Guidance Note: EITI Requirement 2.3
Register of licenses
|This guidance note refers to the 2019 EITI Standard.|
Most resource-rich countries have registries to help them manage their extractive industry licensing systems. License registries are databases that contain documentation related to all exploration, development and extractive rights awarded to companies. The format of such databases varies from Excel spreadsheets to sophisticated, online systems with geographical, geological and other contextual information, such as license documents.
Public disclosure of license registers enables citizens to know which companies have been awarded rights to exploit their natural resources, for what purpose, and where. This enables public oversight of extractive activities at the project level, i.e. by oil field or mine. Keeping an accurate registry system is essential to encourage investment, clarify property rights, mitigate environmental degradation, help avoid conflicts over the ownership and location of extractive sector activities, and improve oversight and accountability in the license allocation process.
Requirement 2.3 of the EITI Standard requires implementing countries to maintain up-to-date and comprehensive license registers. Registers and cadastres should document specific information for all active extractive rights, including the companies that are awarded rights and the commodities, geographical area, and time period covered by each license. Where there are legal or practical barriers to full disclosure (e.g. confidentiality clauses in legal agreements or the absence of disclosure platforms), these should be documented along with intended measures to overcome them. Where data on license registers is systematically disclosed, EITI reporting can focus on analysing and assessing the quality of disclosures.
This note provides guidance to multi-stakeholder groups (MSGs) on how to address barriers related to the disclosure of license registers and strengthen transparency surrounding extractive rights. It should be read alongside guidance on contract and license allocations (Requirement 2.2) and disclosures of beneficial ownership of license holders (Requirement 2.5).