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Les Pays-Bas obtiennent un score global relativement faible dans la mise en œuvre de la Norme ITIE 2019.

Résultat de la Validation des Pays-Bas.

Decision number
2021-72
Decision basis
EITI Articles of Association 2019-2021, Article 12.1. ix)
8 December 2021

Décision du Conseil d'administration

Les Pays-Bas obtiennent un score global relativement faible (56 points) dans la mise en œuvre de la Norme ITIE 2019. Le score global est une moyenne des scores des trois composantes afférentes à l’engagement des parties prenantes, à la transparence, et aux résultats et à l’impact.

Le Conseil d’administration de l’ITIE félicite les Pays-Bas pour avoir établi une plateforme de dialogue multipartite sur la gouvernance du secteur extractif et pour avoir montré que la plupart des informations extractives, dont les données sur la production, les exportations et les octrois de licences, font l’objet de divulgations systématiques. Toutefois, les Pays-Bas ont obtenu un score faible relativement à la composante des résultats et de l’impact (48 points). Cela illustre le peu d’intérêt que suscite auprès du public l’ensemble initial d’objectifs limités pour la mise en œuvre de l’ITIE aux Pays-Bas. Il semble que certaines parties prenantes souhaitent étendre les objectifs à d’autres domaines, ce qui permettrait de renforcer les résultats et d’améliorer l’engagement des parties prenantes. Le Conseil d’administration encourage les Pays-Bas à identifier les domaines à travers lesquels l’ITIE, sur la base de ses Exigences en matière de divulgation et de son modèle multipartite, peut apporter de la valeur au débat public.

S’agissant de la transparence, les Pays-Bas ont obtenu un score assez faible (68 points). Les Pays-Bas ont établi un système de rapprochement solide entre les paiements versés par les entreprises et les recettes gouvernementales, malgré le peu d’intérêt que le public semble accorder aux données qui en résultent. L’absence d’écarts dans le rapprochement a rassuré les parties prenantes du gouvernement et des entreprises siégeant au Groupe multipartite. Le Conseil d’administration a également salué la divulgation systématique de la majorité des informations extractives, dont les données sur la production, les exportations et les octrois de licences, sur le portail néerlandais des secteurs pétrolier et gazier (NLOG). Toutefois, les divulgations des données d’intérêt public, depuis les conditions des accords de coopération entre l’entreprise d’État pétrolière et gazière EBN et les détendeurs de licences jusqu’aux impacts environnementaux du secteur extractif, sont des aspects de la Norme ITIE qui n’ont pas encore été couverts par le Groupe multipartite. Des divulgations complémentaires portant sur les contrats, la gestion de l’environnement et les projections budgétaires pour les revenus extractifs pourraient permettre d’assurer une meilleure harmonisation entre les données de l’ITIE Pays-Bas et les demandes d’informations de la part du public.

Les Pays-Bas ont également obtenu un score assez faible (53 points) relativement à l’engagement des parties prenantes. On observe certaines faiblesses dans l’engagement des trois collèges à la mise en œuvre de l’ITIE, notamment en raison des aspirations limitées qui ont été définies jusqu’ici pour l’ITIE Pays-Bas. Bien que le Groupe multipartite assume ses fonctions élémentaires de facilitation de la supervision multipartite de la mise en œuvre, nombre de ses processus, y compris les nominations de ses membres, sont menés de façon informelle.

Le Conseil d’administration a établi que les Pays-Bas auront jusqu’à la prochaine Validation, dont le démarrage est prévu le 1 janvier 2024, pour appliquer les mesures correctives concernant le plan de travail (Exigence 1.5), le débat public (Exigence 7.1), l’accessibilité des données et les données ouvertes (Exigence 7.2), les recommandations émanant de l’ITIE (Exigence 7.3), les résultats et l’impact (Exigence 7.4), l’engagement du gouvernement (Exigence 1.1), l’engagement des entreprises (Exigence 1.2), l’engagement de la société civile (Exigence 1.3), la gouvernance du Groupe multipartite (Exigence 1.4), la contribution économique (Exigence 6.3), les contrats (Exigence 2.4), les octrois de contrats et de licences (Exigence 2.2), le registre des licences (Exigence 2.3), la propriété effective (Exigence 2.5), les revenus en nature (Exigence 4.2), les données sur la production (Exigence 3.2), l’exhaustivité (Exigence 4.1), les accords de troc (Exigence 4.3), les revenus du transport (Exigence 4.4), la désagrégation (Exigence 4.7), la qualité des données (Exigence 4.9), les paiements directs infranationaux (Exigence 4.6) et les dépenses sociales et environnementales (Exigence 6.1).

Conformément à l’Article 6 de la Norme ITIE, s’il est estimé lors de la prochaine Validation que le pays n’a pas accompli de progrès en matière de participation des parties prenantes, de transparence et de résultats et d’impact, il s’exposera à une suspension temporaire. Aux termes de la Norme ITIE, le Groupe multipartite des Pays-Bas peut demander une prorogation de cette échéance ou demander à ce que la Validation commence plus tôt que prévu.

Mesures correctives et recommandations stratégiques

Le Conseil d’administration de l’ITIE a convenu que les Pays-Bas devront prendre les mesures correctives suivantes. Les progrès réalisés dans la prise de ces mesures correctives seront évalués au cours de la prochaine Validation, qui commencera le 1 janvier 2024 :

  1. Conformément à l’Exigence 1.5.a, les Pays-Bas devront définir des objectifs de mise en œuvre de l’ITIE compatibles avec les priorités nationales liées au secteur extractif. Le Groupe multipartite devra prendre les mesures requises pour intégrer la mise en œuvre de l’ITIE dans les systèmes des entreprises et du gouvernement. Le Groupe multipartite est invité à examiner des approches innovantes pour renforcer la mise en œuvre de l’ITIE afin d’éclairer le débat public sur la gouvernance des ressources naturelles et de favoriser le maintien de niveaux élevés de transparence et de redevabilité dans la vie publique, autant en ce qui concerne les affaires de l’État que le monde des entreprises. Conformément à l’Exigence 1.5.b, le plan de travail de l’ITIE devra tenir compte des résultats des consultations menées avec les principales parties prenantes. En conformité avec l’Exigence 1.5.c.iv, le plan de travail devra présenter les plans du Groupe multipartite relativement à l’application des recommandations provenant de la mise en œuvre de l’ITIE et de la Validation. Aux termes de l’Exigence 1.5.d, le plan de travail devra identifier les sources domestiques et externes de financement et d’assistance technique afin d’assurer la mise en œuvre du plan de travail convenu dans les délais impartis.

  2. Conformément à l’Exigence 7.1.a.i, tous les collèges participant à l’ITIE aux Pays-Bas devront veiller à ce que les données ITIE soient largement accessibles et diffusées, et ils pourraient envisager de les présenter sous forme de rapports thématiques. En vertu de l’Exigence 7.1.a.iii, les Pays-Bas devront s’assurer que les activités de sensibilisation liées à l’ITIE, qu’elles soient organisées par le gouvernement, la société civile ou les entreprises, sont menées afin de mieux faire connaître et de faciliter le dialogue à propos de la gouvernance des ressources extractives, sur la base des divulgations ITIE dans le pays et dans un objectif d’inclusion sociale.

  3. Conformément à l’Exigence 7.2, les Pays-Bas pourraient veiller à ce que les agences gouvernementales et les entreprises publient les données ITIE dans le cadre d’une licence ouverte et à ce que les utilisateurs soient informés de la possibilité de réutiliser les données sans consentement préalable. Les Pays-Bas devront faire en sorte que les données exigées par la Norme ITIE soient publiées dans un format de données ouvertes et faire connaître leur disponibilité. Les Pays-Bas pourraient envisager de rendre les données systématiquement divulguées lisibles par machine et interopérables et de coder ou d’identifier les divulgations ITIE et d’autres fichiers de données de manière à pouvoir comparer les informations avec d’autres données publiques.

  4. Conformément à l’Exigence 7.3, les Pays-Bas sont tenus d’entreprendre des actions à partir des enseignements tirés, d’identifier, d’étudier et de pallier les causes des lacunes d’informations et écarts éventuels et de tenir compte des recommandations qui découlent de la mise en œuvre de l’ITIE. Selon les besoins, les Pays-Bas sont encouragés à assurer un suivi de ces recommandations.

