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Freetown, Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone

Status
High
Joined
22 February 2008
Latest validation
2022
Latest data from
2016
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Overview and role of the EITI

Sierra Leone has a substantial mining sector, primarily driven by the large-scale production of iron ore, diamonds, rutile and bauxite. It also hosts small-scale and artisanal mining of gold and diamonds. Mining plays an important role in the country’s economy, although the sector has been in decline over the past years. According to EITI reporting, minerals accounted for 67% of total exports in 2019, a decrease from 91% in 2016. Sierra Leone is also conducting exploration activities to develop its petroleum sector. 

Natural resources played a significant role in sustaining conflict during the Sierra Leone Civil War (1991-2002). Subsequently, the transparent management of natural resources became a national priority. In 2018, President Julius Maada Bio made a strong commitment to use the EITI as a tool for reform to improve the country’s investment climate. Sierra Leone’s Medium-Term National Development Plan 2019–2023 includes a target to mainstream transparency and accountability practices into the extractive sector, in accordance with the EITI Standard.

The EITI has played a key role in reforming license allocation management. It continues to serve as a platform for improving disclosure of mining contracts and streamlining revenue payments. Sierra Leone EITI (SLEITI) is currently working to advance beneficial ownership disclosure and strengthen accountability at the subnational level by clarifying payments streams, expected revenue and recipients of subnational revenues.

Economic contribution of the extractive industries

67%
to exports
.6%
to GDP
4.1%
to total government revenues
3%
to employment
  • Step 1
  • Step 2
  • Step 3

Download country data

Download open data on government and company revenues, revenues by revenue stream and indicator, summary data and more.


Innovations and policy reforms

  • Recommendations from Sierra Leone’s EITI reporting and implementation have contributed to establishing a digital mining cadastre. This has resulted in increased government revenue, consistent regulation and timely access to data.
  • The Extractive Industries Revenue Taskforce (EIRT), a platform which was established as a consequence of EITI implementation, has contributed to reducing export duty on gold to levels more comparable to neighbouring countries, thus decreasing smuggling and increasing official gold exports.

Becoming EITI compliant is one of the ways of ensuring greater transparency and improved governance of the sector. We are proud to engage with the EITI process that requires reporting on revenue streams from the extractives sector. The tremendous efforts that have been made by everyone in the production of the EITI Report reflect our shared aspirations for transparency and accountability of the extractives sector, economic growth in Sierra Leone and prosperity for all Sierra Leoneans.

HE Dr Ernest Bai Koroma Former President of Sierra Leone

Extractive sector data

Production and exports

Iron

Revenue collection

Level of detail 2

Revenue distribution

2016
Standardised revenue types

Top paying companies

2016

Extractive sector management

Licenses and contracts

The National Minerals Agency (NMA) oversees the allocation of mineral rights. Mineral leases are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis, while petroleum rights are allocated through either direct negotiations or a tendering process.

Sierra Leone has one of the most comprehensive cadastre systems in West Africa. The Mining Cadastre Administration System (MCAS), managed by the NMA, provides information on license holders, coordinates, application dates and duration. This data is publicly accessible through an online repository, which also provides information on license payments made during the year.

While Sierra Leone does not have a contract disclosure policy, both the Extractive Industries Revenue Act and SLEITI bills have provisions to promote contract disclosure. The NMA has published some mining agreements on their website.

Beneficial ownership

Sierra Leone does not have a legal framework mandating the disclosure of beneficial ownership in the extractive sector. An independent review, published in 2017, assessed Sierra Leone’s legal framework to identify gaps for data disclosure and collection, and proposed corresponding reforms. President Julius Maada Bio made a commitment to advance this agenda in 2018. SLEITI’s 2016 EITI Report includes some ownership information for larger companies.

In September 2021, SLEITI produced a scoping study to help streamline various legal provisions and provide a legal basis for collecting and maintaining a central register. A forthcoming amendment to the Mines and Minerals Development Act is expected to include provisions mandating beneficial ownership in the mining sector.

Revenue distribution

The National Revenue Authority (NRA) collects mining payments and the Petroleum Directorate (PD) collects petroleum payments. These revenues are subsequently transferred to the Consolidated Fund of the Treasury. Other payments from the mining sector, such as surface rentals, are made directly by companies to local councils and chiefdoms that host mining activities through the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development.

Specific contributions, such as the Diamond Area Community Development Fund (DACDF), are distributed from the central government to certain district councils and chiefdoms based on pre-determined formulars for social development.


EITI implementation

Governance

SLEITI is administered by the Sierra Leone Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG). The MSG is hosted by the Office of the Vice President and chaired by the Minister of State in the Office of the Vice President. It is comprised of representatives from government, industry and civil society. The Vice President of Sierra Leone, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, serves as the EITI Champion.

Timeline

Validation

Sierra Leone achieved a high overall score (87.5 points) in implementing the 2019 EITI Standard in October 2022. 

Scorecard

Latest Validation: 12 October 2022
Year

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

94 Very high
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

2

1.5 Work plan

100

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Sierra Leone has exceeded Requirement 1.5. The work plan supports implementation of national priorities for the extractive industries while laying out realistic activities that are the outcome of consultations with the broader government, industry and civil society constituencies. The 2022 SLEITI work plan represents good practice in terms of process, content and structure. The 2022 EITI work plan was developed through a consultative process that engaged stakeholders beyond the MSG (see Outcomes and impact file for further detail). The process has been thoroughly documented. According to the MSG’s submission, the work plan objectives were developed to ensure that the EITI process contributes to government reforms on beneficial ownership disclosure, gender empowerment, mainstreaming EITI reporting through systematic disclosure of data, and the environment. It also addresses contract disclosure and includes capacity-building activities. The plan includes concrete activities to expand disclosures on, for example, ASM and identifies responsible government agencies. The 2022 work plan builds on a results-based approach with clear activities, outputs, expected outcomes and key deliverables. It is fully costed, time-bound and indicates the responsible party. EITI work plans have been updated annually and are publicly available on the SLEITI website. The 2022 work plan includes a tool for tracking progress, i.e. it is linked to a monitoring framework. The MSG has explored innovative approaches to extending EITI implementation to inform public debate about natural resource governance by including activities related to the impact of climate change in the work plan. There are also activities related to promoting systematic disclosure of subnational transfers. These aspects exceed the required provisions of Requirement 1.5.

7.1 Public debate

90

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Sierra Leone has fully met Requirement 7.1. The objective of enabling evidence-based public debate on extractive industry governance through active communication of relevant data to key stakeholders in ways that are accessible and reflect stakeholders’ needs is met. SLEITI has undertaken efforts to disseminate the findings from EITI reporting. Several outreach events were organised in affected communities in September 2020 to promote the 2017-2018 EITI Report. Outreach activities related to the 2019 EITI Report took place in May 2022. SLEITI has produced TV and radio programmes and jingles, and CSOs have organised some EITI related events. A summary report of the 2019 EITI Report is available online. Overall, the MSG has undertaken considerable efforts to ensure that EITI Reports reach a wide range of stakeholders, including producing the EITI Report in braille. This, together with outreach efforts directed towards subnational stakeholders, demonstrates the MSG’s efforts to ensure that EITI data reaches diverse audiences, including vulnerable groups. SLEITI updated its communications strategy in 2020, covering plans up to 2023. The strategy considers the needs of different audiences, including mining communities. In considering communications tools, it takes into account whether different sub-groups of citizens have access to them. The revised communications strategy 2020-2023 will require sustained attention in order to produce clear evidence of stakeholders, including media and civil society, analysing publicly available data and using it to promote reform. Consulted stakeholders noted that all constituencies were participating actively in outreach efforts across the country. There is some evidence of stakeholders, including media and civil society, analysing publicly available data and using it to promote reforms in the extractive sector, but this is limited. In 2021, civil society organised a workshop jointly with the Africa Center for Energy Policy (ACEP) on tracking extractive sector revenues.

