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The Board agreed that Trinidad and Tobago has made meaningful progress overall in implementing the 2016 EITI Standard.

Outcome of the Validation of Trinidad and Tobago.

Decision reference
2019-23 / BM-42
Decision basis
2016 EITI Standard, Requirement 8.3 EITI Validation deadlines and consequences

Board decision

Following the conclusion of Trinidad and Tobago’s Validation of 2018, the EITI Board concluded that Trinidad and Tobago has made meaningful progress overall in implementing the EITI Standard.

The Board congratulated Trinidad and Tobago on its efforts to improve transparency and accountability in the extractive industries by providing a trusted source of data to inform public debate. The Board welcomed the EITI’s impact in establishing a mechanism for discussing revenue transparency, including identifying gaps in government systems. Trinidad and Tobago’s EITI Reports have identified gaps in revenue collection, production and cost monitoring, cadastre information and other aspects of production-sharing contracts of significant public interest. The reports have made suggestions for improved governance and more efficient revenue collection from the extractive sector. Trinidad and Tobago has also shed light on issues such as environmental impact and has established a user-friendly online portal for communicating extractive industries data.

The Board nonetheless encouraged further efforts to strengthen the multi-stakeholder oversight of EITI implementation, with a view to ensuring robust follow-up on EITI recommendations to translate transparency into accountability. Trinidad and Tobago has the opportunity to strengthen oversight of mining license management, ensure the public accessibility of beneficial ownership data in the extractives and enhancing public trust in official production and export data. The Board encouraged Trinidad & Tobago to pursue its efforts towards systematic disclosures of EITI data to ensure timelier, cost-effective, EITI reporting and the longer-term sustainability of implementation. Adequate resources for EITI implementation will be key, including seeking opportunities for increased capacity building for stakeholders especially civil society.

The Board determined that Trinidad and Tobago will have 18 months, i.e. until 27 August 2020, before a second Validation to carry out corrective actions related to MSG governance (1.4), license allocations (2.2), license register(s) (2.3), production data (3.2), export data (3.3), data comprehensiveness (4.1), sale of state’s in-kind revenues (4.2), transportation revenues (4.4) and data reliability (4.9).

Failure to achieve meaningful progress with considerable improvements across several individual requirements in the second Validation will result in suspension in accordance with the EITI Standard. In accordance with the EITI Standard, Trinidad and Tobago may request an extension of this timeframe, or request that Validation commences earlier than scheduled.The Board’s decision followed a Validation that commenced on 1 September 2018. In accordance with the 2016 EITI Standard, an initial assessment was undertaken by the International Secretariat. The findings were reviewed by an Independent Validator, who submitted a draft Validation report to the multi-stakeholder group for comment. The multi-stakeholder group’s comments on the report were taken into consideration by the Independent Validator in finalising the report, who also responded to the multi-stakeholder group’s comments. The final decision was taken by the EITI Board.

Corrective actions and strategic recommendations

The EITI Board agreed the following corrective actions to be undertaken by Trinidad and Tobago. Progress in addressing these corrective actions will be assessed in a second Validation commencing on 27 August 2020:

  1. In accordance with Requirement 1.4.a.ii and considering that the MSGSC agreed rules on August 2018 that allow CSOs to nominate their own representatives to the MSG, it is required that the CSO constituency conduct a process to nominate representatives to the MSG that is open and transparent. Other constituencies are encouraged to conduct a similar process.

  2. In accordance with Requirement 2.2.a, Trinidad & Tobago is required to disclose the requisite information of the oil and gas licenses transferred in the fiscal year covered. This includes: description of the process of transferring the license, technical and financial criteria used, information of the recipient (s) of the license transferred, and any non-trivial deviations from the applicable legal and regulatory framework. For the mining sector, Trinidad and Tobago is required to disclose the above information about mining licenses awarded or transferred to material companies in the period covered by the EITI Report.