  5. Aux termes de l’Exigence 7.4.a, les Pays-Bas sont tenus de documenter l’examen annuel, dans le cadre de l’ITIE, de l’impact et des résultats de la mise en œuvre de l’Initiative dans un rapport d’avancement annuel ou par d’autres moyens convenus par le Groupe multipartite, y compris un compte rendu narratif des efforts entrepris pour accroître l’impact de la mise en œuvre de l’ITIE sur la gouvernance des ressources naturelles, notamment toute action visant à augmenter le niveau de détail et le champ d’application de la déclaration ITIE ou à renforcer l’engagement auprès des parties prenantes. En conformité avec l’Exigence 7.4.b, toutes les parties prenantes devront être en mesure de participer à l’examen de l’impact de la mise en œuvre de l’ITIE.

  6. Conformément à l’Exigence 1.1, le gouvernement devra s’assurer qu’il est pleinement, activement et effectivement engagé dans tous les aspects de la mise en œuvre de l’ITIE, tant en termes de leadership politique de haut niveau qu’en matière d’engagement opérationnel. Les Pays-Bas pourraient déterminer la mesure dans laquelle l’harmonisation des objectifs de l’ITIE Pays-Bas avec les priorités nationales permettrait de montrer l’utilisation de l’ITIE au gouvernement et veiller à ce que des ressources adéquates soient consacrées à assurer l’obtention de résultats et d’un impact, conformément aux priorités du gouvernement en matière de réformes dans le secteur extractif.

  7. Aux termes de l’Exigence 1.2, le collège des entreprises devra s’assurer que les entreprises sont pleinement, activement et effectivement engagées dans tous les aspects de la mise en œuvre de l’ITIE. Le gouvernement doit s’assurer qu’il n’existe pas d’obstacles à la participation des entreprises au processus ITIE, notamment par la mise en place de moyens efficaces pour surmonter les obligations liées à la confidentialité des contribuables, en s’appuyant éventuellement sur les divulgations obligatoires des paiements versés au gouvernement par les entreprises extractives domiciliées aux Pays-Bas. Les Pays-Bas pourraient souhaiter déterminer la mesure dans laquelle les révisions des objectifs de la mise en œuvre de l’ITIE, s’appuyant potentiellement sur le cadre juridique applicable aux divulgations obligatoires des paiements versés au gouvernement, permettraient d’accroître l’intérêt des entreprises pour l’ITIE et leur participation à sa mise en œuvre.

  8. Conformément à l’Exigence 1.3, le collège de la société civile devra s’assurer qu’il est pleinement, activement et effectivement engagé dans tous les aspects de la mise en œuvre de l’ITIE. Les Pays-Bas pourraient souhaiter déterminer la mesure dans laquelle les révisions des objectifs de la mise en œuvre de l’ITIE, en incluant potentiellement les questions liées à l’impact environnemental du secteur extractif, au déclassement des infrastructures pétrolières et gazières et à la transition énergétique, permettraient d’accroître l’intérêt de la société civile pour l’ITIE et sa participation à la mise en œuvre de l’Initiative.

  9. Conformément à l’Exigence 1.4.b.ii, les Pays-Bas devront s’assurer que l’ITIE entreprend des activités de sensibilisation concrètes auprès des groupes de la société civile et des entreprises, notamment en utilisant des moyens de communication tels que les médias, des sites Internet et l’envoi de lettres, afin d’informer les parties prenantes de l’engagement du gouvernement à mettre en œuvre l’ITIE et du rôle central des entreprises et de la société civile. De plus, le Groupe multipartite devra diffuser largement les informations publiques résultant du processus ITIE. Aux termes de l’Exigence 1.4.b.iii, les Pays-Bas devront s’assurer que les membres du Groupe multipartite sont tenus de communiquer avec leurs groupes collégiaux respectifs. Pour renforcer la mise en œuvre, les Pays-Bas sont encouragés à faire en sorte que les procédures de nomination des représentants des collèges au Groupe multipartite soient codifiées publiquement. Sous réserve de la nouvelle évaluation recommandée des objectifs de mise en œuvre de l’ITIE, le Groupe multipartite pourrait envisager de déterminer s’il serait souhaitable d’inclure de nouvelles parties prenantes pertinentes relativement à ces nouveaux objectifs.

  10. Selon l’Exigence 6.3, les Pays-Bas devront s’assurer que les estimations de la contribution des entreprises extractives aux recettes gouvernementales et aux exportations sont divulguées publiquement. Les revenus du gouvernement et les exportations devront englober la contribution de tous les sous-secteurs de l’industrie extractive, outre le gaz naturel et l’extraction de sel. Par ailleurs, les Pays-Bas pourraient envisager d’utiliser la déclaration ITIE afin d’expliquer les différences entre les données publiques sur la contribution macro-économique du secteur extractif, en harmonisant éventuellement ces divulgations de données avec la section B (« Activités extractives ») du système de Classification internationale type, par industrie ou un autre système équivalent.

  11. Conformément à l’Exigence 2.4.c.ii, les Pays-Bas sont tenus de publier une liste de tous les contrats et licences actifs, en indiquant ceux qui sont accessibles au public et ceux qui ne le sont pas, et en incluant des liens spécifiques permettant d’accéder à chaque document publié. S’il est déclaré que tous les contrats soumis à ces régimes ont des stipulations standard telles que mandatées par la loi et qu’il n’y a aucune déviation à ces dispositions, il incombe aux Pays-Bas de le prouver. Conformément aux dispositions de l’Exigence 2.4.c.iii, les Pays-Bas devront publier une explication pour chaque déviation éventuelle entre les pratiques et les lois relatives à la divulgation ou les exigences des politiques gouvernementales concernant la divulgation des contrats et des licences. Le Groupe multipartite de l’ITIE Pays-Bas devra documenter son opinion quant à savoir si les accords de coopération impliquant EBN dans les secteurs pétrolier et gazier constituent des formes de contrats, conformément à la définition des contrats prévue à l’Exigence 2.4.d.i, et s’assurer que tout nouveau contrat adjugé après le 1er janvier 2021 est divulgué publiquement dans son intégralité, y compris ses annexes et modifications éventuelles, conformément à l’Exigence 2.4.a.

  12. Aux termes de l’Exigence 2.2.a, les Pays-Bas devront veiller à ce que les informations sur les transferts de licences minières, pétrolières et gazières soient divulguées publiquement, y compris les détails des licences transférées et le processus de transfert des licences, ainsi que les critères techniques et financiers évalués. Conformément à l’Exigence 2.2.a.iv, les Pays-Bas seront tenus de divulguer publiquement leur évaluation de toute déviation significative par rapport au cadre juridique et réglementaire applicable aux transferts et aux octrois de licences au cours de la période couverte par les divulgations ITIE.

  13. En conformité avec l’Exigence 2.3.b.iii, les Pays-Bas devront faire en sorte que les dates de demande et d’expiration de chacune des licences minières, pétrolières et gazières actives soient divulguées et accessibles publiquement.

  14. Aux termes de l’Exigence 2.5 et en préparation à la deuxième phase de la Validation relativement à cette Exigence à compter de janvier 2022, les Pays-Bas sont tenus de veiller à ce que la propriété effective de toutes les entreprises qui détiennent une licence minière, pétrolière ou gazière ou qui en soumettent une demande fasse l’objet d’une divulgation exhaustive et fiable à partir de janvier 2022. Dans l’intervalle et en conformité avec l’Exigence 2.5.c, les Pays-Bas devront s’assurer que le Groupe multipartite publie une évaluation de l’exhaustivité et de la fiabilité des divulgations sur la propriété effective de toutes les entreprises qui, à ce jour, détiennent une licence minière, pétrolière ou gazière ou qui en soumettent une demande. Les entreprises cotées en bourse, y compris les filiales en propriété exclusive, sont tenues de divulguer le nom du marché boursier auquel elles sont inscrites et d’inclure un lien vers leurs dépôts boursiers respectifs, ainsi que le prévoient les dispositions de l’Exigence 2.5.f.iii. Enfin, les Pays-Bas sont également tenus de s’assurer que les données sur la propriété juridique sont disponibles au travers de la déclaration de l’ITIE Pays-Bas ou des divulgations systématiques, conformément à l’Exigence 2.5.g.