7.2 Data accessibility and open data

90

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Sierra Leone has fully met Requirement 7.2. Sierra Leone has undertaken efforts towards disclosing data comprehensively in open format. Following the submission of the draft Validation report, SLEITI disclosed the tables from the 2019 EITI Report on its website in open format. The Secretariat considers that following these additional disclosures, the objective of the requirement has been met. SLEITI has an Open Data Policy, which the Outcomes and impact file acknowledges is in the process of being implemented. Sierra Leone has submitted summary data files for EITI Reports covering 2017-2019. The 2019 EITI Report is available in Word format. The tables featured in the body of the report have been disclosed on the SLEITI website in open format. Tables from the annexes do not appear to available in open format. However, these tables can be easily transferred to Excel from the Word document. The Outcomes and impact file notes that some systematic disclosures are only available in pdf format. However, license data is available in open format in the online portal, and some production and export data is available in open format on the Bank of Sierra Leone website.

7.3 Follow up on recommendations

90

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Sierra Leone has fully met Requirement 7.3, as in the previous Validation. The objective of ensuring that EITI implementation is a continuous learning process that contributes to policy making is met. Corrective actions from the 2018 Validation were considered in work planning, as demonstrated in the Outcomes and impact file. The Outcomes and impact file demonstrates that the MSG has actively contributed to the development of extractive sector policies, including the draft Mines and Minerals Development Bill and the SLEITI Bill. This contributed to strengthening the definition of beneficial ownership in the Mines and Minerals Development Bill. Stakeholder consultations suggest that follow-up of recommendations has become more systematic since the previous Validation in 2018. Consulted stakeholders noted that the national secretariat was actively following up with government agencies to address recommendations. MSG meeting minutes demonstrate that the MSG has discussed and undertaken activities to follow up on recommendations and discrepancies. Consulted stakeholders noted that follow-up on recommendations was always part of the agenda of MSG meetings. The SLEITI work plan includes activities to address recommendations. Follow-up is monitored through the work plan’s monitoring framework and annual monitoring reports. Sustained follow up on recommendations around subnational reporting has now resulted in improvement in the comprehensiveness and disaggregation of subnational disclosures in the 2019 EITI Report. Ahead of Validation, the MSG developed a Validation tracker with which they followed up on the status of recommendations and gaps identified in EITI Reports and prior Validations. Leadership from the EITI Champion and the MSG Chair had also helped advance the implementation of EITI recommendations.

7.4 Review of outcomes and impact of implementation

90

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Sierra Leone has fully met Requirement 7.4, as in the previous Validation. The MSG regularly monitors progress in achieving SLEITI’s objectives through annual monitoring reports, which contributes to ensuring EITI’s own public accountability in accordance with the objective of this requirement. The work plan allows for more systematic review of outcomes and impact, in addition to outputs. Efforts to assess subnational impact through a standalone study are commendable. The 2021 Work Plan Monitoring Report documents progress in implementing the work plan and achieving desired outputs. It does not assess the broader outcomes and impact of implementation. However, the Outcomes and impact file includes a review of impact, which includes progress on beneficial ownership disclosures, providing a platform for debate in affected communities and contributing to revisions on the distribution of surface rent revenues. The file also documents progress in addressing recommendations from Validation and EITI reporting. In 2021, SLEITI commissioned an Assessment of the Impact of EITI and Socioeconomic Benefits Derived from Subnational Extractive Revenues by Mining Communities. The assessments findings include that the positive social impact of subnational payments made by mining companies is limited. The MSG has documented how it has taken gender considerations and inclusiveness into account.

Stakeholder engagement

90 High
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

90

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Sierra Leone has fully met Requirement 1.1, as in the previous Validation. The government is represented on the MSG at a senior level. The MSG is chaired since 2018 by Francess Piagie Alghali, Minister of State, Office of the Vice President. She has been a driving force behind EITI implementation. The EITI Champion is Vice President Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh. The government has provided leadership in addressing corrective actions from the 2018 Validation, including improving MSG governance (see Requirement 1.4). According to consulted stakeholders, housing EITI leadership in the Vice President’s office has strengthened coordination between government agencies on EITI matters. Government representatives noted that government agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Minerals Agency (NMA) and the National Revenue Authority (NRA) had deepened their collaboration, which was resulting in better availability of data and is paving the way towards systematic disclosures. Government representatives participate actively in the work of the MSG and its technical subcommittees and contribute to outreach efforts. For example, the committee on beneficial ownership includes relevant government agencies that are not represented on the MSG. The Stakeholder engagement file documents several high-level statements in support of the EITI, including on beneficial ownership disclosure. The enactment of the Extractive Industries Revenue Act (EIRA) in 2018 also demonstrates government commitment to extractive sector transparency. The Mines and Minerals Development Bill includes provisions on beneficial ownership transparency, which will help to deepen transparency and accountability. The government funds EITI implementation, including the operations of the national secretariat.

1.2 Industry engagement

90

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Sierra Leone has fully met Requirement 1.2. The objective of ensuring full, active and effective engagement by extractive companies has been fulfilled. Stakeholder consultations and the MSG’s feedback support this assessment. The Stakeholder engagement file suggests that company representatives participate actively in the MSG’s work, including some outreach activities. Material companies are largely disclosing the required data and assurances, with omissions not materially affecting the assessment of company engagement. MSG members liaise with the broader constituency through the Chamber of Mines, which is made up of nine of the 19 large-scale mineral producers, using WhatsApp and email circulars. Engagement with the broader constituency beyond the Chamber appears to be limited, but the MSG has demonstrated recent efforts to increase engagement. The MSG argued in its feedback on the draft Validation report that the requirement should be assessed as fully met. It noted that the four companies represented on the MSG contributed 72% of total government revenues in 2019, while companies that are members of the Chamber contributed 77% of total government revenues. The Secretariat considers that the additional information provided by the MSG, together with unanimous support from the MSG for upgrading the assessment, justifies an assessment of the requirement as fully met. The documentation submitted and stakeholder consultation suggest that engagement has become materially more active since the 2018 Validation, which found that companies’ engagement was limited. Stakeholders from other constituencies noted that engagement by companies had improved, although the Chamber could be better organised. Consulted industry representatives confirmed that the Chamber was continuing to work to become more effective and expand its membership. As an interim measure, the industry constituency are considering options to engage non-chamber industry actors (mostly ASM companies) through social media. The MSG noted in its feedback on the draft Validation report that the Chamber had already invited companies that are not members of the Chamber to participate in SLEITI related activities such as dissemination. It also noted that engaging with ASM actors was challenging as they were not organised. The Chamber, in collaboration with the SLEITI secretariat, has set up a WhatsApp group for industry engagement that comprises large-scale companies, dealers, and the ASM sector. Stakeholders noted that industry representatives’ engagement at MSG meetings and on social media had improved over the period under review. The 2019 EITI Report builds mostly on unilateral government disclosures. Additional information was requested from 14 extractive companies. There are gaps in the information submitted by the companies, for example, in beneficial ownership data. All material companies, however, submitted information for reporting purposes, most of which appears to be comprehensive (see Transparency template). Follow-up with reporting companies was mostly conducted by the national secretariat. There do not appear to be any obstacles to company participation in the EITI. Consulted companies noted that petroleum companies would be invited to engage in EITI implementation once they established a presence in the country. There is also room to expand engagement to mining companies that are not yet members of the Chamber, including ASM producers and exporting companies.