  3. In accordance with Requirement 2.3.b, the government is required to maintain a publicly available register or cadastre system with the information listed in this requirement for both oil and gas and mining licenses. If the required information is made publicly available through the EITI Report, Trinidad & Tobago must ensure that the information is comprehensive. If any significant legal or practical barriers prevent the disclosure of information regarding licenses pertaining to non-material companies, these should be documented and explained in the EITI Report, including an account of government plans for seeking to overcome them.

  4. In accordance with Requirement 3.3, Trinidad & Tobago is required to publish in future reporting, in addition to the volumes, the value of exports by commodity, and, when relevant, by region of origin. It should also state clearly when minerals have not been exported. TTEITI should include in future reports a clear explanation of the methodology followed to calculate export volumes and values.

  5. In accordance to Requirement 4.1.d, Trinidad & Tobago is required to include in future reports aggregate information about the amount of total government revenues received from each of the benefits streams agreed in the scope. In accordance with Requirement 4.1.a, TTEITI is required to document the omission of revenues streams, ensuring that the comprehensiveness of the EITI Report is not affected. This includes that the MSGSC should consider the size of the revenue streams relative to total revenues. 

  6. In accordance with Requirement 4.2, Trinidad & Tobago is required to disclose the volumes and revenues received from the sale of the state’s participation in the sector. The published data must be disaggregated by individual buying company.

  7. In accordance with Requirement 4.4, Trinidad & Tobago’s future reporting should include all the information needed on transportation revenues if considered material such as tariffs, individual companies paying for this service, volumes transported and if practicable reconciling such payments.

  8. In accordance with Requirement 4.9.b.iii and the standard Terms of Reference for the Independent Administrator agreed by the EITI Board, the MSG and Independent Administrator must ensure that the future report include an assessment of whether the payments and revenues are subject to credible, independent audit, applying international auditing standards.

The government and the MSG are encouraged to consider the other recommendations in the Validator’s Report and the International Secretariat’s initial assessment, and to document the MSG’s responses to these recommendations in the next annual progress report.

Background

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago publicly announced Trinidad and Tobago’s intention to become an EITI Candidate country in 2010 and was accepted as an EITI Candidate in March 2011. On 2016, the Board agreed that Trinidad and Tobago’s Validation under the 2016 EITI Standard will commence on 1 September 2018. The Validation process commenced on 1 September 2018. In accordance with the Validation procedures, an initial assessment [English] was prepared by the International Secretariat and a draft Validation report was prepared by the Independent Validator [English | French]. Comments from the MSG [English] were received on 11 February 2019. The Independent Validator reviewed the comments and responded to the MSG, before finalising the Validation report [English | French].

The Validation Committee reviewed the case on 7 February and 27 February 2019. Based on the findings above, the Validation Committee agreed to recommend the assessment card and corrective actions outlined below.

The Committee agreed to recommend an overall assessment of “meaningful progress” in implementing the 2016 EITI Standard. Requirement 8.3.c. of the EITI Standard states that:

ii.    Overall assessments. Pursuant to the Validation Process, the EITI Board will make an assessment of overall compliance with all requirements in the EITI Standard.

                 …    

iii.   Meaningful progress. The country will be considered an EITI candidate and requested to undertake corrective actions until second validation.

The Validation Committee agreed to recommend a period of 18 months to undertake corrective actions. This recommendation takes into account that the challenges identified are significant and seeks to align the Validation deadline with the timetable for Trinidad and Tobago’s 2017 EITI Report.

Scorecard for Trinidad and Tobago: 2019

Assessment of EITI requirements

  • Not met
  • Partly met
  • Mostly met
  • Fully met
  • Exceeded
Scorecard by requirement View more Assessment View more

Overall Progress

MSG oversight

1.1Government engagement

A senior individual has been appointed to lead on the implementation, and senior government officials are represented on the MSGSC. The current representation from the government shows that the government is engaged and active in in all aspects of implementation including lifting confidentiality restrictions, dissemination of reports, outreach to other stakeholders and expanding coverage to the mining sector.

1.2Company engagement

Oil and gas companies are actively and effectively engaged in the EITI process, both as providers of information and in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Industry representatives have taken part in outreach and efforts to promote public debate, both at a national level and in regional roadshows. The MOU signed between stakeholders have created an enabling legal environment.