  15. Conformément à l’Exigence 4.2, si le produit de la vente de la part de production de gaz naturel perçue en nature par l’État est significatif, les Pays-Pays, y compris les entreprises d’État telles qu’EBN, seront tenus de divulguer les volumes reçus et vendus par l’État (ou des tiers désignés par l’État en vue de réaliser la vente pour son compte), les revenus provenant de la vente de ces volumes et les revenus transférés à l’État issus du produit de la vente de gaz naturel.

  16. Conformément à l’Exigence 3.2, les Pays-Bas devront s’assurer que les volumes de production de chaque matière première extractive extraite au cours de la période examinée et les valeurs y afférentes sont rendus publics. Pour renforcer la mise en œuvre, les divulgations publiques des Pays-Bas liées aux données sur la production pourraient inclure les sources ainsi que les méthodes de calcul des volumes de production et de leur valeur.

  17. Aux termes de l’Exigence 4.1.a, les Pays-Bas devront veiller à ce que leurs décisions relatives à la matérialité dans la sélection des entreprises et des flux de revenus à des fins de rapprochement soient clairement documentées et appliquées dans la pratique. En conformité avec l’Exigence 4.1.c, le Groupe multipartite devra faire en sorte que la matérialité des paiements versés par chacune des entités non déclarantes et la nature des écarts fassent l’objet d’une évaluation claire en vue de guider l’évaluation globale par l’Administrateur Indépendant de l’exhaustivité du rapprochement. Conformément à l’Exigence 4.1.d, sauf difficultés pratiques importantes, le gouvernement sera également tenu de soumettre une divulgation complète des revenus significatifs provenant des entreprises aux revenus non significatifs, désagrégés par flux de revenus. Pour améliorer davantage l’utilité de la mise en œuvre de l’ITIE aux Pays-Bas, le Groupe multipartite pourrait envisager de comparer la publication par les entreprises des rapports sur les paiements qu’elles ont versés au gouvernement – rapports obligatoires dans le cadre de la mise en œuvre par le pays des Directives de l’Union européenne en matière de comptabilité et de transparence – afin de garantir que toutes les entreprises qui versent des paiements significatifs au gouvernement ont été incluses dans le champ d’application de la déclaration ITIE annuelle. Cette mesure pourrait apporter une valeur supplémentaire à l’évaluation de la mesure dans laquelle les entreprises extractives aux Pays-Bas respectent leurs obligations juridiques en matière de déclaration des paiements qu’elles versent au gouvernement.

  18. Selon l’Exigence 4.3, les Pays-Bas sont tenus d’établir l’existence éventuelle d’accords ou d’ensembles d’accords afférents à la fourniture de biens et services (y compris des prêts, des subventions ou des travaux d’infrastructures) en échange partiel ou total de concessions pour l’exploration ou la production de pétrole, de gaz ou de minerais, ou de la livraison physique de telles matières premières. Lorsque le Groupe multipartite conclut que ces accords sont significatifs, il est tenu, ainsi que l’Administrateur Indépendant, de faire en sorte que les informations relatives à ces accords figurent dans le Rapport ITIE, à un niveau de détail et de transparence égal à celui qui s’applique à la divulgation et au rapprochement des autres paiements et flux de revenus. Si le Groupe multipartite parvient à la conclusion selon laquelle aucun accord ne prévoit de telles conditions, il devra s’assurer de documenter publiquement le fondement de son évaluation.

  19. Conformément à l’Exigence 4.4, les Pays-Bas devront veiller à ce que le gouvernement et l’entreprise d’État divulguent publiquement tous les revenus significatifs perçus sur le transport de pétrole, de gaz et de minerais à des niveaux de désagrégation correspondant à ceux prescrits dans l’Exigence 4.7.

  20. Aux termes de l’Exigence 4.7, les Pays-Bas devront faire en sorte que les données ITIE financières rapprochées soient désagrégées par projet, entreprise et entité de l’État et, s’agissant des flux de revenus perçus par projet, qu’ils soient désagrégés par type de flux de revenus. Les divulgations des revenus devront être désagrégées selon les niveaux auxquels les paiements sont perçus. Les Pays-Bas devront préciser quels accords sont considérés comme étant étroitement liés entre eux ou unifiés dans le cadre d’un accord global unique.

  21. Conformément à l’Exigence 4.9.a, l’ITIE exige une évaluation visant à déterminer si les paiements et revenus font l’objet d’un audit indépendant crédible, en application des normes internationales d’audit. Conformément à l’Exigence 4.9.b.iii et aux Termes de Référence standard de l’Administrateur Indépendant arrêtés par le Conseil d’administration de l’ITIE, le Groupe multipartite et l’Administrateur Indépendant devront :

    • Examiner les procédures d’audit et de garantie que suivent les entreprises et les entités de l’État participant au processus de déclaration ITIE et, à partir de cet examen, convenir des informations que les entreprises et les entités gouvernementales participantes sont tenues de communiquer à l’Administrateur Indépendant pour que celui-ci puisse s’assurer de la crédibilité des données, en conformité avec l’Exigence 4.9. L’Administrateur Indépendant devra faire preuve de discernement et appliquer les normes internationales appropriées dans l’élaboration d’une procédure offrant une base suffisante pour la préparation d’un Rapport ITIE exhaustif et fiable. L’Administrateur Indépendant devra faire appel à son jugement professionnel pour déterminer le degré de fiabilité des contrôles et des cadres d’audit existants des entreprises et des gouvernements. Le rapport initial de l’Administrateur Indépendant devra documenter les options envisagées et les raisons justifiant les garanties à fournir.

    • S’assurer que l’Administrateur Indépendant présente une évaluation de l’exhaustivité et de la fiabilité des données (financières) présentées, y compris un résumé informatif du travail qu’il a exécuté et des limites de l’évaluation fournie.

    • S’assurer que l’Administrateur Indépendant présente une évaluation indiquant si toutes les entreprises et les entités de l’État comprises dans le périmètre de la déclaration ITIE ont fourni ou non les informations demandées. Toutes les lacunes ou insuffisances signalées à l’Administrateur Indépendant devront être divulguées dans le Rapport ITIE, y compris le nom des entités qui n’ont pas respecté les procédures convenues ainsi qu’une évaluation de la probabilité que cela ait eu un impact significatif sur l’exhaustivité et la fiabilité du rapport.

  22. Aux termes de l’Exigence 4.6, les Pays-Bas devront s’assurer que tous les paiements significatifs versés par les entreprises extractives aux entités de l’État infranationales et les reçus y afférents sont divulgués. Le Groupe multipartite sera tenu de convenir d’une procédure de contrôle de la qualité des données et des informations sur les paiements infranationaux, conformément à l’Exigence 4.9.

  23. Conformément à l’Exigence 6.1, les Pays-Bas devront s’assurer que tous les paiements – qu’ils soient significatifs ou non – liés à l’environnement que des lois, réglementations ou contrats obligent les entreprises extractives à verser au gouvernement soient divulgués publiquement. Les Pays-Bas pourraient envisager d’étendre leur déclaration ITIE en couvrant les taxes environnementales indirectes, compte tenu de l’intérêt que les contributions des entreprises liées à l’environnement suscitent auprès du public.

Recommandations stratégiques

Les Pays-Bas sont encouragés à examiner les recommandations suivantes en vue de renforcer la mise en œuvre de l’ITIE :

Transparence

  1. Pour renforcer la mise en œuvre, les Pays-Bas sont invités à travailler avec les entités de l’État pertinentes afin d’améliorer l’accessibilité des divulgations systématiques portant sur le régime fiscal qui régit le secteur extractif, conformément à l’Exigence 2.1, y compris les incitations fiscales en soutien à la transition énergétique pour répondre à la demande d’informations de la part du public concernant la transition du pays vers une économie à zéro émission nette.

  2. Pour renforcer la mise en œuvre, les Pays-Bas pourraient envisager d’utiliser la déclaration ITIE annuelle pour fournir des informations sur les sanctions appliquées par le gouvernement sur les entreprises extractives relativement à leur impact sur l’environnement, dans le but de répondre aux demandes d’informations de la part du public sur la supervision réglementaire des impacts environnementaux des entreprises. Les Pays-Bas sont encouragés à envisager la divulgation publique des contributions des entreprises extractives à la réhabilitation de l’environnement et à la compensation des effets nuisibles de leurs activités sur l’environnement, compte tenu de l’intérêt du public pour les impacts environnementaux du secteur extractif.