1.3 Civil society engagement

90

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Sierra Leone has fully met Requirement 1.3. The 2018 Validation documented weaknesses in constituency governance. These challenges appear to have been largely overcome with the refresh of MSG membership in 2020. The number of full members from civil society was increased from three to six. Representation on the MSG is more diverse and inclusive, with, for example, women’s organisations and journalists now included. MSG members liaise with the broader constituency regularly through three networks: Natural Resource Governance and Economic Justice Network (NaRGEJ), Human Right Defenders Network (HRDN) and National Advocacy Coalition on Extractives (NACE). Coordination channels include, for example, social media and WhatsApp groups. EITI documents were shared through these channels and feedback sought from non-MSG members. Consulted stakeholders noted that the constituency had agreed that MSG members would start providing quarterly reports on their work and progress in EITI implementation. CSOs that are not members of the MSG had also been invited regularly to EITI events. Consulted civil society stakeholders noted that the constituency was now stronger as it was unified and in a better position to express critical views on the conduct of government and companies. The Stakeholder engagement file documents EITI-related events organised by civil society. It also appears that CSOs have been actively engaged in the MSG’s work, including on planning and disclosures. CSOs consulted provided examples of EITI data being used to further advocacy efforts, including using EITI data to allow local communities to better understand the distribution of subnational payments (namely surface rent) and successfully lobbying for the disclosure of subnational payments by a major mining company. The MSG pointed out in its feedback that CSOs are also active in a CSO-led multi-stakeholder group that seeks to increase the transparency of subnational transfers and payments, and engages with local communities. Civicus Monitor assesses civic space in Sierra Leone as “obstructed”, and Freedom in the World rates the country as “partly free”, similar to when the previous Validation was conducted in 2018. These assessments note some limitations to the operation of the political opposition, as well as requirements for NGOs and media. Based on stakeholder consultations and a desk review, there is no indication of these having had an impact on civil society engagement in extractives governance or EITI implementation. On the contrary, civil society activity related to the EITI has grown more active in the period under review. Consulted CSO stakeholders noted that previously the Public Order Act has been applied to restrict organising events in communities, but that this had not been the case in the past five years. If anything, there appear to have been slight improvements in the enabling environment for engagement in the EITI. The MSG’s submission flagged a case where the CSO Green Scenery had not been able to organise meetings in Malen chiefdom. Green Scenery works on land issues and is a member of the NACE coalition. It can be considered as substantively engaged in EITI implementation. Its activities to support citizens in Malen chiefdom seek to promote land rights in relation to a palm oil agribusiness project, rather than extractive activities. Chiefdom authorities had indicated to Green Scenery that it should not organise events within the area Civil society stakeholders on and off the MSG indicated that this was an isolated case, rather than a practice or pattern. Green Scenery noted that it had circumvented the restrictions by inviting participants from the chiefdom to attend meetings at the district level. There is evidence of civil society and other stakeholders undertaking outreach efforts, such as organising events, in communities affected by mining. The objectives of EITI implementation and, for example, the focus on gender and subnational issues reflect civil society’s priorities.

1.4 MSG governance

90

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Sierra Leone has fully met Requirement 1.4. The MSG is providing effective oversight of the EITI process in a manner that balances the interests of the three constituencies. This is supported by the views of consulted stakeholders, as well as progress in implementation within the period under review. The 2018 Validation flagged concerns about the lack of clarity in the MSG’s procedures and weaknesses in following them. Since then, MSG governance appears to have improved significantly. The MSG agreed new ToRs in March 2021 that cover the provisions of Requirement 1.4.b in a clear manner (see the Stakeholder engagement file). The Stakeholder engagement file suggests that the ToRs have been respected in practice. Meeting minutes are available online and demonstrate the constituencies participate actively in the MSG’s work. The MSG has five thematic subcommittees. The COVID-19 pandemic restricted the frequency of MSG meetings, but online tools were deployed to uphold communication. A long overdue refresh of MSG membership took place in 2020. The Stakeholder engagement file describes the process for nominating members, which appears to have been open and inclusive in practice. Civil society followed their own constituency ToR in nominating members, overcoming coordination challenges between two coalitions and increasing the diversity of representation. The CSOs represented on the MSG were selected in a constituency meeting in August 2020. Stakeholder consultations suggest that the selection process was conducted in a fair and transparent way. Industry is represented through the Chamber of Mines, which was reactivated in 2019 One new company MSG member has been nominated since at a Chamber meeting where he formally accepted his nomination. The representation of civil society and government agencies has become more diverse, both in terms of organisations/agencies and in terms of gender. This reflects the provisions of the 2019 EITI Standard, as well as the government’s priority on gender empowerment. Two women’s organisations are now represented on the MSG. The MSG also includes representatives of the media, the parliament and the Environmental Protection Agency. The is room to further improve the diversity of industry representation by engaging ASM actors and other companies that are not members of the Chamber. The Secretariat’s assessment is that stakeholders are adequately represented on the MSG, and members are liaising with their broader constituencies. Consulted stakeholders noted that improved participation has influenced the effectiveness of the new technical working groups and subsequently the delivery of several outputs in the last years.

Transparency

78 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.

Overview of the extractive industries

3.1 Exploration data

100

The Secretariat's assessment is that Sierra Leone has exceeded Requirement 3.1. Public access to an overview of the mining and oil and gas sectors in the country and its potential, including recent, ongoing and planned significant exploration activities is provided through the EITI Report. Following the draft Validation report, SLEITI disclosed the overview of extractive activities on its website as a web page. This facilitates access to the information and enables SLEITI to regularly update the information, also between EITI Reports. Information on active mining activities can also be viewed through the MCAS portal in a map view. Civil society stakeholders consulted did highlight that the MCAS portal is not easily accessible to many members of the community at the local level due to a lack of internet and access to computers. The 2019 EITI Report and now the SLEITI website add significant value by serving as a central point of reference for historical and current activities in a robust mining sector and does well to explain the obstacles overcome in the oil and gas sector with an eye toward further development in the future. Current legislation governing the oil and gas sector only provides for offshore exploration and production and the 2019 EITI Report notes that only one company, Innoson Oil and Gas has been awarded an exploration license to date and there were no licenses awarded in the period under review.

