Validation Committee teleconference, 23 May 2019
Validation Committee teleconference, Thursday 23 May 2019, 15:00-16:00 CEST
Confirmation of agenda, including observers and recusal
- Draft minutes (for decision)
- Validation of Myanmar (for decision)
- Validation of Sierra Leone (for decision)
- Second Validation of Peru (for decision)
- Update on ongoing Validations (for information)
Validation Committee members: Mark Pearson, Chris Murgatroyd, Alan McLean, Cielo Magno, Brice Mackosso.
Observers: John Brayman and Allie Fink (Government of Canada), Rhona Birchall (UK Government).
From the Secretariat: Sam Bartlett, Gay Ordenes, Alex Gordy, Christoffer Claussen, Francisco Paris, Anna Herbert de la Portbarré, Lyydia Kilpi.
1. Confirmation of agenda, including observers and recusal.
Mark Pearson introduced the agenda, which was approved. The observers introduced themselves.
2. Draft minutes
The draft minutes of the Validation Committee’s 25 April 2019 meeting were approved.
- The International Secretariat to publish the minutes of the Validation Committee’s 25 April 2019 meeting on the internal Committee page
3. Validation of Sierra Leone
Christoffer Claussen introduced the paper, noting that strong commitment to EITI implementation had not yet been matched by equivalent engagement by civil society and industry. The Validator had downgraded the assessment of industry engagement (Requirement 1.2) from ‘meaningful progress’ to ‘inadequate progress’. Christoffer noted that this would lead to Sierra Leone’s temporary suspension pending a second Validation and that the Secretariat’s assessment of Requirement 1.2 remained ‘meaningful progress’. The scorecard suggested an overall assessment of ‘meaningful progress’, and the Secretariat recommended a period of 18 months to undertake 14 corrective actions.
In response to the question sent by Jim Miller in writing, Christoffer noted that MSG comments had focused on disclosures. The Validator had responded to each comment and found that there was not sufficient evidence to change the assessment. Christoffer noted that the Secretariat considered the shortcomings in industry engagement to relate largely to Requirement 1.4 on MSG governance, where progress was assessed as having been ‘inadequate’. Sam Bartlett added that there were no barriers to industry participation and that the challenges were related to internal constituency issues.
Chris Murgatroyd supported assessing progress on Requirement 1.2 as ‘meaningful’ and noted that suspension focusing on industry engagement could be counterproductive.
Cielo Magno noted that the assessment should be based on facts, rather than a desire to avoid suspension. Alan McLean noted that since the assessment was borderline between ‘meaningful progress’ and ‘inadequate progress’, the Committee should conclude ‘meaningful progress’.
The Committee mandated the Secretariat to add details about industry engagement to the paper and agreed to continue the discussion in its next teleconference.
- The International Secretariat to submit an updated VC Paper 79-2 Validation of Sierra Leone to the Committee for decision in its teleconference on 29 May.
4. Validation of Myanmar
Gay Ordenes introduced updates to the paper and noted that the Secretariat had prepared a comparison table of the assessment of Requirement 1.3 in Myanmar and the Republic of the Congo. The Secretariat maintained its assessment that the cited incidents of civil society harassment were not directly linked to participation in the EITI process.
Cielo noted that it was not clear which actors and activities the Civil Society Protocol applied to. Brice agreed with Cielo and noted that interpretation was not consistent with the assessment made in the case of the Republic of the Congo.
Alan noted that there were clearly issues of limited civic space, but the question was whether the limitations were linked to EITI work. He agreed with the Secretariat’s and Validator’s assessment. Chris expressed support to the Secretariat’s recommendation.
Mark noted that in comments sent in writing, Cesar had supported downgrading the assessment of Requirement 1.3 to ‘meaningful progress’. Jim had supported maintaining it as ‘satisfactory progress’. Gubad had proposed deferring the decision to the Paris meetings.
Cielo noted that a broader review of the Validation process should revisit how information provided by civil society subsequent to the commencement of Validation is considered.
The Committee mandated the Secretariat to reflect the disagreement on assessing Requirement 1.3 in the Board paper for the 43rd Board meeting in Paris.
- The International Secretariat to reflect the disagreement on assessing Requirement 1.3 in the Validation Board paper submitted to the Board for discussion in its 43rd meeting in Paris.
4. Second Validation of Peru
Francisco Paris provided an update on the MSG’s efforts to address the corrective actions related to requirements 4.1 and 6.1. He noted that they had not been fully addressed, and that the Secretariat recommended that the Committee recommends to the Board that Peru had made overall ‘meaningful progress with considerable improvements’ in implementing the Standard.
Cielo, Alan and Chris expressed their support to the Secretariat’s recommendation. Mark noted that Jim had commented in writing that he accepts the recommendation but reserves the right to reflect any further progress at the Paris Board meeting.
The Committee agreed to recommend to the Board that Peru has made ‘meaningful progress with considerable improvements’ in implementing the Standard.
- The Validation Committee to submit a recommendation on the second Validation of Peru to the Board for decision at its 43rd meeting in Paris.
6. Update on ongoing Validations
Lyydia Kilpi noted that fifteen Validations were currently underway. The draft assessments of the second Validations of Albania, Mali and Iraq had been finalised and shared with the respective MSGs for comment, expected in late May to early June. The draft Validation report of the Dominican Republic had been submitted to the MSG for comments.
The Committee agreed to hold its next teleconference on Wednesday 29 May at 15:00-16:00 CEST and to have a joint call with the Implementation Committee on assessing Requirement 2.5 on beneficial ownership.