  3. Pour renforcer la mise en œuvre, les Pays-Bas pourraient envisager de mettre à profit leur déclaration ITIE pour comparer les chiffres sur les relations financières entre EBN et l’État, dans différents documents publics tels que le Rapport ITIE et les états financiers audités d’EBN, en vue d’expliquer et de contextualiser les éventuelles différences. Les Pays-Bas sont encouragés à présenter en détail les règles et les pratiques liées aux procédures de passation des marchés, de sous-traitance et de gouvernance d’entreprise d’EBN – par exemple, la composition de son Conseil d’administration, ainsi que la nomination de ses administrateurs, son mandat et son code de conduite.

  4. Pour renforcer la mise en œuvre, les Pays-Bas sont invités à élaborer des mécanismes visant à garantir la divulgation systématique de données exhaustives et fiables sur toutes les transactions financières impliquant l’entreprise d’État EBN, y compris les revenus perçus auprès des entreprises pétrolières et gazières et les paiements versés au gouvernement.

  5. Pour renforcer la mise en œuvre, les Pays-Bas pourraient s’efforcer de veiller à ce que les volumes et les valeurs des exportations de matières premières extractives soient publiés, désagrégés par région, par entreprise et par projet. Les Pays-Bas pourraient envisager d’étendre le champ d’application de leurs divulgations ITIE en couvrant également les données sur les exportations impliquant des matières premières extractives, telles que le pétrole brut, qui ont ensuite été réexportées dans le cadre du rôle du pays en tant que centre mondial leader dans les échanges commerciaux de matières premières extractives.

  6. Pour renforcer la mise en œuvre et la contribution des données ITIE au débat public, les Pays-Bas sont encouragés à améliorer la ponctualité des divulgations de données ITIE, en s’appuyant sur les divulgations systématiques existantes soumises par les entreprises et le gouvernement.

  7. Pour renforcer la mise en œuvre, les Pays-Bas pourraient envisager d’utiliser la déclaration ITIE en vue de référencer les systèmes nationaux et internationaux de classement des revenus dans ses divulgations publiques des recettes gouvernementales provenant des industries extractives.

  8. Pour renforcer la mise en œuvre, les Pays-Bas pourraient souhaiter utiliser la déclaration ITIE pour présenter tous les revenus extractifs réservés à des programmes ou à des régions géographiques spécifiques. Les Pays-Bas pourraient envisager d’utiliser la mise en œuvre de l’ITIE pour garantir des divulgations gouvernementales ponctuelles qui renforceraient la compréhension du public et le débat public concernant les questions liées à la durabilité et à la dépendance aux ressources, y compris les suppositions sur lesquelles reposent les prévisions pour les prochaines années dans le cycle budgétaire portant sur les projections des volumes de production, des prix des matières premières et des revenus extractifs ainsi que la proportion des futurs revenus fiscaux que le pays prévoit de percevoir auprès du secteur extractif.

Le gouvernement et le Groupe multipartite sont encouragés à se pencher sur ces recommandations et à documenter les réponses que le Groupe multipartite y aura apportées dans le cadre du prochain examen annuel des résultats et de l’impact de la mise en œuvre de l’ITIE.

Contexte

Les Pays-Bas ont été acceptés en tant que pays de mise en œuvre le 27 juin 2018. Le début de la première Validation des Pays-Bas-Uni avait été fixé au 28 décembre 2020. Compte tenu de la transition vers le modèle de Validation révisé, le Conseil d’administration a reporté le début de la Validation au 1er avril 2021. Le 10 mai 2021, le Conseil d’administration de l’ITIE a approuvé la demande de prorogation de l’échéance de Validation au 1er juillet 2021 soumise par les Pays-Bas.

L’ITIE Pays-Bas a collationné la documentation pour la Validation en s’appuyant sur les modèles de collecte de données approuvés par le Conseil d’administration concernant l’engagement des parties prenantes, la transparence et les résultats et l’impact. Les fichiers sont disponibles sur le site Internet de l’ITIE Pays-Bas. L’équipe de Validation du Secrétariat international a préparé une évaluation initiale, sur la base de la procédure de Validation et du guide de Validation. Conformément à la procédure de Validation, un appel public a été lancé pour la période du 1er juin au 1er juillet 2021 en vue recueillir les opinions des parties prenantes sur la mise en œuvre de l’ITIE. Les consultations en ligne avec les parties prenantes ont eu lieu de juillet à septembre 2021.

Le projet d’évaluation a été communiqué au Groupe multipartite, afin que celui-ci y réponde le 24 septembre 2021 au plus tard. Le Groupe multipartite a soumis ses commentaires le 22 octobre 2021, puis l’évaluation a été finalisée en vue de la soumettre à l’examen du Comité de Validation.

Conformément à l’Article 4.c de la Section 4 de la Norme ITIE 2019, l’évaluation globale comprend les scores obtenus relativement aux composantes de l’engagement des parties prenantes, de la transparence et des résultats et de l’impact, ainsi qu’un résultat numérique global. Le score atteint pour les composantes est la moyenne des points octroyés pour chaque Exigence pertinente. Les points octroyés concernant les indicateurs d’efficacité et de viabilité sont ajoutés au score correspondant à la composante des résultats et de l’impact. Le score général est la moyenne des scores obtenus relativement aux trois composantes.

Scorecard for Netherlands: 2021

Assessment of EITI requirements

  • Not met
  • Partly met
  • Mostly met
  • Fully met
  • Exceeded
Component View more
Score

The three components of Validation each receive a score out of 100, as follows:

Low 0-49
Fairly low 50-69
Moderate 70-84
High 85-92
Very high 93-100
View more

Outcomes and impact

48 Low
Scorecard by requirement
Assessment
Assessment of EITI Requirements

Validation assesses the extent to which each EITI Requirement is met, using five categories. The component score is an average of the points awarded for each requirement that falls within the component.

Outcomes and impact

Effectiveness and sustainability indicators

0

1.5 Work plan

30

Like its predecessors, the NL-EITI 2021 work plan does not reflect national priorities or sectoral objectives for implementation, aside of a general “contribution to public debate”. Recommendations from reporting are not reflected. Different stakeholder needs do not seem to be reflected, and there is no evidence of consultations with the broader government, industry, and civil society constituencies. The work plan is not costed and doesn’t give an indication on the cost of implementation. No obstacles to implementation, nor ways to overcome them, are mentioned. Activities listed are mainly concerned with delivering the report, work plan and impact review, and steps to continue exploring mainstreaming.

7.1 Public debate

30

The two EITI Reports produced to date are available online. The report launch event for the 2017 Report in 2020 was cancelled due to Covid. There was no event carried out to promote the 2018 Report in 2021. There has been some outreach on the Report besides publishing the Report online. MSG members have contributed to disseminating the Report via their channels, primarily publishing press releases the EITI Report releases. Most stakeholders consulted were frank in their assessment that the objective of active communication of relevant data to key stakeholders in ways that are accessible and reflect stakeholders’ needs was not being fulfilled. Despite constraints from the Covid-19 pandemic, there is little evidence on stakeholders’ proactive dissemination of EITI findings and data.

7.2 Data accessibility and open data

60

The NL-EITI MSG has submitted the summary data templates for 2017 and 2018. An open data policy was recently adopted (June 2021). There is no evidence of efforts beyond plans to launch a new website by the end of 2021 to promote the data in the EITI Reports in open format.

7.3 Follow up on recommendations

60

Besides the table in the EITI Report with the status overview of previous recommendations, there is little evidence of the MSG following up on lessons learned from reporting beyond the inclusion of the IA’s list of recommendations from the latest report in the annual EITI progress report. There is no evidence of steps identified to follow-up on information gaps. The work plan does not refer to any activities that result from recommendations from the latest report. Stakeholders consulted explained that the process for follow-up on recommendations consisted of the National Coordinator following up with the MSG Chair, without a clear MSG mechanism for consistent follow-up on recommendations aside from ad hoc MSG discussions based on follow-up by the National Secretariat. However, the MSG’s comments on the draft assessment explained that the MSG discusses lessons learned each year, in particular when the annual progress report and the work plan for the new year are on the MSG’s agenda. The MSG points to the development of the new NL-EITI website and open data efforts as evidence of the MSG’s efforts to address information gaps. The MSG notes that it has focused on realistic targets given the limited resources available for implementation.