6.3 Contribution of the extractive sector to the economy

90

The Secretariat's preliminary assessment is that Sierra Leone has fully met Requirement 6.3, as in the previous Validation. The broader objective of ensuring a public understanding of the extractive industries’ contribution to the national economy is fulfilled. The government systematically discloses information on the contribution of the extractive industries to the economy with this information also reflected in EITI reporting. The Ministry of Finance and Statistics websites publishes annual statistics on the contribution of the extractive industries to GDP, government revenues and exports with EITI reporting adding value by spearheading the collection of employment data disaggregated by gender. The 2019 EITI Report provides information on the contribution of the extractive industries to the economy (including to GDP, government revenues, exports, and employment), though it would be helpful for citations to be hyperlinked to original sources for ease of verification and to view larger datasets. Estimates of the contribution of informal and artisanal-scale mining activities to GDP are not provided for a country with a sizeable ASM sector, though the NMA-commissioned Baseline Study on Artisanal Mining, completed in May 2020, reinforces the importance of the ASM sector as an employer and source of production. Comprehensive information about the contribution of the ASM sector to GDP do not appear to be available for disclosure. More broadly, stakeholders consulted echoed the sentiment that the ASM sector should be better regulated through the NMA and the EPA to ensure that adequate labour and environmental protections are followed and to institutionalise a practice that characterises much of Sierra Leone’s diamond and gold industry. The Kimberley Process also provides estimates of ASM diamond mining along with export destinations, although these do not include the sector’s contribution to GDP. Gender disaggregated data on employment is provided through EITI reporting, though the MSG notes that this data is limited to only companies that chose to report it, rather than representing the whole extractives sector. Overviews of the location of the main extractive activities in the mining sector and oil and gas sector are available through the GoSL Online Portal and through EITI reporting.

Legal and fiscal framework

2.1 Legal framework

100

The Secretariat's assessment is that Sierra Leone has exceeded Requirement 2.1. The 2019 EITI Report describes the legal, environmental, and fiscal regime for mining and oil and gas, as well as the roles of central government entities with regards to the mining and oil and gas sectors. Relevant government websites provide the full text of laws and regulations referenced in Sierra Leone's EITI reporting, comprehensively covering the legal, environmental, fiscal regime, fiscal devolution and the roles of government entities. An overview of the laws and regulations governing the extractive sector is provided and there is a summary of the fiscal regime in mining and oil and gas. Currently, there are no provisions for onshore petroleum exploration and EITI reporting outlines efforts to reform. Overall, planned and ongoing reforms are well-documented for both sectors and indicate the SLEITI MSG's efforts and initiative in closing gaps in existing laws and regulations. Requirement 2.1 has been exceeded given that encouraged aspects of the requirement documenting ongoing reform efforts are well-described and most information is systematically disclose through government websites. Progress has been made since the last assessment to include a description of all relevant government agencies' roles in the sector.

2.4 Contracts

60

The Secretariat's assessment is that Sierra Leone has mostly met Requirement 2.4. Sierra Leone has made commendable progress in addressing encouraged aspects of the requirement by disclosing mining agreements entered into prior to January 2021. Following the draft Validation report, NMA disclosed mining contracts entered into after 1 January 2021. However, there is still no clear government policy on the disclosure of mining contracts and the full text of pro forma licenses remains confidential. It also remains unclear if any oil and gas contract was entered into in 2021. The Secretariat considers that the objective of the requirement is mostly fulfilled. The policy on disclosure of mining contracts continues to be unclear, although in practice all contracts that were active on 31 December 2019 appear to have been disclosed by the government through a third-party webpage. Stakeholder consultations and media sources suggest that the Marampa Mines agreement was ratified by Parliament in December 2021. A comprehensive list of contracts entered into after 2019 is now available. Following the draft Validation report, NMA disclosed the contracts for Marampa Mines, Kingho Mining and Kingho Rail & Port on its website, and confirmed that these were the only mining agreements entered into since 1 January 2021. While the actual disclosures of older contracts exceed some provisions of Requirement 2.4, the lack of explicit policy to disclose mining contracts entered into or amended, is considered a material gap by the International Secretariat. The importance of establishing a clear policy is heightened by ongoing and recently concluded contract negotiations. The MSG argues in its feedback on the draft Validation report that the 2018 Minerals Policy and the Mines and Minerals Act together establish a policy for contract transparency. The Secretariat recognises that these policies enable the disclosure of mining contracts. However, they do not establish a clear policy that institutionalises contract transparency. The effect of this is demonstrated in the delay in disclosing recent mining contracts, which were only published following the draft Validation report. At the time of review, the NMA website listed in this template was not operational and therefore, a review of the available contracts on this website was not possible. However, the ResourceContracts website does provide what appears to be the full text, including amendments, riders, and annexes of ten large-scale mining agreements, which is an improvement from the prior Validation cycle. The 2019 EITI Report notes that there is a bill currently being debated by Parliament, the SLEITI Bill, that would lend weight to contract disclosure, though it may fall short of instituting legally binding policy. A clear policy on disclosure of oil and gas contracts exists in 2011 Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act. The 2019 EITI Report notes that one oil and gas contract has been agreed since 1 January 2021, but this contract has yet to be ratified by Parliament and is therefore not currently available. Consulted government representatives noted that once ratified by Parliament, the contract would become public. However, media reports suggest that the Parliament ratified the contract with Innoson Oil and Gas already in April 2021. The MSG feedback on the draft Validation report did not provide clarity on this issue. The National Minerals Agency's MCAS portal provides a comprehensive list of all active mining licenses, including licenses awarded after 1 January 2021, but full text of these licenses is not included, and the cadastre does not note which licenses are accompanied by a mining agreement. Consulted government representatives confirmed that the content of these licenses is pro forma and derived from the legislation. However, the Secretariat was not able to locate written, publicly available confirmation of this or access the license template. The MSG submitted the license templates to the Secretariat as part of its feedback on the draft Validation report. However, these documents have not been publicly disclosed and are therefore not considered in this assessment. The 2019 EITI Report confirms that there were no active oil and gas licenses in Sierra Leone at the end of 2019.

6.4 Environmental impact

Not assessed

The Secretariat's assessment is that Sierra Leone has made significant efforts to disclose regulation surrounding the publication and assessment of Environmental Impact and Management Plans and some are published through the Environmental Protection Agency, though it does not appear that publication is comprehensive of all assessments and plans in the mining sector. Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) are issued through the Environmental Protection Agency and are a required step in the award of mining licenses, as stipulated by Mines and Minerals Act of 2009. It is not clear upon review whether the oil and gas sector follows the same regulation as the mining sector nor is there an assessment of how regulation is applied in practice throughout the country. Given that Requirement 6.4 has not yet been exceeded, it remains marked as not assessed. While Sierra Leone is commended on positive steps taken since the last Validation, namely the publication of some Environmental and Social Health Impact Assessments and Environmental Social Management Plans through the Environmental Protection Agency's website, the lack of inclusion of artisanal and small-scale mining under the purview of the Environmental Protection Agency of Sierra Leone seems like a major gap given ASM's significant presence in the country. There is likewise no documentation provided concerning the environmental management and monitoring of extractive investments in Sierra Leone.

