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Validation Committee teleconference Friday 26 January 2018

Publisher
EITI
January 2018

Validation Committee teleconference Friday 26 January 2018, 15:00-16:00 CET

  1. Agenda
  2. Minutes (including attendance overview)
  3. Documents

1. Agenda

1. Minutes

2. Validation of the Republic of Congo

3. Validation of Cameroon

4. Validation of Senegal

5. Validation of Togo

6. Validation of Timor Leste

7. Validation of Mongolia

8. Review of lessons learned from the 2016 & 2017 Validations

9. Meeting schedule

10. Any other business

2. Minutes (including attendance overview)

Validation Committee members: Mark Pearson, Cielo Magno, Gubad Ibadoglu, Didier Kokou Agbemadon, Laura Logan, Jim Miller, Cesar Gamboa, Bent Graff, Ruslan Baimishev.

Observers: John Brayman, Mary (assistant of Jim Miller)

From the Secretariat: Jonas Moberg, Dyveke Rogan, Dylan Gélard, Oliana Valigura, Olesia Tolochko, Victor Ponsford, Indra Thévoz, Sam Bartlett, Alex Gordy, Bady Baldé.

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Mark Pearson welcomed the Validation Committee. Cielo proposed to defer the discussion of Mongolia and Timor Leste, pending clarification of the procedure for second Validations. Mark suggested that those concerns be taken up under those agenda items.

1. Minutes

Gubad raised concerns regarding the recommendation on Kazakhstan, requesting additional language regarding civic space, noting recent changes to legislation.

Sam requested additional information regarding the legislation in question. He noted that the initial assessment already included extensive commentary on these matters, and that the assessment would be made publicly available following the Board decision.

Mark noted that Gubad and Bent – as lead reviewers - both supported the paper previously. Mark suggested that Gubad propose specific language via email for consideration by the Committee.

There were no further comments on minutes, which were approved.

2. Validation of the Republic of Congo

Mark introduced the paper, noting that the Implementation Committee was looking at the application of requirement 8.3.c.i. more widely.

Sam noted that the paper had been updated as requested on the last call, i.e., that “Some committee members support suspension. Others argue that suspension would be counterproductive, and would undermine the work of local civil society organisations”.

Cielo expressed concern about the summary. She argued that the paper should have a clear recommendation based on the application of the Standard. She noted that concerns about the application of 8.3.c.i could be reflected in lessons learned paper .

Jim disagreed with this proposal. He argued that the paper should note that there was a concern from several VC members as to effect of suspension. He argued that this concern shouldn’t be buried.

Didier noted that in recent days, Congo is making a lot of effort to address the concerns highlighted in the Validation. He asked if the assessment and recommendation on 1.3 could be revised.

Sam noted that the paper had been edited to reflect the fact that some VC members were not comfortable putting forward recommendation unless it reflected the concerns of local CSOs that suspension would have a negative effect on their work.

Cielo argued that this was not burying the issue – but that the Committee should be consistent as the same concerns were raised when discussing Azerbaijan and Niger. She argued that the Committee should be consistent in how we present the Board papers.

Jim suggested that the language be changed from “implies that Congo should be suspended” to “indicates that”.

Mark concluded that the additional language should be removed, and that he would communicate the concerns of some committee members when presenting the paper to the Board.

3. Validation of Cameroon

Mark introduced the paper, which was marked for discussion pending the MSG comments and the final Validation Report. Cielo and Mark were the lead reviewers.

Cielo – agree with all requirement except for industry engagement – which she argues should be MP based on the evidence in the Initial assessment.

Mark –has no comments and supported the draft recommendation.

Sam noted that 1.2 was “borderline”, as there were issues of declining participation and lack of evidence of liaising with broader constituency – which is also covered under 1.4.

He suggested that the Committee revisit the matter once the MSG had commented and the Validator had finalised their report.

The Committee agreed to proceed on this basis.

4. Validation of Senegal

Mark introduced the paper, which was marked for discussion pending the MSG comments and the final Validation Report. Alan and Didier were the lead reviewers.

Alan was not on the call, but Sam reported that he had sent comments in advance noting his agreement with the paper.

Didier noted that only two requirements were not met, and that these were quite minor technical matters. He asked whether quick action on these issues could result in an overall assessment of satisfactory progress.

Sam noted that MSG was yet to comment, and that the Committee could revisit the overall assessment once the Validator had finalised their report.

The Committee agreed to proceed on this basis.

5. Validation of Togo

Didier recused himself.

Mark introduced the paper, which was marked for discussion pending the MSG comments and the final Validation Report. Laura and Brice were the lead reviewers.

Laura noted the positive contribution of the EITI, helping to enable reforms. However, the MSG needed to update its internal governance.

Sam noted that MSG was yet to comment, and that the Committee could revisit the overall assessment once the Validator had finalised their report.

The Committee agreed to proceed on this basis.

6. Validation of Timor Leste

Mark introduced the paper, which was marked for discussion pending the MSG comments on the Secretariat’s assessment. Ruslan and Cielo were the lead reviewers.

Cielo proposed to defer the discussion of Mongolia and Timor Leste, pending clarification of the procedure for second Validations, including on how to deal with issues such as “backsliding” on requirements previously assessed as “satisfactory progress”.

Sam noted that procedure was discussed by the Validation Committee several times, including at the meeting in Ottawa. Under the previous Validation system, the process was called a “secretariat review”. This approach was reflected in the 2018 work plan, noting that second validations were faster and required fewer resources as they built directly on the findings from the first Validation. The process agreed by the Validation Committee was that the draft assessment is first sent to the MSG for comment. The Secretariat would then finalise the assessment for review by the Committee. The Validation Committee would then decide whether to make a recommendation to the Board, to request additional information, or to refer the assessments to the independent validator. The secretariat suggested that the paper be updated to explain this process.

The committee agreed to reconsider the matter following the feedback from the multi-stakeholder group.

7. Validation of Mongolia

Mark introduced the paper, which was marked for discussion pending the MSG comments on the Secretariat’s assessment. Jim Miller & Gubad Ibadoglu were the lead reviewers.

Jim noted that he wasn’t going to be in Oslo, but that he had reviewed the situation in Mongolia and the eight corrective actions. He said that the draft paper had explained the outstanding issues and the MSG’s responses very well.

Gubad said he did not disagree with assessment, but had some concerns about process and methodology.

As in the case of Timor Leste, the committee agreed to reconsider the matter following the feedback from the multi-stakeholder group.

8. Review of lessons learned from the 2016 & 2017 Validations

Mark introduced the paper, noting the recent amendments to address the feedback at the last meeting.

Gubad asked for some clarification regarding the data, and said that he would send these comments by email.

Cielo requested some additional detail on the coverage of requirement 1.3 on civil society space, including highlighting cases where the EITI had helped to open up this space.

It was agreed to finalise the paper for consideration by the Board in Oslo.

9. Meeting schedule

Mark noted that the Committee was scheduled to meet in Oslo at 7:30am on Tuesday 13 Feb.

Jim asked whether it would be possible to dial into the meeting. Sam said it would be possible, but challenging with interpreter. Sam would come back to Jim on that.

10. Any other business

n/a

3. Documents