7.4 Review of outcomes and impact of implementation

60

The NL-EITI published an annual progress report, which closely follows the template provided in EITI guidance. While most technical parts of Requirement 7.4 are addressed, there is no evidence of the MSG’s consultation with the three broader constituencies in the annual review of outcomes and impact nor efforts to strengthen impacts of implementation other than the planned launch of a new website by the end of 2021. Stakeholders consulted did not express any strong views about whether the objective of ensuring regular public monitoring and evaluation of implementation, including evaluation of whether the EITI is delivering on its objectives, with a view to ensuring the EITI’s own public accountability was being fulfilled.

Stakeholder engagement

52.5 Fairly low
Scorecard by requirement
Assessment
Assessment of EITI Requirements

Validation assesses the extent to which each EITI Requirement is met, using five categories. The component score is an average of the points awarded for each requirement that falls within the component.

Multi-stakeholder oversight

1.1 Government engagement

60

There is little publicly available evidence of senior government officials making public expressions of support for the EITI since the government’s initial commitment to join the EITI in late 2015 and its acceptance as an EITI member in 2018. The NL-EITI MSG Chair until October 2018, Dirk-Jan Koch, made public statements of commitment to EITI (such as in 2018), but evidence of high-level government commitment to EITI since then has been limited to a government brief from Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate B. van 't Wout in January 2021 and a letter to Parliament by his immediate predecessor Eric Wiebes also in January 2021. The Ministries of Economic Affairs and Climate and of Foreign Affairs have issued regular decisions to establish the institutional framework for EITI and confirming the appointments to the MSG (most recently in 2019). One MSG member consulted noted that senior government officials did not appear aware of the Netherlands’ implementation of the EITI, although this was considered commensurate with the limited ambitions for the Netherlands’ EITI implementation. Two senior government officials, initially from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and subsequently from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, led EITI implementation as successive MSG Chairs from April 2017 to May 2019. Since then, an independent consultant with a background in government was appointed as MSG Chair in June 2019. Stakeholders consulted considered that the MSG Chairs had sufficient authority to overcome potential barriers to implementation and that the current MSG Chair, while independent from government, received sufficient access and resources from government. The national secretariat is hosted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, which provides funding that is considered adequate to support implementation in its current format according to stakeholders consulted. Government representatives considered that additional funds could be requested from the Ministry to support specific additional activities, as had been the case in 2021 with the recruitment of a full-time communications specialist for the secretariat. The secretariat has limited capacity to support implementation given the one part-time (60%) national coordinator. Relevant government departments are represented on the MSG and appear to participate regularly, with engagement primarily driven by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, the Netherlands Tax and Customs Administration and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Stakeholders consulted however considered that government engagement was limited to the provision of data for EITI reporting rather than proactive engagement in all aspects of implementation. There is no institutional mechanism for intra-government consultations on EITI beyond quarterly MSG meetings. The MSG’s documentation in the ‘Stakeholder engagement’ template notes that consultations are held ‘if deemed necessary’, primarily through sharing of EITI developments to relevant Ministry of Foreign Affairs country desks and embassies. No evidence was provided of outreach to the broader constituency in the development of the annual work plan or reviews of outcomes and impact. The only examples of government participation in EITI outreach and dissemination provided were limited to government participation in a NL-EITI national event in March 2018. A government representative consulted considered that government commitment to EITI had declined since 2018, which had led to lower engagement from the other two constituencies given that government had driven the initial commitment to EITI. There was consensus among stakeholders consulted that the objective of ensuring a full, active and effective government lead for EITI implementation, both at high level and operationally, was not yet fulfilled, although most stakeholders considered that this was partly explained by the limited ambition of the NL-EITI work plan objective. In the context of a small relative contribution of the extractive industries to the economy set to decline over the medium term, the government’s limited engagement has nonetheless been sufficient to facilitate most aspects of EITI implementation given the narrow objectives. The Secretariat’s assessment is that the Netherlands has mostly met Requirement 1.1.

1.2 Industry engagement

60

The extractive industries are represented through three full seats and one alternate on the NL-EITI MSG through the industry association, the Netherlands Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Association (NOGEPA), and three oil and gas company member of the association. There is no representation within NL-EITI for non-NOGEPA member oil and gas companies nor salt mining companies, despite the fact that the first two NL-EITI Reports have included material non-member oil and gas companies and provided non-financial information on the salt mining sector. The oil and gas SOE, Energie Beheer Nederland (EBN), is not a member of the MSG but was appointed as an observer in January 2020. NOEGEPA includes 13 (of the 39) of the largest oil and gas companies operating in the Netherlands as members, and several companies considered material in the first two NL-EITI Reports are not members. The lack of MSG representation for salt mining companies could become problematic given the MSG’s decision to include the largest salt mining companies in the scope of reporting for the third (2019-2020) EITI Report. Several government representatives consulted noted that the decision to expand the scope of reporting to the largest salt mining companies had been driven by the industry constituency, given oil and gas companies’ desire to broaden the constituency and the fact that salt mining was part of the broader economic sector (of mining and quarrying). The constituency had also advocated to expand the scope of reporting to renewable energies such as wind power. Coordination of the constituency’s engagement in EITI has been delegated to a NOGEPA legal counsel that represents the association on the MSG. Issues for the industry’s consideration are raised on an ad hoc basis through NOGEPA’s Legal, Communications and Executive Committees as well as its Working Group on Fiscal Matters. The Executive Committee decides on MSG representation for the industry constituency at one of its quarterly meetings. Industry participates regularly at MSG meetings, with engagement driven by representatives from NOGEPA, Shell and NAM. However, there is little evidence of industry engagement in all aspects of implementation beyond participation in MSG meetings and provision of data for EITI reporting. Members of the association review drafts of the EITI Report annually prior to publication, but the constituency notes that only ‘major issues’ in the annual work plan are discussed by the association’s various committees. The Executive Committee discussed the 2021 NL-EITI work plan (after publication) for the first time at its June 2021 meeting. Members of NOGEPA attended the March 2018 NL-EITI National Event and the EITI Reports are published on the NOGEPA website, with two companies issuing press releases on the publication of the first (2017) EITI Report in January 2020. There is no evidence of use of EITI data by industry beyond the use of EITI Reports for NOGEPA’s internal training purposes. The level of company participation in EITI reporting has gradually improved from 15 companies in 2017 to 17 in 2018. However, given the voluntary-based approach to selecting oil and gas companies that are not NOGEPA members and the lack of statement in either EITI Report concerning the comprehensiveness of the reconciled financial disclosures, it is unclear whether all companies making material payments to government participated (see Requirement 4.1). MSG members consulted noted that Dutch-domiciled companies’ mandatory payments to government reports had not been reviewed as a means of ensuring that EITI disclosures were comprehensive of all material payments to government. The MSG has implemented a system of waivers for taxpayer confidentiality provisions (under General Law on State Tax Article 67 - AWR), although oil and gas companies that are not NOGEPA members are given the discretion to decide whether to participate. There is no evidence that the MSG has explored the scope for the government to make EITI reporting mandatory for oil and gas companies. While the industry constituency does not consider that there are any barriers to companies’ participation in EITI implementation, there is no evidence of outreach by NOGEPA to oil and gas companies that are not members. Industry stakeholders consulted considered it the responsibility of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy to coordinate with non-NOGEPA oil and gas companies, as the sector regulator. While the MSG’s comments on the draft assessment argued that the reconciliation covered 95% of government extractive revenues in 2018, it appears that extractive companies making material payments to government in 2018 (i.e. above EUR 100,000) were not included in the scope of the reconciliation, and that they did not provide taxpayer confidentiality waivers for the purposes of EITI reporting. Stakeholders consulted did not express any particular views on whether the objective of full, active and effective engagement by extractive companies in the EITI, both in terms of disclosures and participation in the MSG’s work, had been fulfilled although they considered that there was an enabling environment for company participation. The Secretariat’s assessment is that there are weaknesses in technical aspects of the requirement, including lack of coordination mechanisms with the broader constituency, lack of comprehensive company participation in reporting, a lack of proactive participation in outreach and dissemination as well as insufficient efforts to establish a consistent approach for overcoming taxpayer confidentiality barriers. Balancing these gaps against the limited aspirations for EITI implementation and the industry’s engagement in broadening the scope of EITI reporting to renewables as an issue of greater public interest, the Secretariat’s assessment is that the objective of Requirement 1.2 has been mostly met.