1.3Civil society engagement

There are no suggestions of any legal, regulatory or practical barriers to civil society’s ability to engage in EITI-related public debate, to operate freely, to communicate and cooperate with each other, to fully, actively and effectively engage on EITI-related matters or in relation to the EITI process. However, engaging with the CSOs wider constituency is less than optimal.

1.4MSG governance

The mechanism followed in 2011 for selecting civil society members was allowed by the 2009 EITI Rules. However, it is not in line with the 2016 Standard. On the other hand, the MSG is functioning well, and stakeholders are adequately represented. The ToRs for the MSG addresses almost all the requirements of the EITI Standard. Stakeholders have not highlighted any significant deviations from the ToRs in practice.

1.5Work plan

The 2018 work plan is publicly accessible, produced in a timely manner and updated annually, with objectives aligned with national priorities. The work plan also includes follow up on recommendations from EITI reporting. The three constituencies were actively engaged in its elaboration. However, there is little evidence that it has been consulted with key stakeholders in the broader stakeholder groups.

Licenses and contracts

2.1Legal framework

The 2016 EITI Report provides a comprehensive description of the legal framework and fiscal regime governing the extractive industries, including the degree of fiscal devolution, and addresses recent reforms. It also includes a description of the roles of the main regulatory bodies.

2.2License allocations

The information listed in Requirement 2.2 regarding the award and transfer of licenses in the oil and gas sector is disclosed through the EITI Report. The situation in the mining sector is problematic. The licensing allocation procedures and the cadastral information are unclear. The government acknowledges these deficiencies and is addressing its remediation. However, timescale for achieving that is uncertain.

2.3License register

Information regarding all active oil and gas licenses is provided in the EITI Report. However, some required information in is missing. The government does not have an up-to-date data base of the mining licenses. A great number of the licenses are under revision and pending collecting necessary information. The government acknowledges these deficiencies and is addressing its remediation. Timescale for achieving that is uncertain.

2.4Policy on contract disclosure

The government’s policy on contract transparency is described in the 2016 EITI Report, which also provides an overview of current disclosure practice.

2.5Beneficial ownership

Not assessed

Trinidad and Tobago published a roadmap for disclosing beneficial ownership information. There has been some progress in implementation to date. Beneficial ownership legislation will establish a registry expected to collect information to be shared among enforcement agencies. The MEEI has considered that future oil and gas licensing rounds might include knowing the beneficial owners of bidders.

2.6State participation

The report included information regarding the financial relationship between SOEs and the government including transfers of funds between SOE and state, retained earnings, reinvestment and third-party financing, government ownership including changes in 2016 and loans and guarantees. This also includes the level of ownership in oil and gas companies and authorizations for financial operations.

Monitoring production

3.1Exploration data

The 2016 EITI Report provides an overview of the extractive industries including the invitation to companies to express interest in exploration activities.

3.2Production data

The volume and value of oil and gas production is disclosed. However, for mining, production values are missing.

3.3Export data

EITI Trinidad and Tobago has disclosed information on total export volumes for hydrocarbon and refined products that were exported in 2016, disaggregated by commodity. It is also disaggregated by export destination. However, in accordance with Requirement 3.3 the value of exports is not provided in the report.

Revenue collection

4.1Comprehensiveness

The 2016 Report documents materiality including the options considered, the limitations due to confidentiality provisions, thresholds and the rationale for the agreed definitions. Material revenue streams are clearly identified, alongside the government entities collecting them, and include all revenues listed in Requirement 4.1.b.. However, the lack of disclosure of total government revenues received is problematic.

4.2In-kind revenues

The 2016 Report confirms that revenues collected in kind was material and disclosed the volumes sold and revenue received partially. However, the information is not disaggregated by individual buying company. There is not additional information on the type of product. There was no reconciliation with the buying companies. The report does not provide a clear picture on the share of production received by NGC from other operators.

4.3Barter agreements

Not applicable

The International Secretariat’s initial assessment is that this requirement is not applicable in Trinidad and Tobago.