Licenses

2.2 Contract and license allocations

75

The Secretariat's assessment is that Sierra Leone has mostly met Requirement 2.2, with considerable improvements since the previous Validation. The objective of allowing stakeholders to identify and address possible weaknesses in the license allocation process has been mostly fulfilled. The assessment of possible deviations from the statutory framework is based on a random selection of licenses awarded in 2019. The MSG argued in its feedback on the draft Validation report that the requirement should be considered as fully met. It welcomed recommendations on further strengthening the methodology for assessing non-trivial deviations. However, it noted that as the Standard did not provide clear guidance on how deviations should be investigated, they should not be sanctioned for the selected methodology. The Secretariat recognises the efforts made by the MSG, as well as by government agencies, to investigate and address deviations related to the process for awarding mining licenses. However, the Secretariat’s assessment is that considering recent concerns related to deviations in the allocation of mining licenses, fully achieving the objective of the requirement requires strengthening the methodology. For mining, the Mines and Minerals Act lays out the procedure for the award of mining licenses and EITI reporting adds value by providing additional information concerning large-scale and some small-scale mining licenses. Mining licenses and rights are granted through a ‘first come first assessed’ procedure. All information listed under Requirement 2.2 is disclosed for mining license awards and transfers through EITI reporting and the National Minerals Agency website. A comprehensive list of all mining licenses can be found through the National Minerals Agency MCAS System, which enables searching licenses by date of award. It appears that information of all licenses awarded in the period under review (2019) has been disclosed. EITI reporting and stakeholder consultations suggest that no mining licenses were transferred in 2019. Specific technical and financial criteria used in the application and transfer processes are clearly outlined. However, technical and financial criteria do not appear to be weighted but are rather required to be documented in a company’s application materials, meaning that all technical and criteria are assessed equally. To confirm that there were no non-trivial deviations in the award and transfer of mining licenses and rights, four companies – two with large-scale and two with small-scale mining licenses – were required to present further documentation. Upon review, no material deviations from the applicable legal and regulatory framework were found. However, previous EITI reporting identified Kingho Investment Limited as deviating from standard bidding procedure before being awarded a license and while this license has since been cancelled, Kingho remains active in Sierra Leone and could have been selected for further review, especially in light of Kingho’s lack of provision of beneficial ownership information and audited financial statements for the 2019 fiscal year. Concerning Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) and the adherence to statutory procedures, the 2019 Auditor General’s Report identified at least 16 licenses that were awarded without EIA licences thus contravening Sections 108 (a) and 98 (a) of the Mines and Minerals Act of 2009. Consulted stakeholders noted that in the past, a lack of communication between the EPA and the NMA led to gaps in the process, but that improved communication has led to improved monitoring of and application for these assessments during the license award process. In addition, stakeholders noted that civil society active in the EITI had undertaken advocacy to ensure that deviations were addressed. With regards to the oil and gas sector, EITI reporting corroborates information found on the Petroleum Directorate website on the award of licenses. For the 2019 fiscal year, there were no oil and gas licenses awarded and the only active oil and gas license belongs to Innoson Oil and Gas, which was awarded a license on 1 April 2021 through the Round 4 Tender process that concluded in 2020. The fourth Offshore Petroleum Licensing Round was initially launched in January 2018 for a six-month period but after delays, it was re-launched in May 2019 and concluded in February 2020 with one exploration license awarded to Innoson Oil & Gas on 1 April 2021 (the award of this license has yet to be ratified by Parliament). While the licensing round began during the period under review, the awarding of the license took place after 2019. The EITI Report notes that there were no oil and gas licenses awarded in the period under review. Oil and gas licenses can be granted through direct negotiations or through a competitive tender process but neither government sources nor the 2019 EITI Report defines when one process is to be used over the other. Financial and technical criteria, including weighting of specific criteria, is well explained but it is not clear whether the same technical and financial criteria are to be used during license transfers as during the initial awards process. Likewise, it remains unclear whether there are concrete steps required for the transfer of licenses outside of a value judgement made by the Minister of the Petroleum Directorate. Gaps in statutory procedures for transfers in mining and oil and gas are not material given that in practice, the 2019 EITI Report confirms that there were no transfers in 2019.

2.3 Register of licenses

90

The Secretariat's assessment is that Sierra Leone has fully met Requirement 2.3. The objective of ensuring the public accessibility of comprehensive information on property rights related to extractive deposits and projects is fulfilled. Sierra Leone was assessed as having made ‘satisfactory progress’ on this requirement in the previous Validation. The National Minerals Agency hosts, and the Mining Cadastre Office manages the MCAS portal that covers all active mining licenses. The mining license registry appears to list all active mining licenses and upon review of artisanal, small-scale and large-scale licenses, coordinates, dates of application, award and expiry, and commodities are all comprehensively listed. The prior Validation of Sierra Leone noted that artisanal mining licenses were not covered in the MCAS portal, so the addition of these licenses is a clear improvement from the prior assessment. The MCAS portal exceeds the mandate of the 2019 EITI Standard through the documentation of some shareholding interests of companies awarded licenses, though this information is not complete. In the oil and gas sector, a publicly available license register does not exist but given that there were no active oil and gas licenses in the period under review, this does not impact the assessment of Requirement 2.3. The SLEITI MSG notes that a register exists in hard copy at the Petroleum Directorate and individuals must be physically present and can only request information about particular licenses as opposed to being able to view a comprehensive list in either list or map form. Furthermore, inquiring about individual oil and gas licenses requires the payment of a fee. Given the lack of oil and gas licenses in the period under review, the above aspects of the oil and gas register do not represent material gaps.

Ownership

2.5 Beneficial ownership

30

The Secretariat's assessment is that Sierra Leone has partly met Requirement 2.5. The objective of enabling the public to know who ultimately owns and controls the companies operating in the country’s extractive industries is yet to be fulfilled. Beneficial ownership information was clearly requested only from material mining companies. Additional reporting under the Corporate Governance Code is limited and not accessible to the public. Partial information on beneficial and legal owners is disclosed in the 2019 EITI Report (Annexes 9 and 10). The legal framework includes definitions of beneficial owner and enables collecting data from license applicants. However, there is so far no legal obligation for all extractive companies to disclose their beneficial owners. EITI reporting or other publicly available sources do not clearly indicate which extractive companies are publicly listed or wholly-owned subsidiaries of listed companies. The MSG argued in its feedback on the draft Validation report that requirement should be considered as mostly met, given efforts to collect BO data from material companies and to establish a legal basis for disclosures. The MSG recently commissioned a study on beneficial ownership with the aim of understanding the state of play and developing an implementation roadmap. To date, registries of legal and beneficial ownership do not exist and a key recommendation from the recently published study was to reform the Companies Act 2009 and the Mines and Minerals Development Bill to explicitly mandate the Corporate Affairs Commission to maintain a publicly available ownership registry. Progress is currently ongoing to inculcate BO requirements. in both the Companies Act and the Mines and Minerals Development Bill There is a legal and regulatory framework for the collection of beneficial ownership information from mining companies applying for licenses through existing legislation, such as the Mineral and Mines Act 2009. Consulted stakeholders expressed that while the draft Mines and Minerals Development Bill would strengthen beneficial ownership collection and disclosure in the mining sector, further reforms to the Company’s Act are needed in order to extend these to the oil and gas sector and beyond the extractive sector. The Companies Act currently includes provisions for reporting of legal owners, as well as reporting of “beneficial interest”, when an individual’s ownership in a publicly listed company exceeds 10%. It remains unclear from EITI disclosures whether beneficial ownership data has systematically been requested from all companies holding or applying for extractive licenses since January 2020. Stakeholders consulted indicated that this information has not been explicitly requested from all companies applying for or holding a license in the extractive sector. The Corporate Governance Code requires companies to report beneficial owners to CAC, or to explain why they are not reporting. Stakeholder consultations suggest that some extractive companies have reported BO information to CAC, but this data is not publicly accessible. The MSG noted in its feedback on the draft Validation report, that requesting data from all extractive companies would have been challenging without legal basis. Sierra Leone's MSG has agreed upon a definition of beneficial ownership that includes thresholds for public disclosure. A legal definition of 'politically exposed person' is included in this definition and both are publicly available. Sierra Leone's EITI reporting indicates that beneficial ownership data has been requested from 14 companies deemed material in the 2019 EITI Report. Six companies reported BO data while legal ownership information is provided for by 11 of the 14 companies. Companies selected to report were requested to report all relevant data points listed in Requirement 2.5. The same quality assurances were requested as for other disclosures made by companies (see Requirement 4.9). There does not appear to be any mention about beneficial ownership information for applicants and bidders for extractive licenses. A brief assessment of the comprehensiveness and reliability of the disclosures are provided for in Annex 11 of the 2019 EITI Report. A review of the disclosed BO information suggests that the ultimate beneficial owners of most major companies are captured. There is no indication that the MSG has yet undertaken a review of the comprehensiveness and reliability of beneficial ownership disclosures by all extractive license-holders and applicants to date, although the 2019 EITI Report indicates which of the 14 material companies submitted BO data. There is currently no publicly accessible registry of beneficial and legal ownership for all companies operating in the extractives sector. Building on the SLEITI BO report that included practical recommendations, the MSG has set out specific activities in the 2022 work plan to address legal and practical barriers to comprehensive and quality disclosures. These include efforts to lobby key stakeholders to enact the Mines and Mineral Development Bill, map out strategies for implementation of the dedicated BO report, undertake a study on Phase 2 of BO Implementation and work with key agency to support launching of a public BO registry. A BO Technical Working Group has been established by the MSG to monitor and evaluate progress and report back to MSG and other key stakeholders on progress.