1.3 Civil society engagement

60

Evidence and stakeholder consultations indicate that a narrow group of (three) civil society organisations (CSOs) are involved in EITI implementation (Transparency International Netherlands, the Netherlands Trade Union Federation (FNV) and Open State Foundation). While a group of 12 CSOs were consulted in 2016 and 2019 to canvass interest in establishing a mechanism for constituency coordination, there has never been sufficient interest in NL-EITI objectives to move beyond ad hoc (at most annual) consultations with specific organisations. Stakeholder consultations explained that most of the 12 CSOs consulted have primarily an international focus in their extractives work and did not view domestic extractive industry transparency as a priority. Environmentally focused CSOs such as Greenpeace, MilieuDefensie and Waddenvereniging were said not to identify alignment of the EITI with their priorities within the Netherlands. Ad hoc CSO coordination on EITI issues has been limited to a consultation on the draft of the first (2017) NL-EITI Report via email and at a meeting hosted by Tax Justice Netherlands, as well as CSO participation in the March 2018 National Event organised by the MSG to launch EITI implementation. There is no documented evidence of the civil society MSG members’ outreach to the broader constituency to gather input in the development of the annual EITI work plan or review of outcomes and impact, although stakeholder consultations indicated that email outreach by MSG members had not resulted in any input due to the lack of interest in EITI from CSOs not represented on the MSG. The three civil society MSG members were nominated in March 2016 in an informal process that resulted in the only three CSOs demonstrating some interest in EITI being selected. Stakeholders consulted from government and civil society explained that it had been a challenge to fill the MSG seats allocated to civil society both in 2016 and in 2019. Civil society members from the constituency participate regularly in MSG meetings. The focus of civil society input to MSG deliberations has been primarily on the issue of project-level reporting, with calls to ensure disaggregation of all payments to government by project regardless of the basis for calculations of taxes and levies (e.g. including for taxes levied at a consolidated company or group level) (see Requirement 4.7). The three CSO MSG members’ organisations have issued press releases on the publication of the two NL-EITI Reports to date, although there is scant evidence of civil society’s use of EITI data or contribution to outreach and dissemination beyond these limited efforts. There is no evidence of any barriers to civil society participation or input to the EITI process related to freedom of association, expression, operation, or access to public decision-making. There was consensus among stakeholders consulted that there had been no attempt by actors outside civil society to influence the constituency’s EITI-related activities, including MSG nominations. Stakeholders consulted did not express any particular views on whether the objective of full, active and effective engagement by civil society in the EITI had been fulfilled although they considered that there was an enabling environment for civil society participation in the EITI. The Secretariat’s assessment is that there are weaknesses in technical aspects of the requirement, including lack of coordination mechanisms with the broader constituency and a lack of engagement in all aspects of implementation including outreach and dissemination of EITI findings. Balancing these gaps against the limited MSG aspirations for EITI implementation and civil society’s engagement on technical disclosure issues such as project-level reporting, the Secretariat’s assessment is that the objective of Requirement 1.3 has been mostly met.

1.4 MSG governance

30

The MSG was constituted in October 2017 ahead of the Netherlands’ EITI candidature application, with renewal of members on an ad hoc basis due to changes in positions. The same organisations have been represented on the MSG since the start. The process for identifying the organisations to be members of the MSG was based on consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, of Economic Affairs and of Finance, NOGEPA and civil society organisations. There are no codified constituency nomination procedures for MSG seats, with the MSG’s ToR (Section 4) simply noting that constituencies’ nominations to the MSG must be in accordance with EITI Requirement 1.4.a and confirmed by decision of the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation and the Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. Appointment of MSG members is for a period of three years, renewable once, with ministerial decisions confirming these appointments in October 2017 and July 2019. In practice, the Ministries of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, of Foreign Affairs and the Netherlands Tax and Customs Administration (NCTA) appoint their full and alternate MSG members following changes of position. The oil and gas industry association, NOGEPA, decides the constituency’s three full and one alternate MSG members through its Executive Committee. The civil society constituency originally appointed its members three full and three alternate MSG members in a meeting of 12 CSOs, which were consulted again in 2019 before the same organisations were selected to remain on the MSG. Stakeholders from all constituencies noted the challenges in identifying individuals interested in participating in the MSG and explained that the selected individuals tended to be the ones that did not refuse. Despite the lack of public constituency nominations procedures, the Secretariat’s assessment is that MSG members have been appointed on the basis of open, fair and transparent constituency procedures and that the procedural gap is due to insufficient engagement by the three constituencies (see Requirements 1.1-1.3). The MSG appears to be functioning in an equitable manner, in accordance with the MSG’s ToR. The ToR, modelled on the UKEITI MSG’s, were approved at the NL-EITI MSG’s fifth meeting in February 2018 and revised in December 2020 to reflect changes in the 2019 EITI Standard. Meeting minutes indicate that the MSG has approved its own ToR on each occasion. The MSG’s ToR are consistent with all aspects of Requirement 1.4.b. While there appear to have been no deviations from the ToR in the 2017-2021 period, with all MSG decisions taken by consensus, electronic consultations with each of the broader constituencies has only elicited limited input (see Requirements 1.1-1.3). Consultations with MSG members from all constituencies indicated a lack of understanding of MSG members’ responsibility for liaising with their broader respective constituencies, which is a concern. Attendance of most MSG members is consistent. Minutes of meetings are published on the NL-EITI website (although minutes of meetings prior to the MSG’s June 2019 decision to operate under Chatham House rules have been taken down) and meetings are scheduled with sufficient advance notice, with documents circulated sufficiently ahead of time. The MSG establishes temporary working groups to work on specific topics in accordance with its ToR (Section 6), with a total of ten such ‘sub-groups’ established in the 2018-2020 period, with only two operational in 2021 (on communications and Validation). There is no practice of per diem, as confirmed in the candidature application, the MSG’s ToR and stakeholder consultations. Stakeholders consulted did not express any particular opinion on whether the objective of ensuring an independent MSG that can exercise active and meaningful oversight of all aspects of EITI implementation that balances the three main constituencies’ interests in a consensual manner had been achieved. The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 1.4 is partly met given the lack of sufficient efforts by MSG members to liaise with their respective constituencies on EITI-related issues and effective outreach to their respective constituencies.

Transparency

67.5 Fairly low
Scorecard by requirement
Assessment
Assessment of EITI Requirements

Validation assesses the extent to which each EITI Requirement is met, using five categories. The component score is an average of the points awarded for each requirement that falls within the component.

Overview of the extractive industries

3.1 Exploration data

100

The Netherlands has exceeded the requirement’s objective of ensuring public access to an overview of the extractive sector in the country through systematic disclosures of information on the extractive sector and its potential, including recent, ongoing, and planned significant exploration activities. The Netherlands systematically discloses all relevant data through the government’s Annual Review of Natural Resources and Geothermal Energy report, including data on reserves, exploration and extractive activities for petroleum, coal, rock salt and geothermal sectors. The Netherlands has publicly disclosed through its EITI Reports a comprehensive overview of the extractive industries, including significant exploration activities, which maps out available data systematically disclosed through the NLOG website.

6.3 Contribution of the extractive sector to the economy

60

The Netherlands has mostly met the objective of ensuring a public understanding of the extractive industries’ contribution to the national economy and the level of natural resource dependency in the economy. While most indicators appear readily and timely available through the Central Bureau of Statistic's portal, it appears that some data points do not refer to the extractive sector as a whole, rather focuses solely on natural gas. This appears to be the case for government revenues, and contribution to exports (the latter does not provide a source or explanation of the estimate). Other official estimates by the Central Statistics Bureau appear to be less than the estimate included in the Transparency template, and estimates of government revenues from extractive sectors other than natural gas do not appear to be publicly accessible.