4.4Transportation revenues

Revenues from transportation of oil and gas were disclosed in aggregate. No detailed information such as tariffs, individual companies paying for this service, volumes transported was included. Payments were not reconciled. Transportation revenues represent about 3% of total revenues collected. Future reports could include a clear indication of whether transportation revenues were considered material.

4.5SOE transactions

Payments from SOEs to the government are disclosed and reconciled. Lack of comprehensive information about in-kind payments to SOEs is reflected in the assessment of Requirement 4.2.

4.6Direct subnational payments

Not applicable

The EITI Report and Supplementary Report details the legal provisions that norms the payments made by extractive companies in Trinidad and Tobago. None of them include payments to regional corporations.

4.7Disaggregation

TTEITI has reported at project level for the fiscal year 2016 ahead of the required by the Standard. In accordance with Requirement 4.7, the data is disaggregated by individual company (i.e. project), revenue stream and government entity for all revenue streams.

4.8Data timeliness

EITI Reports have been published annually and the data has not been older than the second to the last complete accounting period. The MSGSC approved the reporting period of EITI Reports. Trinidad and Tobago is strongly encouraged to publish timelier EITI Reports. Although reports have been published within the allowed two years period many stakeholders signalled that timelier EITI data could be more useful.

4.9Data quality

The lack of assurances to government data (BIR and MEEI) is problematic. Also, the lack of completion of a significant number of revenue audits by the Ministry of Energy also affects data reliability. A significant number of companies did not comply with the agreed assurance. Reconciliation has been undertaken by a credible Independent Administrator, appointed by the MSG, and applying international auditing standards.

Revenue allocation

5.1Distribution of revenues

The 2016 Report included a description of the distribution of revenues from extractive industries including those recorded in the national budget and in the Heritage and Stabilization Fund.

5.2Subnational transfers

Not applicable

The 2016 Report (Supplementary Report) stated that the Constitution and the Municipal Corporation Act do not provide for any transfer of extractive revenues to local governments.

5.3Revenue management and expenditures

Not assessed

Reporting on revenue management and expenditures in encouraged but not required by the EITI Standard and progress with this requirement will not have any implications for a country’s EITI status. It is commendable that the EITI Report discusses budgeting and auditing processes, as well as revenue projections.

Socio-economic contribution

6.1Mandatory social expenditures

Not applicable

Some companies made voluntary social contributions in 2016. The 2016 EITI Report includes voluntary social expenditures for nine companies including the two SOEs NGC and Petrotrin in the hydrocarbon sector.

6.2Quasi-fiscal expenditures

Not applicable

The 2016 EITI Report demonstrates that SOE does not undertake any quasi-fiscal expenditures.

6.3Economic contribution

The 2016 EITI Report includes all the information required on the contribution of the extractive sector to the economy.

Outcomes and impact

7.1Public debate

TTEITI has used innovative and smart communication tools that have impacted public debates from Parliament, to media, academic for a, youth organizations and affected communities. The TTEITI Reports are comprehensible, actively and widely promoted through varied channels. Trinidad and Tobago has an EITI Open Data policy that is in line with international data standards including some tools for downloading data.

7.2Data accessibility

Not assessed

Requirement 7.2 encourages the MSGs to make EITI reports accessible to public in open data formats. Such efforts are encouraged but not required and are not assessed in determining compliance with the EITI Standard. TTEITI has published brief summary reports. TEITI has published information through a data portal and other features for downloading data.

7.3Follow up on recommendations

EITI Trinidad and Tobago has consistently addressed the discrepancies from their reconciliation exercises and resolved them. Improvements in EITI implementation such as preparations for data collection have made reporting more efficient. The reports have included a wealth of recommendations to improve government systems and the MSG has raised concerns on the follow up of those recommendations.

7.4Outcomes and impact of implementation

The MSG has reviewed and discussed the outcomes and impact of the EITI implementation, including through annual progress reports in accordance with Requirement 7.4. In preparing the annual progress report (and work plan), the MSG has extensive discussions on achievements, implementation gaps and improvements, and future challenges.