State participation

2.6 State participation

Not applicable

The MSG indicates in the Transparency file that Requirement 2.6 is not applicable in the period under review. The International Secretariat agrees with this assessment, as there is no indication of state participation in the extractive sector in the period under review (2019). The 2018 Validation report covers the repayment of the EUR 22m loan initially provided by the state to Sierra Rutile Limited, but the 2019 EITI Report states that the MSG considered loans and loan guarantees to be outside the scope of reporting due to flexible reporting for this validation cycle. However, the 2019 EITI Report does include a comment from the Independent Administrator that government agencies and extractive companies have confirmed that they did not provide loans or loan guarantees to mining, oil and gas companies operating within the country. Evidence suggests that the loan given to Sierra Rutile, with funds initially loaned to government from the European Union, was repaid before 2019. Concerning the state's 10% free carried interest in the Marampa Mine, industry and government stakeholders consulted confirmed that the state acquired this interest after the period under review. These stakeholders noted that, for the license awarded to Innoson Oil and Gas, the state did exercise their 10% free carried interest.

4.2 In-kind revenues

Not applicable

The 2019 EITI Report, along with the Feasibility Study for Mainstreaming EITI Reporting in Sierra Leone and SLEITI MSG meeting notes from 24 September 2021 all confirm that Requirement 4.2 is Not Applicable in the period under review.

4.5 SOE transactions

Not applicable

The MSG indicates in this template that Requirement 4.5 is Not Applicable in the period under review. The International Secretariat agrees with this assessment. There appear to have been no SOEs active in the extractive sector in the period under review (2019).

6.2 SOE quasi-fiscal expenditures

Not applicable

The 2019 EITI Report outlines the role of the state in mining and oil and gas activities and concludes that given that there are no state-owned enterprises participating in either sector, Requirement 6.2 is not applicable in the period under review.

Production and exports

3.2 Production data

60

The Secretariat's assessment is that Sierra Leone has mostly met Requirement 3.2. Publicly available production data does not appear to be comprehensive. In the oil and gas sector, there were no active licenses in the period under review and therefore no production values or volumes to report. In the mining sector, the 2019 EITI Report provides production volumes and values for what appears to be a selection of five large-scale mining operations. The MSG’s feedback confirms that the data available in the 2019 EITI Report covers material large scale companies, but not all mineral production. The MSG argued that the requirement should be considered as fully met, as available data represents a “significant portion” of the sector. The Bank of Sierra Leone (BSL) data portal includes timely systematic disclosures of production volumes by commodity. The MSG does not appear to have reviewed the comprehensiveness of this data vis-à-vis other data sources. The MSG’s feedback on the draft Validation report notes that the NMA is the primary source of this data. The MSG has commenced discussions with NMA and BSL to ensure comprehensive systematic disclosures of production volumes and values. Estimates for artisanal mining production volumes and values, mainly for gold and diamonds, found through the Environmental Protection Agency’s ASGM Overview of Sierra Leone and the SL Baseline Study on Artisanal Mining, indicate that total production volumes and values of gold and diamonds are higher than what is reported in this Transparency template and through the 2019 EITI Report. Kimberly Process estimates for diamond production in 2019 are also about 200,000 carats higher than estimates published in the 2019 EITI Report. The MSG noted in its feedback on the draft Validation report that going forward it will consider disclosures of estimates of ASM data. The MSG indicates in the Transparency file that not all production volumes and values were captured due to some companies falling below the materiality threshold of 0.1% of the total government revenue generated from the extractive sector. However, from the list of companies that met the materiality threshold (36 in total), only five companies, all large-scale mining companies, appear to be included in the production volumes and values in the EITI Report. According to the 2019 EITI Report, the NMA should have provided individual production reporting templates with volumes and values for all companies above the materiality threshold and a single reporting template for companies falling below the threshold. While those below the threshold would not have been disaggregated, this production information appears to be missing from the 2019 EITI Report and the Transparency template. For production volumes and values recorded for the 5 large-scale mining companies, these figures are disaggregated by region, commodity, and project. The 2019 EITI Report suggests that production values are calculated based on production costs (rather than e.g., sales value), which suggests that production values are underestimated, although the disclosure of production costs is commendable.

3.3 Export data

60

The Secretariat's assessment is that Sierra Leone has mostly met Requirement 3.3, which represents backsliding since the previous Validation. The level of disaggregation of available export data is commendable, but concerns remain about the comprehensiveness of the data. The MSG argued in its feedback that the requirement should be considered as fully met. In the oil and gas sector, there were no active licenses in the period under review and therefore no export data to report. Concerning exports in the mining sector, the 2019 EITI Report provides export volumes and values for what appears to be only 15 out of 36 mining companies deemed to be above the 0.1% materiality threshold. Many of these companies are exporters, presumably buying commodities from ASM producers. The ASGM Overview, written in 2018, estimated that the annual export value of gold produced would be approximately 130 million USD. The SL Baseline Study corroborates this disparity in gold exports versus what is provided through 2019 EITI Reporting as it notes that only about 4% of gold produced in Sierra Leone is exported legally, with most gold being smuggled through Guinea. It does not appear that the MSG took artisanal gold mining into account when estimating export volumes and values. Kimberly Process estimates for diamond exports in 2019 are slightly higher than those provided through EITI reporting. It appears that the 2019 EITI Report does take artisanal mined diamonds into account when it comes to exports. For export volumes and values reported by company, these figures are further disaggregated by region, commodity, and project. Additionally, the Bank of Sierra Leone discloses in its data portal monthly export values by commodity in a timely manner, although these are not referenced in the Transparency file. Systematic disclosure of export volumes do not appear to be available through any government websites. The MSG’s feedback on the draft Validation report notes that the NMA is the primary source of this data. The MSG has commenced discussions with NMA and BSL to ensure comprehensive systematic disclosures of production volumes and values. Of greater concern, the MSG states in the Transparency template that not all export volumes and values were captured due to some companies falling below the materiality threshold of 0.1% of the total government revenue generated from the extractive sector. In accordance with Requirement 3.3, all export volumes and values should be reported, regardless of any materiality threshold.