Legal and fiscal framework

2.1 Legal framework

90

The NL-EITI Report 2018 describes the legal environment and fiscal regime for mining, oil and gas, including the roles of government entities, the level of fiscal devolution and reforms up to 2018. Government websites provide much of the information required although the fiscal regime and degree of fiscal devolution do not appear to be disclosed systematically on government websites referenced. Aside from the fiscal regime and level of fiscal devolution, all other aspects of the regulatory framework are systematically disclosed and documented in EITI reporting, supporting the assessment that the Netherlands has fully met, but not yet exceeded, the objective of Requirement 2.1.

2.4 Contracts

30

The Netherlands have partly met the objective of this requirement to ensure the public accessibility of all licenses underpinning extractive activities. The full text of oil, gas, and mining licenses is provided through systematic disclosure in publications of the Official Gazette and the EITI Report clarifies government policy in favour of disclosing the full text of all licenses. However, it is unclear whether there are any contracts in the oil and gas sector, given the lack of clarity over whether EBN's "cooperation agreements" constitute contracts governing the exploitation of natural resources in accordance with the definition of "contracts" in Requirement 2.4.d. In addition, there is insufficient guidance from NL-EITI on where to locate the full text of mining, oil and gas licenses awarded since 1 January 2021. There does not appear to be a comprehensive list of all mining, oil and gas licenses (including those awarded prior to 1 January 2021), clearly indicating which ones are publicly accessible in accordance with Requirement 2.4.c.ii.

6.4 Environmental impact

Not assessed

The Netherlands systematically discloses information on the legal provisions and administrative rules related to environmental management and monitoring of extractive investments in the country, including on environmental impact assessments and licences granted to oil, gas and mining companies, and on the roles and responsibilities of relevant government agencies. While the Commission on Environmental Impact Assessment website provides information on completed assessments and ongoing consultations, there is little further information on actual practice related to environmental management and monitoring of extractive investments in the country on government websites, such as for instance extractive companies’ contributions to environmental remediation. While government websites such as NLOG provide information on environmental impacts of mining, oil and gas and efforts to transition to more environmentally sustainable extractive industries, there does not appear to be comprehensive information on regular environmental monitoring procedures, administrative and sanctioning processes of governments, as well as environmental liabilities, environmental rehabilitation and remediation programmes. The 2018 NL-EITI Report provides only a cursory overview of government agencies’ responsibilities for granting of environmental licenses and monitoring the environmental impact of extractive activities. Therefore, the Netherlands has not fully met the objective of Requirement 6.4, which remains ‘not assessed’ given that this requirement is an encouraged aspect of the EITI Standard.

Licenses

2.2 Contract and license allocations

60

The Netherlands systematically discloses information on the award of mining, oil and gas licenses, including the identity of licenses awarded, the process for awarding and transferring licenses, including technical criteria and financial criteria for oil and gas licenses but only technical (not financial) criteria for mining licenses. However, the identity of licenses transferred in 2018 is unclear, as are the technical and financial criteria assessed in transfers. There is no evidence of the MSG's assessment of non-trivial deviations in mining, oil and gas license awards and transfers in 2018. Mining, oil and gas licenses do not appear to be awards through competitive tender. Therefore, the Netherlands has mostly met this requirement.

2.3 Register of licenses

60

The Netherlands systematically discloses information on mining, oil and gas licenses through the NLOG website and data centre, including data on the license holder’s name, commodity(ies) covered and coordinates, for all active licenses irrespective of the materiality of payments associated with each license. While the dates of award appear to be provided for all active licenses, it is unclear where the dates of application and expiry are available for all mining, oil and gas licenses. Therefore, the Netherlands has mostly met this requirement.

Ownership

2.5 Beneficial ownership

60

The Netherlands has enacted legislation to establish a publicly accessible ultimate beneficial ownership (UBO) registry. It will apply to all companies that apply for or hold a participating interest in exploration or production mining, oil and gas licenses. Regulations implementing the act will only come into force in March 2022. The register will be maintained by the Dutch Chamber of Commerce. To date, beneficial ownership information has been requested from some, but not yet all, corporate entities that apply for or hold participating interests in mining, oil and gas exploration or production licenses. Following full enforcement of the UBO regulations in March 2022, it is expected that the requisite information will be available. However, this will need to be verified, including the coverage of legal ownership (available through other sources) and the coverage of politically exposed persons. The MSG has only clarified to date that legal ownership information on only some companies (private limited companies (BVs), not public companies (NVs)) is currently accessible to the public.

State participation

2.6 State participation

90

The 2018 EITI Report adequately explains the role of the sole SOE in the extractive sector, EBN, including how EBN operates in a contractual collaboration without being a license holder or operator. The report also describes the rules and practices governing retained earnings, reinvestment, fund transfers (including dividends), and third-party financing. Concerning fund transfers between the state and the SOE and third-party financing, the EITI Report does not clarify whether government transfers to EBN are applicable for exploration, drilling, and transportation phases of the oil and gas value chain, or only for production, and whether sovereign guarantees are granted to loans contracted by EBN. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MSG clarified that EBN was not entitled to receive any government transfers for exploration, drilling and transportation phases nor for production, and that it does not benefit from a sovereign guarantee for any of its debt. The 2018 EITI Report explains that the SOE does not hold equity in other extractive companies and confirms the lack of loans from EBN to extractive companies. EBN's group-level audited financial statements are publicly disclosed. While the cooperation agreements between EBN and the oil and gas companies are not publicly available, the 2018 EITI Report specifies that the participating interests of EBN in oil and gas projects may vary between 40 and 50% and Appendix 5 lists each oil and gas project in which EBN participates, including the level of participation for each of them and the terms attached to EBN’s participating interest in each project. The EITI Report explains in general terms that costs of exploration and production are covered by the co-licence holders and that EBN covers its share of expenditures in line with its participating interest, which EBN finances through borrowings from external lenders. A stakeholder consulted confirmed that EBN always covered its share of costs in line with its participating interest in each project. The report confirms that EBN does not receive any subsidy or other contributions from the government for its participation in oil and gas projects.

4.2 In-kind revenues

60

The MSG references the ToR IA and the minutes of particular MSG meetings to validate their assessment that Requirement 4.2 is not applicable. However, in its comments on the draft assessment, the MSG confirmed that EBN receives gas produced from the smaller fields in kind and sells this to GasTerra, referencing the relevant sections of the 2018 EITI Report (pp.39-40). While the 2018 EITI Report provides disclosures of the proceeds of EBN’s sales of natural gas to GasTerra that are transferred to the state, it does not provide the volumes of in-kind natural gas collected by EBN and the volumes sold by EBN to GasTerra.

4.5 SOE transactions

90

The MSG does well to lay out the relationship between the sole SOE, EBN, and the State as well as describing the interaction between EBN and independent extractive companies operating in the country. Although the 2018 EITI Report details the payments from extractive companies to EBN (hydrocarbons sales, pipeline fees and gas storage fees) they are disaggregated only by companies, not by revenue streams. In terms of revenues received by the government from EBN, both 2018 EITI Report and the 2018 annual report of EBN disclose the dividends payment for the year under review (although there are discrepancies between the two sources).

Production and exports

3.2 Production data

60

The Netherlands has mostly met the objective of ensuring public understanding of extractive commodity(ies) production levels, as a basis for addressing production-related issues in the extractive industries. Volumes for mining, oil, and gas commodities are systematically disclosed as well as mentioned in the NL-EITI Report. However, NL-EITI has not provided production values for any of the corresponding volumes listed and there does not appear to have been any effort to provide estimates of these production values in the place of actual values. Project-level disclosures of oil and gas production volumes is systematically disclosed through the NLOG annual reviews for the main projects in the country.

3.3 Export data

90

The Netherlands has fully met the objective of ensuring public understanding of extractive commodity(ies) export levels and the valuation of extractive commodity exports. Export data for extractive commodities is systematically disclosed on government websites such as the CBS Statline portal and referenced in the NL-EITI Report. The Secretariat understands that the Netherlands does not export unprocessed salt.

