 2014 EITI Report on oil and gas contains much information on transactions between Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and the government, but contradictory statements on the direction of flows between GNPC and the government result in confusion despite otherwise significant disclosures. The oil/gas report does not address GNPC transactions on own account.

4.6Direct subnational payments

Subnational direct payments exist in the mining sector, and the 2014 EITI Report adequately explains direct payment of property rates by mining companies to District Assemblies.

4.7Disaggregation

The 2014 EITI Reports disclose of revenue data disaggregated by individual company, government entity, and revenue stream.

4.8Data timeliness

The 2014 EITI Reports were published on 18 January 2016, about one year after the end of the financial year covered.

4.9Data quality

All templates submitted by companies and government entities met the previously agreed completeness, integrity, and reliability tests, concluding that the data provided was reliable.

Revenue allocation

5.1Distribution of revenues

The 2014 EITI Report on mining gives a clearer picture of the distribution of revenue than the oil and gas report. The latter report contains much institutional detail and quantitative information on revenue flows but fails to pull this information together into a clear picture of the distribution of revenue, in particular of the streams channelled to/through the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).

5.2Subnational transfers

The 2014 Ghana EITI mining report discloses sub-national transfers and the applicable revenue sharing formula. There is no discussion of sub-national transfers in the oil and gas report, and there is no evidence that such revenues exist in Ghana.

5.3Revenue management and expenditures

Not assessed

The 2014 EITI Reports contain helpful information on Ghana’s budget and auditing process. Information on expenditures from extractive sector revenues is reported in considerable detail across some institutions, but could be more useful if it were complete and presented in a broader budgetary context.

Socio-economic contribution

6.1Mandatory social expenditures

Not applicable

The 2014 EITI Reports explain that there are no mandatory social expenditures in Ghana. The 2014 EITI Reports contain descriptions and some figures of voluntary corporate social responsibility projects by some companies, without being consistent and comprehensive across each sector.

6.2Quasi-fiscal expenditures

The oil and gas report does not give a clear picture of GNPC finances and does not mention quasi-fiscal expenditures, when there appear to be such expenditures.

6.3Economic contribution

The 2014 EITI Report includes, in absolute and relative terms, the contribution of the extractive industries to GDP, government revenue, exports and employment. The only small exception is information on key regions of non-gold production in the mining report.

Outcomes and impact

7.1Public debate

Ghana EITI has made various efforts to ensure that EITI disclosures are actively promoted. Ghana EITI appears to maintain a high level of dissemination and outreach activities. Public events and roundtables have also been organised to discuss issues such as beneficial ownership, transfer pricing and artisanal and small-scale mining. Some stakeholders find that reports can be made more comprehensible to the public.

7.2Data accessibility

Not assessed

The EITI Reports are accessible in print and summarised formats. They are not machine readable, although key information is available from the Ghana EITI open data dashboard. The data is from the 2012/13 reports and do not include 2014 data.

7.3Follow up on recommendations

The multi-stakeholder group has taken steps to act upon lessons learnt, to identify, investigate and address the causes of any discrepancies, and to develop and follow up on policy and sector relevant recommendations for improvements in the EITI Reports. Ghana EITI have implemented several of the recommendations to improve sector governance.

7.4Outcomes and impact of implementation

The annual progress report 2015 was submitted within the deadline and adequately reflects Ghana EITI’s main activities and progress made during 2015. The report and the completion of a formal impact assessment demonstrates openness to public scrutiny.

Countries
Ghana