Revenue collection

4.1 Comprehensiveness

90

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Sierra Leone has fully met Requirement 4.1. Disclosure of material and non-material company payments and government revenues from material mining companies are provided both in aggregate by revenue stream and government entity and by company and revenue stream. Given that there were no active oil and gas exploration licenses in the period under review, the MSG explained that there were no material revenues or payments arising from the oil and gas sector. The MSG’s decisions on materiality thresholds are clear for the selection of revenue streams and companies. In line with the corrective action from the previous Validation, Capital Gains Tax (CGT) was considered in the scope, although no CGT payments were identified for 2019. There are no forms of taxpayer confidentiality that inhibit government entities from disaggregating revenues by stream and company and all government entities deemed material comprehensively disclosed all revenues, including from non-material companies. There are some concerns about the comprehensiveness of company data as six out of the fourteen material companies indicate that they do not publicly disclose their audited financial statements and for those companies that do, hyperlinks are not provided through the 2019 EITI Report for ease of access. Public disclosure of audited financial statements is only an encouraged aspect of Requirement 4.1 and the lack of these statements from some material companies does not affect the Secretariat’s assessment of this requirement. One stakeholder consulted explained that any large gaps between available company and government disclosures were clarified and that data provided was reliable.

4.3 Infrastructure provisions and barter arrangements

Not applicable

The 2019 EITI Report, along with the Feasibility Study for Mainstreaming EITI Reporting in Sierra Leone and SLEITI MSG meeting notes from 24 September 2021 all confirm that Requirement 4.3 is Not Applicable in the period under review. Kingho Railways and Port is explained by the MSG to be leasing rail and port infrastructure that is 100% owned by the Government of Sierra Leone. There is no documentary or anecdotal evidence that the award of the railway and port concession to a subsidiary of a mining company was in full or partial exchange for the granting of mining rights or the physical delivery of mineral commodities. The lease agreement is not yet public, but stakeholder consultations suggest that there are plans to disclose the lease agreement.

4.4 Transportation revenues

Not applicable

The 2019 EITI Report, along with the Feasibility Study for Mainstreaming EITI Reporting in Sierra Leone and SLEITI MSG meeting notes from 24 September 2021 all confirm that Requirement 4.4 is Not Applicable in the period under review. The MSG indicates in the Transparency template that the railway and port arrangement under the Kingho lease agreement is covered under Requirement 4.3, but the lease agreement is not yet public, although it should be disclosed soon and will then be reviewed. A review of the agreement is necessary to understand how the terms surrounding the use of the rail and port infrastructure owned by African Railway and Port Services (SL) Limited may have changed since the last Validation in 2018. The MSG is encouraged to pay particular attention to issues related to Requirement 4.4 going forward.

4.7 Level of disaggregation

60

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Sierra Leone has mostly met Requirement 4.7. Financial data disclosed in the 2019 EITI Report is disaggregated by government entity, revenue stream, and company. In addition, data is disaggregated by mining agreement (project) for the six largest projects (Annex 6). A publicly available definition of project is available, but it remains unclear whether there is de facto project-level reporting, which would be the case if each material mining company holds only one exploration or production mining license. The MSG noted in its feedback on the draft Validation report that companies report their payments to NRA by project, in accordance with the Extractive Industries Revenue Act. It argued that the requirement should be considered as fully met. However, the MSG’s comments also note that one mining company may have more than one license. It is not clear from the 2019 EITI Report or the Summary Data File, whether some of the material companies are involved in more than one project. The Secretariat is therefore unable to confirm whether revenues are reported de facto by project for projects other than the six that are clearly disaggregated. The MSG appears to have adequately scoped the specific material revenue streams collected by the central government that are levied at a project level. At the subnational level, only surface rent payments are considered to be within scope, and these payments are disclosed at the project level by the companies.

4.8 Data timeliness

90

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Sierra Leone has fully met Requirement 4.8. The 2019 EITI Report was published in December 2021, within two years of the end fiscal period. The 2017-18 EITI Report was published in December 2019. The MSG mentions in the Transparency template some cursory plans to improve the timeliness of reporting in future EITI reporting cycles but does not cite published documents reflecting these plans.

4.9 Data quality and assurance

90

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Sierra Leone has fully met Requirement 4.9. The MSG has made efforts to ensure the reliability of EITI financial data, but its EITI reporting lacks a clear assessment of whether government data is subject to credible, independent audit applying international audit standards. The 2019 EITI Report builds on the flexible approach to reporting, so revenue data was not reconciled. Data was mostly disclosed unilaterally by government agencies, with additional information on subnational payments and social expenditures requested from companies. This underlines the importance of examining underlying audit procedures. Reporting entities’ adherence to the agreed data assurance mechanisms is documented in the 2019 EITI Report. The MSG provided additional information on the government’s auditing standards in its comments to the draft Validation report. It noted that government reporting entities’ financial statements are audited by the Audit Service of Sierra Leone. The Audit Service of Sierra Leone is a member of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) and African Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (AFROSAI) and applies the International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAI) issued by (INTOSAI) in its auditing work. The Audit Service Sierra Leone’s Mandate and Framework are available online. The MSG confirmed that the Auditor General audited the accounts of all the reporting Government Agencies for 2019 before the EITI reporting process commenced. In light of this information, the Secretariat considers that the requirement has been fully met. The MSG agreed to an approach to disclosure of payments and revenues that is aligned with the terms of reference approved by the EITI Board for flexible EITI Reports. MSG deliberations and decisions are summarised through the 2019 EITI Report and meeting minutes for 2021 are publicly accessible through the SLEITI website. Reporting templates and methodology for the 2019 EITI Report are documented in the public domain. All non-financial information in the 2019 EITI Report appears clearly sourced. The 2019 EITI Report provides a review of government and company audit and assurance practices in 2019. Industry stakeholders consulted noted that mining companies operating in Sierra Leone were typically subsidiaries of international companies and therefore adhered to international audit standards. The 2019 EITI Report notes that the MSG required all extractive companies selected as material to submit copies of their audited financial statements, Annex 11 of the 2019 EITI Report shows that six out of the 14 material mining companies did not submit their audited financial statements for 2019. The quality assurances for EITI reporting consisted of management certification of the reporting templates. The government reporting templates were attested by the Auditor General. Two of the 14 material companies (SierraMin Bauxite (SL) Limited and S.L Mining Ltd) did not submit certified and signed reporting templates, as requested by the MSG (Annex 11 of the 2019 EITI report). However, at least SierraMin Bauxite had its license cancelled, which may have affected its reporting. In total, these two companies contributed only 2.4% of total government revenue from the sector in 2019. A statement from the IA related to comprehensiveness and reliability of financial data on company payments and government revenues in the 2019 EITI Report confirms the assessment by the MSG of “high quality of overall data” reported by extractive companies and government entities. However, given the omission of signed quality assurances and audited financial statements by some companies, the reliability of company data remains a concern. Companies were requested to report on, for example, subnational payments and social expenditures, while payments to the central government were unilaterally disclosed by the government.

