Guidance note 1 on becoming an EITI candidate
Guidance note 1 - Requirement 1
- EITI Sign-up: Steps for becoming an EITI candidate country
- Applying to become an EITI candidate
- Adapted implementation
- What further support is available?
- Examples of candidature applications
A country intending to implement the EITI is required to undertake a number of steps before applying to become an EITI candidate country. The EITI Standard sets out the steps that need to be satisfied in order to become an EITI candidate country:
- The government is required to issue an unequivocal public statement of its intention to implement the EITI. The statement must be made by the head of state or government, or an appropriately delegated government representative (Requirement 1.1.a).
- The government is required to appoint a senior individual to lead the implementation of the EITI (Requirement 1.1.b).
- The government is required to commit to work with civil society and companies, and establish a multi-stakeholder group to oversee the implementation of the EITI (Requirement 1.4.a).
- The multi-stakeholder group is required to maintain a current work plan, fully costed and aligned with the reporting and Validation deadlines established by the EITI Board (Requirement 1.5).
The “sign-up” steps are described in more detail in the Requirements 1.1 – 1.5 of the EITI Standard (pp 13-16).
When a country has completed the “sign-up” steps and wishes to be recognized as an EITI candidate, the government should submit an EITI candidate application, endorsed by the multi-stakeholder group, to the EITI Board. The application should describe the activities undertaken to date and provide evidence demonstrating that each of the sign-up steps have been completed. The application should include contact details for government, civil society and private sector stakeholders involved in the preparations for implementing the EITI.
In February 2016 the EITI Board adopted the 2016 EITI Standard. An overview of the changes is available here. In June, the Board agreed the transitional arrangements for how the changes from the 2013 EITI Standard come into force. Prospective candidate countries are encouraged to review these changes. For example, it includes a requirement that countries applying for candidature after 1 January 2017 include roadmap for the disclosure of beneficial ownership information (requirement 2.5.b.ii).
Once submitted, the application will be made publically available on the EITI website. The EITI Board, working through the Outreach and Candidature Committee, will review the application and assess whether the sign-up steps have been completed. The International Secretariat will work closely with the senior individual appointed by the government to lead on EITI implementation in order to clarify any outstanding issues. Based on this and any other available information, the EITI Board’s Outreach and Candidature Committee will make a recommendation to the EITI Board on whether a country’s application should be accepted. The EITI Board takes the final decision.
The EITI Board aims to process applications within 8 weeks of receiving the application. The EITI Board prefers to make decisions on admitting an EITI candidate country at EITI Board meetings, although may consider taking a decision via Board circular between meetings where appropriate.
When the EITI Board admits an EITI candidate, it also establishes deadlines for publishing the first EITI Report and undertaking Validation. An implementing country’s first EITI Report must be published within 18 months from the date that the country was admitted as an EITI candidate. EITI candidate countries will be required to commence Validation within two and a half years. Further information on compliance and deadline policies is available in Requirement 8 of the EITI Standard (pp 32-38).
One of the most important changes to the 2016 EITI Standard is the inclusion of provisions to enable mainstreamed transparency. In the long term, extractive industry transparency should not be confined to the EITI, but become an integral part of how governments manage their sector. Rather than simply relying on the EITI reporting mechanism to bring about transparency, governments implementing the EITI can to a greater extent make the information required by the EITI Standard available through government and corporate reporting systems such as databases, websites, annual reports, portals etc. In some cases, there might already be reporting mechanisms in place that the EITI can build on. In other cases such systems may not exist and need to be built, or are incomplete and require improvement. To this end, the EITI Standard has been refined to outline two possibilities for EITI disclosures: (1) “conventional EITI reporting” with data collection and reconciliation by an Independent Administrator; and (2) “mainstreamed EITI reporting” where public disclosures of the information required by the EITI Standard are made through existing government systems. Additional information on mainstreaming is available from the International Secretariat.
If a prospective candidate country faces exceptional circumstances that necessitate deviation from the EITI’s implementation requirements, the MSG may consider seeking EITI Board approval for adapted implementation (Requirement 8.1). The request must be endorsed by the multi-stakeholder group and reflected in the work plan. The request should explain the rationale for the adapted implementation.
The EITI Board will only consider allowing adaptations in exceptional circumstances. In considering such requests, the EITI Board will place a priority on the need for comparable treatment between countries and ensuring that the EITI Principles are upheld, including ensuring that the EITI process is sufficiently inclusive, and that the EITI Report is comprehensive, reliable and will contribute to public debate.
Additional information on adapted implementation is available from the International Secretariat.
The EITI International Secretariat provides support to countries considering implementation, including:
- Guidance and training on the EITI Standard and the sign-up requirements;
- Advice on good practice from other implementing countries and facilitation of peer learning, e.g., on MSG terms of reference, establishment of national EITI Secretariats, the development of work plans;
- Advice on accessing technical and financial assistance.
The International Secretariat does not provide financial support. Direct, medium-term technical and financial assistance to support implementation is usually led by stakeholders other than the International Secretariat –typically, the World Bank, regional development banks, other international development agencies, bilateral agencies, and international civil society organisations.
Depending on their respective priorities for partnerships and collaboration with EITI countries and stakeholders areas, the thematic areas which technical advisors might support include all or part of the following:
- Political encouragement.
- Awareness raising workshops for outreach countries – making the case for EITI.
- Provision of technical support for countries exploring potential EITI commitment, e.g. support to feasibility studies.
- Embedding EITI as part of broader policy dialogue with country or stakeholders.
- Feasibility studies.
- Governance studies to advice on the functioning and management of the multi-stakeholder group and national secretariat.
- Scoping studies on what sectors and materiality EITI might cover.
- Legal and other constraints studies.
- Launch workshops.
- Needs assessment of financial and technical requirements.
Prospective candidate countries may find it useful to review the candidature applications previously considered by the EITI Board:
- Dominican Republic
- United Kingdom
- United States (includes a request for adapted implementation).
 See forthcoming EITI Guidance note on national secretariats: link to be added.