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Paramaribo, Suriname

Suriname

Status
Meaningful progress
Joined
24 May 2017
Latest validation
2021
Latest data from
2017
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Overview and role of the EITI

Suriname, a country of approximately 560 000 inhabitants, has a long history of developing extractive resources. The country’s economy is highly dependent on the extractive sector; oil and gold account for approximately 85% of the country’s exports and 27% of its government revenues.

Suriname’s national oil company, Staatsolie, plays a dominant role in the country’s oil sector and was mainly active in onshore production until 2016. Since then, Staatsolie has been the contracting party on behalf of the government for offshore exploration agreements with international oil companies.

Suriname’s mining sector, historically driven by bauxite production, is mainly dominated by gold, which accounted for nearly three-quarters of the country’s exports in 2017. Artisanal and small-scale gold mining also plays an important role in Suriname.

EITI Suriname aims to use the EITI platform to mainstream EITI reporting in government systems, disseminate key information on the sector, strengthen beneficial ownership disclosure and expand EITI reporting to also include construction materials.

Economic contribution of the extractive industries

27%
TO GOVERNMENT REVENUE
85%
TO EXPORTS
7.6%
TO GDP
  • Step 1
  • Step 2
  • Step 3

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


Innovations and policy reforms

  • The EITI process has motivated government agencies to overcome challenges regarding royalty payments made by gold exporters and to involve them in the EITI process to improve royalty disclosures.
  • EITI implementation in Suriname has led Staatsolie to commit to make Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) publicly available.
  • Civil society has a wide representation in Suriname’s EITI multi-stakeholder group, which includes a seat for an Indigenous and Tribal Peoples (ITPs) representative.

A significant step was taken by the government of Suriname in the past months regarding the transparency of the mining licenses. As a result, the application process for mining licenses is online, cadastre management has improved, and this information is available for the public online. We acknowledge the fact that Suriname’s candidature for implementing the EITI Standard contributed to all these improvements.

Dave A. Abeleven Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Natural Resources

Extractive sector data

Revenue collection

Level of detail 2

Revenue distribution

2017
Standardised revenue types

Top paying companies

2017

Extractive sector management

Licenses and contracts

Applications for mining rights are processed by the Geological Mining Service (GMD) and are reviewed and approved by the Ministry of Natural Resources in accordance with the Mining Decree. Suriname does not have a public mining license register, however some information about issued licenses is included in EITI Reports.

Oil and gas licenses are first awarded to Staatsolie which, as regulator of the petroleum industry, has continued to promote open offshore blocks via an “open door invitation” bidding system for international oil companies. Staatsolie awards hydrocarbon licenses in the form of production sharing contracts (PSCs). The Ministry of Natural Resources does not maintain a register for hydrocarbon concessions granted to Staatsolie, and the oil license register maintained by Staatsolie is not publicly available. Some contracts, including the model PSC, are available via resourceontracts.org.

Beneficial ownership

Suriname does not have a legal framework mandating the disclosure of beneficial ownership. The 2017 EITI Report includes beneficial ownership information for several companies, including RGM, NS, NV1, Kosmos Energy Suriname, Petronas Suriname and Tullow Oil Suriname, however the data is not comprehensive. Information on the beneficial owners of small and medium-scale mining operations is not available.

EITI Suriname agreed a definition of beneficial ownership which will underpin beneficial ownership disclosures in its forthcoming EITI Report.

Revenue distribution

All extractive revenues flow to the central government, and subnational payments are not applicable in Suriname.


EITI implementation

Governance

EITI Suriname is administered by the Suriname Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG), which is hosted by the Ministry of Natural Resources. The MSG is chaired by the Minister of Natural Resources, Mr. David Abiamofo.

Validation

Suriname was found to have made meaningful progress in implementing the 2016 EITI Standard in March 2021, following its first Validation. The Validation identified 19 corrective actions to be addressed by the country’s next Validation, expected to commence in April 2023.

