Encouraging systematic disclosure
The 2016 EITI Standard enables implementing countries to disclose the information required by the EITI Standard through routine government and corporate reporting, and consultation systems such as websites, annual reports etc. This paper recommends that systematic disclosure should be firmly established as the default expectation, with EITI Reports used to address any gaps and concerns about data quality. Implementing countries could still continue to publish annual EITI reports collating and analysing the information from primary sources in order to make this information more accessible and comprehensible, especially for stakeholders that do not have access to online information.
This approach to EITI implementation can deliver more timely, comprehensive and reliable data to inform public debate. It will reduce the number of EITI processes operating in a silo detached from other government efforts. It is also more cost effective and helps address the limited funding available for standalone EITI reporting and national secretariats.
While this transition is already well underway in many implementing countries, most countries face challenges in fully mainstreaming EITI implementation. In some countries, this transition will require substantial reforms and sustained political, technical and financial support. Not all countries will be able to transition to systematic disclosure at the same speed. The paper therefore suggests a gradual transition that takes national circumstances into account.
This work raises questions about the future role and responsibilities of EITI multi-stakeholder groups (MSGs). In some cases, the function of MSGs may evolve to focus on monitoring whether disclosures are comprehensive, analysing the data, raising public awareness, and/or developing recommendations for reform. In other cases, as illustrated in Norway, stakeholders may prefer other channels for stakeholder consultation, advocacy, engagement and dialogue.