Revenue management

5.1 Distribution of revenues

60

The Secretariat's preliminary assessment is that Sierra Leone has mostly met Requirement 5.1, which represents backsliding compared to the previous Validation. The assessment does not suggest that disclosures have deteriorated since the previous Validation, but rather indicates that the current Validation Guide places emphasis on whether the objective of the requirement has been fulfilled. The objective of the requirement is to ensure the traceability of extractive revenues to the national budget and ensure the same level of transparency and accountability for extractive revenues that are not recorded in the national budget. The Secretariat’s assessment based on available documentation and stakeholder consultations is that the second part of the objective is yet to be fulfilled. While the comprehensiveness of disclosures of subnational payments has improved (see Requirement 4.6), there are still concerns regarding accountability in their distribution, in particular related to revenues that are not recorded in local government budgets. The MSG argues in its feedback on the draft Validation report that the requirement should be considered as fully met, as significant progress has been made towards the transparency of subnational revenues. The feedback recognises accountability challenges in the use of subnational revenues. EITI reporting explains that not all extractive sector revenues are recorded in the national budget as some are paid directly to subnational government entities (MPs, district councils, paramount chiefs, chiefdom councils). Financial reports about the management of these funds do not appear to be publicly available. The lack of information about the management of subnational payments is considered a gap considering the relevance of the issue in Sierra Leone’s context. Not all subnational payments are recorded in local government budgets, and there does not appear to be publicly available information about the allocation of these revenues, such as financial reports. The MSG’s feedback highlights efforts by SLEITI, the Multi-Stakeholder Task Force on Public Disclosure of Subnational payments/transfers to communities and the Anti-Corruption Commission to increase transparency of the allocation of subnational revenues. The 2018 EITI Validation highlighted the need for more transparency around sovereign wealth funds (such as the Transformational Development Stabilization Fund and Intergenerational Savings Fund). The latest 2019 EITI Report does not appear to shed new light on these funds, although stakeholder consultations suggest that extractive sector revenues were not earmarked for these funds in 2019. The MSG’s feedback confirms that the funds are not operational and that the MSG will ensure that once they do become operational, allocation of revenues to these funds will be disclosed. The 2019 EITI Report does not reference either national or international revenue classification systems.

5.3 Revenue management and expenditures

Not assessed

The Secretariat's assessment is that Sierra Leone has made some progress in disclosing information on extractive revenue management and expenditure, although all encouraged aspects of Requirement 5.3 have yet to be addressed. Therefore, Requirement 5.3 remains not assessed, pending comprehensive disclosures of all information encouraged to be disclosed in accordance with Requirement 5.3. The 2019 EITI Report and government portals such as the Ministry of Finance and Audit Service of Sierra Leone websites provide information on earmarked extractive revenues and the central government's budget and audit procedures but do not appear to provide information on projections and assumptions underpinning the budget. While there are cursory descriptions of the funds financed by extractive revenues, there are no descriptions of the methods for ensuring accountability and efficiency in the use of earmarked funds. Some stakeholders consulted considered that while the 2019 EITI Report fills many gaps identified in the 2018 Validation Report, more efforts should be made to improve the transparency of the management of subnational revenues.

Subnational contributions

4.6 Subnational payments

90

The Secretariat's assessment is that Sierra Leone has fully met Requirement 4.6. The 2019 EITI Report comprehensively documents the payment and collection of surface rental payments from mining companies to local government units with material companies and subnational government entities submitting reporting templates. The selection of material companies was based on a USD500,000 threshold of total payments to government in 2019. Consulted stakeholders noted that recipient entities were requested to report land surface payment received from any mining company. None reported payments by companies that were not among those deemed as material in terms of their payments to the national government. This suggests that other (non-material) extractive companies did not make land surface rent payments. Stakeholders consulted noted that while there are other subnational payments that extractive companies make to local government units, surface rental payments were by far the most important and impactful. Hence other subnational payments are considered immaterial. This assessment is based on information collected from material companies, which were requested to report on any type of subnational payments. Companies did not report any other subnational payments other than surface rental during data collection phase. Companies were requested to attest that all information provided was reliable (see Requirement 4.9). EITI reporting was also used as an opportunity to discuss progress on the standardisation of surface rental payment rates, which was considered as part of the revision of the mining bill.

5.2 Subnational transfers

90

The Secretariat's assessment is that Sierra Leone has fully met Requirement 5.2. Information on subnational transfers from the Diamond Area Community Development Fund (DACDF) can be found through EITI reporting and the formula used to calculate revenue distributions from the central government to DACDF is publicly available. Actual transfers to each subnational government entity from DACDF in the period under review are listed in Annex 12 of the 2019 EITI Report. The formula guiding transfers from DACDF to communities in 2019 is available through a 2008 publication from the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Ministry of Local Government that government stakeholders confirmed was still in use. However, it does not appear that a comparison was made between projected figures using this formula and what was actually transferred in 2019 to highlight any possible deviations. The available information does not enable the public to undertake this assessment, as the distribution of revenues is based on the number of licenses in each community. Following the draft Validation report, SLEITI disclosed on its website the calculation of how much should have been transferred to each community in 2019 and the underlying number of licenses. The MSG has not documented an analysis of whether calculated amounts correspond with actual transfers. The calculated sums are in leone, while the actual transfers are presented in USD in the 2019 EITI Report. However, with the exchange rate available, it is possible for the public to make the comparison between sums calculated in accordance with the revenue-sharing formula, and actual transfers. Data quality and assurance of information procedures do not appear to be addressed for DACDF transfers, specifically, and there is no documentation around how extractive revenues are managed at the subnational level. However, data quality and assurance of information are only encouraged aspects of Requirement 5.2 and do not represent material gaps. While the MSG notes that there are reforms in progress to improve the revenue sharing mechanism and its accountability, it is not clear whether this is addressed outside of the Transparency template.

6.1 Social and environmental expenditures

90

The Secretariat's assessment is that Sierra Leone has fully met Requirement 6.1. The 2019 EITI Report discloses mandatory and voluntary social expenditures. MSG feedback on the draft Validation report confirms that the disclosures of mandatory social expenditures in 2019 are comprehensive. EITI reporting outlines the relevant sections of law that require mandatory social expenditure and environmental expenditure by extractives companies, which in Sierra Leone's current situation consists of only mining companies. Community development agreements (CDAs) govern social payments and are required under Section 139 of the Mining Code to be agreed between all small and large-scale mining operations and the primary host community. Civil society stakeholders consulted stressed the need for more transparency around Community Development Agreements and their implementation in practice. Stakeholders noted that adherence to proper procedures has improved with better communication between the National Minerals Agency and the National Revenue Authority. Given the lack of systematic disclosure of mining companies’ mandatory social expenditures, the 2019 EITI Report requested information on social and environmental expenditures from 14 mining companies considered material. A threshold indicating which social and environmental expenditures were considered material was not used, meaning that all such expenditures were disclosed. Seven out of 14 material mining companies reported social and environmental expenditures with four out of these seven disclosing mandatory expenditures disaggregated at the level mandated in Requirement 6.1.a. The IA explained that payments made through CDAs are based on revenues from the prior fiscal year. The IA noted that this explained why only four companies reported mandatory social payments in 2019 The IA considered that all mandatory social payments were captured in the 2019 EITI Report. Data quality pertaining to mandatory social or environmental payments is provided through agreed quality assurances for company EITI reporting defined in Requirement 4.9. The reporting covers discretionary social expenditures as well. These are disclosed by six out of the fourteen material mining companies. Some government stakeholders indicated that the NMA collects information on mandatory and voluntary social expenditures through regular company reporting. However, this is not disaggregated to the level required by Requirement 6.1 or publicly available. Systematic disclosures of this information could, however, provide additional, timely information to stakeholders and help to ensure the comprehensiveness of EITI reporting. Environmental licensing and monitoring fees paid by companies to the EPA are disclosed in the annexes of the 2019 SLEITI Report unilaterally by the EPA. Additionally, companies have disclosed other environmental expenditures. The disclosure of these payments appears to be comprehensive.


Key documents


Contacts