Timeline

Scorecard

Latest Validation: 5 May 2021
Year

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

While some government representatives seem fully, actively and effectively engaged in the EITI process, commitment is not consistent across government agencies. There is government participation in MSG meetings and EITI reporting. The strong initial commitment of the government to EITI has weakened throughout implementation, however there are signs pointing to a renewed government’s commitment.

1.2Industry engagement

Industry engagement with the EITI process appears to be limited to reporting data, and there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate that the constituency is fully engaged in the EITI process. There is an enabling environment for company participation, an appropriate representation in the MSG, and the fundamental rights of company representatives engaged in the EITI are respected.

1.3Civil society engagement

Civil society is actively effectively engaged in the EITI process and there is no indication of restrictions to expression, association or operation. Stakeholders are able to engage actively in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the EITI process. Stakeholders are able to communicate and cooperate with each other and are able to operate freely and express opinions about the EITI without restraint, coercion or reprisal.

1.4MSG governance

The MSG has representatives from each stakeholder group with no suggestion of interference or coercion in the nomination processes. There seems to be an agreement on the internal processes by which each stakeholder group nominated their representatives, even though CSOs are the only ones with a clearly documented selection process. All civil society representatives on the MSG are independent, operationally and in policy terms, from government. There have been some deviations from the MSG’s ToRs in practice. These include a lack of proper staffing for the NS as well as clarity on its institutional hosting, inconsistent MSG attendance and frequently delayed MSG meetings minutes which have affected the MSG discussions and follow-ups.

1.5Work plan

The work plan includes vague objectives for the EITI in Suriname and does not appear to reflect fully national or constituency’s priorities for the extractive industries and EITI principles. The work plan includes very limited activities related to the scope of EITI reporting. While the work plan is publicly available, was endorsed by the MSG, and all constituencies had the opportunity to influence on it, it lacks a clear account of costs as well as an updated progress of implementation. The work plan does not identify or outline plans to address any potential legal or regulatory obstacles to EITI implementation apart from BO disclosures legal challenges.

Licenses and contracts

2.1Legal framework

The 2017 EITI Report includes an overview of relevant laws, government entities, fiscal terms in the mining, oil, and gas sector at the level of legislation, the degree of fiscal devolution and brief commentary on current reforms.

2.2License allocations

The 2017 EITI Report includes the number of mining licenses awarded and transferred in 2017 but does not include further required information about these licenses. It does not clarify the procedures followed for their award and transfer in practice and does not provide either a general description of the process for awarding mining licenses and oil contracts through competitive bidding, nor the process for transferring licenses. The existence of bid criteria for oil license awards, and a list of bidders for the two oil contracts awarded in 2017 is unclear, as is the types of technical and financial criteria assessed in the award of two mining licenses in 2017.

2.3License register

The 2017 EITI Report provides only a fraction of the information listed under Requirement 2.3.b and related only to some large-scale mining licenses. There is significant uncertainty over the comprehensiveness of license information collected by GMD to date. While there are plans to digitize license information, the cadastre system is not yet operational. Staatsolie does not publish oil contracts, aside from dates of application, on its website which might include most information listed under Requirement 2.3.b.

2.4Policy on contract disclosure

The 2017 EITI Report clarifies the government’s policy for contract disclosure in the oil sector and documents Staatsolie’s commitment to make PSCs publicly available. While the Report does not document the government’s policy for disclosing mining contracts, mining contracts are approved by the parliament, and are easily accessible in the Parliament’s website. It is not clear however whether mining contracts exist for ASM. There is no public accessibility of the full text of mining licenses by the MONR, and the government policy on the public disclosure of the full text of mining and oil and gas license is not sufficiently clarified. Oil and gas licenses are awarded to Staatsolie who then enter into PSCs with private oil companies. The oil license register maintained by Staatsolie is not publicly available.

2.5Beneficial ownership

EITI-SR has not agreed appropriate definitions for the terms “beneficial owner” and “politically exposed person”. EITI-SR requested BO data from extractive companies making material payments, and also agreed assurances that reporting companies were requested to provide although not applicable exclusively to BO data. Legal instruments provide a limited legal basis for disclosures as the Acts required for this information to be shared only with relevant authorities. There is no government committed to establishing a public register of beneficial owners. Information on legal owners of reporting extractive companies has been published in the 2017 EITI Report. There is limited progress on the BO Roadmap.

2.6State participation

The practice of Staatsolie’s financial relations with government is clear from the EITI Report combined with Staatsolie’s Annual Report and financial statements. While the rules governing Staatsolie’s financial relations with government are not described in the EITI Report, Staatsolie appears to be regulated under the 1936 Suriname Commercial Code, which applies to all companies. There is very little publicly accessible information on Grassalco, with none of the information listed in Requirement 2.6.a available. There is little information on a state-owned company called NV1, although it seems the entity was absorbed by Staatsolie in early 2020.

Monitoring production

3.1Exploration data

The 2017 EITI Report provides an overview of the extractive industries, including significant exploration activities.

3.2Production data

The 2017 EITI Report refers to different sources where export volumes and values for gold and oil exported in Suriname under the year of review are publicly accessible being gold the material mineral exported in Suriname in 2017.

3.3Export data

The 2017 EITI Report refers to different sources where export volumes and values for all extractive commodities exported are publicly accessible.

Revenue collection

4.1Comprehensiveness

Reconciliations appears to include all revenue streams. Materiality considerations are adequately documented in the 2017 EITI Report. A reporting threshold in terms of a company’s total payments to government is not stated. Gold exporters who account for a share of royalties paid on gold production (produced by ASM) were not included in the scope of reporting in 2017. Combined royalty payments by gold exporters seem material. The MSG does not appear to have assessed whether payments by any individual exporter exceeded the materiality threshold in 2017. The total weight of royalty payments made by these companies and the total number of companies suggest that it is likely that some of them made material payments. Data reported by the Central Bank was reported in an aggregated way without identification of royalty payments per gold exporter. All material companies and government agency, the MOF, reported as requested. Total government revenues are disclosed by revenue stream.

4.2In-kind revenues

The 2017 EITI Report discloses volumes sold and revenues received for the gold sold under the year of review. The Report does not provide disclosures broken down by individual buying company. Volumes sold and revenues received for silver was not disclosed. There is no evidence of an MSG agreement related to the materiality of silver collected albeit stakeholders confirmed the lack of materiality of silver in-kind payments.

4.3Barter agreements

Not applicable

The International Secretariat’s initial assessment is that the requirement is not applicable in Suriname.

4.4Transportation revenues

Not applicable

The International Secretariat’s initial assessment is that the requirement is not applicable in Suriname.

4.5SOE transactions

The role of the two SOE’s operating in the extractive industries in Suriname, Staatsolie and Grassalco, is disclosed in the 2017 EITI Report. The report does not confirm whether mining, oil, and gas companies made any tax or non-tax payments to Staatsolie under the year of review. Staatsolie received mining revenues from its participation in the Merian Gold Mine, however these payments were not disclosed or reconciled in the EITI Report. Dividends paid by Staatsolie are disclosed. As noted in Requirement 2.6, the practice of Staatsolie’s financial relations with government is clear from the EITI Report combined with Staatsolie’s annual report and financial statements. There is limited publicly accessible information on Grassalco. The International Secretariat was not able to confirm whether there were any transactions between Grassalco and the Government of Suriname apart from the SOE’s transfer of the proceeds of the sale of in-kind gold revenue to the government. However, gaps in coverage of Grassalco’s transactions should be considered in the context of the low materiality of transactions involving Grassalco, whose activities are primarily focused on crushed stone quarrying.

4.6Direct subnational payments

Not applicable

The International Secretariat’s initial assessment is that the requirement is not applicable in Suriname.

4.7Disaggregation

Reconciled financial data in the 2017 EITI Report is presented disaggregated by company, revenue flow and collecting government entity.

4.8Data timeliness

Even when there was a delay with the publication of the 2016 EITI Report, the 2017 EITI Report was published on time which shows the willingness to meet the timeliness requirement.

4.9Data quality

There is evidence that the MSG oversaw the Independent Administrator procurement process. The ToRs for the EITI Report agreed between the MSG and the IA are in line with the standard ToRs and the ‘agreed upon procedure for EITI Reports’ endorsed by the EITI Board. There were not material deviations from the agreed ToRs in practice identified by the International Secretariat. For reporting companies, the report clearly states which companies provided financial statements, as well as compliance with assurance agreed by the MSG. For the MOF, the only government reporting agency, the 2017 EITI Report confirms there were no assurances requested nor provided for the revenues reported. MSG members consider the IA to be credible and competent. The EITI Report does not include the IA’s assessment of comprehensiveness and data reliability, but there is no indication of the data not being reliable and comprehensive. There is evidence that the MSG discussed and approved the reporting templates.

Revenue allocation

5.1Distribution of revenues

The 2017 EITI Report states that all government extractive revenues are recorded in the national budget and provides an overview of the national revenue classification system. While the in-kind gold royalties collected by Grassalco on behalf of the MOF are not explicitly recorded in the national budget, the Report states that the proceeds of the sale of that gold transferred by Grassalco to the MOF are indeed recorded in the national budget.

5.2Subnational transfers

Not applicable

The International Secretariat’s initial assessment is that the requirement is not applicable in Suriname.

5.3Revenue management and expenditures

Not applicable

Apart from a general and broad description of the budgeting process, the International Secretariat’s view is that EITI report does not contain information on the budget audit process, or information related to the management of extractive sector revenue and related expenditures.

Socio-economic contribution

6.1Mandatory social expenditures

While the 2017 EITI Report states the existence of social expenditures mandated by contracts for mining and oil in the period under review, the disclosure of mandatory social expenditures is not disaggregated by type of payment - distinguishing between cash and in-kind, expect for RGM, and the beneficiary(ies) of these social expenditures were not disclosed where these were third parties. The report does not confirm whether social expenditures mandate by Law exist in Suriname.

6.2SOE quasi-fiscal expenditures

6.3Economic contribution

All required information is disclosed, apart from employment data required as requested by Requirement 6.3.d.

Outcomes and impact

7.1Public debate

Suriname’s Reports are comprehensible, publicly accessible, and have been promoted and disseminated to the public during launching events, and through the EITI-SR website, though further dissemination efforts could have been conducted to stimulate the debate on extractives governance in Suriname. Companies and CSOs have not fully engaged in the communications efforts beyond attending the launching of the Reports except for Staatsolie which includes in its main page a public EITI support statement. There has been very limited evidence of government, companies or CSOs using the data from the EITI Reports. The MSG did not agree an open data policy.

7.2Data accessibility

Not applicable

Requirement 7.2 encourages the MSGs to make EITI reports accessible to public in open data formats. Such efforts are encouraged but not required and are not assessed in determining compliance with the EITI Standard. Suriname has made efforts to improve data accessibility, and there is potential for further mainstreaming disclosures through government systems.

7.3Follow up on recommendations

There is some evidence pointing to actions taken by the MSG to act upon lessons learned and implement reforms, such as the online application for mining rights, and to further investigate the barriers for implementation of BO disclosures. Nonetheless, there does not appear to be a system in place to discuss, prioritise and adequately process recommendations from EITI reports to enhance EITI implementation, nor is there any indication that working groups have been set up to address specific recommendations.

7.4Outcomes and impact of implementation

The 2018 APR poorly documents progress in implementing the 2017-2018 work plan which is not the most recent work plan. The work plan is limited to document progress on Requirement 2.5. All constituencies had a chance to contribute to the APR. However, it appears that the MSG has not reviewed the impact and outcomes of EITI implementation. The 2018 APR does not provide a narrative account of efforts to strength the impact of EITI implementation on natural resource governance.


Key documents


Contacts