Revenue collection

4.1 Comprehensiveness

60

The Netherlands has mostly met the objective of ensuring comprehensive disclosures of company payments and government revenues from oil, gas, and mining as the basis for detailed public understanding of the contribution of the extractive industries to government revenues. The MSG has described the existing revenue streams in the extractive industries. Materiality thresholds are well described to ensure a clear methodology for setting the scope of reconciliation. However, legal taxpayer confidentiality constraints prevent government publication of tax revenues from individual companies, which creates a substantial barrier for full government disclosure of extractive revenues. It is not clear whether all extractive companies have fully disclosed payments and revenues, nor whether the government has fully reported all revenues received from all extractive companies by individual revenue stream. Several stakeholders consulted confirmed that several companies making material payments to government in 2018 had either not agreed to sign taxpayer confidentiality waivers (and thus were not even mentioned in the EITI Report) or had not participated in EITI reporting despite signing such waivers. Stakeholders confirmed that there was no ex-post verification of whether any material revenue stream or extractive company was omitted from the reconciliation exercise, nor were such confirmation sought from external sources such as the Payments to Government reports that extractive companies in the Netherlands are subject to in accordance with the country’s implementation of the EU Accounting and Transparency Directives. The lack of such publicly documented confirmation of the adequacy of the scope of the reconciliation casts doubt on its comprehensiveness.

4.3 Infrastructure provisions and barter arrangements

60

The Netherlands has mostly met the objective of ensuring public understanding of infrastructure provisions and barter-type arrangements, commensurate with other cash-based company payments and government revenues from oil, gas and mining. The MSG’s Validation templates consider that Requirement 4.3 is not applicable in the period under review, with reference to the IA’s ToR and MSG meeting minutes. However, review of relevant MSG meeting minutes do not provide sufficient evidence to justify the MSG’s conclusion that Requirement 4.3 is not applicable given the lack of description of the MSG’s approach to assessing the existence of infrastructure provisions and barter-type arrangements.

4.4 Transportation revenues

60

The Netherlands has mostly met the objective of ensuring transparency in government and SOE revenues from the transit of oil, gas and minerals as a basis for promoting greater accountability in extractive commodity transportation arrangements involving the state or SOEs. The EITI Report includes midstream (gas transportation) companies in the scope of reconciliation (see Requirement 4.1). However, the report does not identify EBN's specific share of the proceeds from transportation services provided by companies in which it holds equity interests. The report indicates that EUR 2.74 billion were received for hydrocarbon sales, pipeline fees, and gas storage fees, but the specific value of EBN's share of transportation revenues is not provided. While there is insufficient publicly accessible information on whether transportation revenues were above the materiality EUR 100,000 threshold for selecting revenue streams, the MSG appears to consider these material given that it has included transportation companies in the scope of reconciliation.

4.7 Level of disaggregation

60

The Netherlands has mostly met the objective of this requirement to ensure disaggregation in public disclosures of company payments and government revenues from oil, gas and mining that enables the public to assess the extent to which the government can monitor its revenue receipts as defined by its legal and fiscal framework. The Netherlands has identified what constitutes a project in the national context, though some outstanding questions remain related to the context of pre-1965 licenses and post 1965-licenses. It is unclear whether these licenses are substantially interconnected or subject to overarching legal agreements between the state and private companies. Additionally, there appears to be contradictory information in the public domain on whether certain payment types are indeed levied on a per project, per company or per fiscal unity basis. The explanations of the 2018 EITI Report (Table 6) suggest that the payments are levied on individual production licenses (profit share), on specific concessions (state share), or on each license in which EBN holds a participating interest (state participation). However, the 2018 EITI Report concludes that all of these payment types are levied at entity or fiscal unit levels. Three of the four revenue streams that the MSG categorises as being levied on a per project basis are disclosed disaggregated by project, while the fourth (a new revenue stream established in 2018, ‘retribution’) is not, although stakeholders consulted noted that this was being addressed in the 2019-2020 EITI Report. Lastly, receipts of EBN from proceeds of subsidiaries and other revenues collected from affiliated companies do not appear to be disaggregated by individual revenue stream.

4.8 Data timeliness

90

The Netherlands has fully met the objective of ensuring that public disclosures of company payments and government revenues from oil, gas and mining are sufficiently timely to be relevant to inform public debate and policy making. While data for 2018 was not published ahead of the 31 December 2020 deadline, the EITI Board granted the country an extension of the deadline due to the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, 2018 EITI reporting is considered sufficiently timely to meet Requirement 4.8. The MSG appears to be exploring ways to improve the timeliness of EITI disclosures, although it has not yet agreed a clear path for improving timeliness of Netherlands’ revenues from the extractive sector. The Netherlands, while meeting the requirements of data timeliness, remains the only European EITI implementing country that does not publish data well in advance of its reporting deadlines.

4.9 Data quality and assurance

60

The Netherlands has mostly met the objective of ensuring that appropriate measures have been taken to ensure the reliability of disclosures of company payments and government revenues from oil, gas and mining. The aim is for the EITI to contribute to strengthening routine government and company audit and assurance systems and practices and ensure that stakeholders can have confidence in the reliability of the financial data on payments and revenues. The MSG used the standard TOR for IAs to ensure that a consultant, reporting on only EITI Requirements 4.1 to 4.9, was mandated to follow the EITI Board's standard procedures. These procedures appear to have largely been followed in practice, albeit with some important gaps. Firstly, neither the IA nor the MSG has formed an explicit opinion on the comprehensiveness or reliability of financial data included in Netherlands' 2018 EITI Report, which is mandated by the IA’s TOR agreed by the MSG. Secondly, there does not appear to be an overview of specific company and government audit practices in 2018 available in the public domain. Lastly, the precise additional assurances demanded from reporting entities were not clearly described in the EITI Report itself (i.e., whether quality assurances for EITI reporting consisted of management attestation or any other element). The lack of provision of the agreed quality assurances by an important government agency (EZK) raises questions over the reliability of reconciled financial data, given that EZK collected more than 60% of government extractive revenues. While no stakeholder consulted implied there were concerns related to data reliability, these form important steps for users of EITI data to ascertain the level of reliability and completeness of financial data.

Revenue management

5.1 Distribution of revenues

90

The 2018 NL-EITI Report states that all extractive revenues are recorded in the national budget. The MSG has not referenced any public source documenting national revenue classifications of extractive revenues nor assessed the alignment of national and international revenue classifications for such government revenues. Thus, the Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 5.1 is fully met but not yet exceeded given that encouraged aspects of the requirement have not yet been addressed by NL-EITI.

5.3 Revenue management and expenditures

Not assessed

The Netherlands systematically discloses some information on revenue management and expenditures, including a general overview of the budget and audit processes, but not on any earmarked extractive revenues nor on assumptions and projections underpinning budget planning. Therefore, the Secretariat's assessment is that the objective of the requirement has not yet been fully met.

Subnational contributions

4.6 Subnational payments

30

The Netherlands does not appear to have made tangible progress in ensuring comprehensive and reliable disclosures of direct subnational payments. Although the MSG considers this requirement 'not applicable' in the Validation template, there is no publicly available evidence of the MSG's consideration of the materiality of direct subnational payments. Nonetheless, Appendix 4 of the 2018 EITI Report describes both payments to provinces and to municipalities that are required of extractive companies, although it is unclear whether these are levied from both mining as well as from oil and gas companies. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MSG argued that it had undertaken some work on direct subnational payments but that they had not been included in the scope of reconciliation because of the materiality and the “disproportionate burden” this would put on the many provinces, municipalities and water boards. While data on the value of direct subnational payments by extractive companies in 2018 does not appear to be publicly accessible to support the MSG’s assessment that these payments are not material, the MSG’s comments noted that the 2019-2020 EITI Report would include unilateral disclosure by extractive companies of their direct subnational payments, even if this report has not yet been published.

5.2 Subnational transfers

Not applicable

There are no transfers between national and subnational government entities related to revenues generated by the extractive industries in the Netherlands, as confirmed in NL-EITI reporting. This requirement is therefore not applicable in the Netherlands in the period under review.

6.1 Social and environmental expenditures

60

The MSG has demonstrated that there are no mandatory social expenditures paid by extractive companies in the Netherlands. While the MSG argues that the only environmental taxes (energy tax and surcharge for renewable energy (ODE)) paid by oil and gas companies on their self-generated electricity is below the materiality threshold for selecting revenue streams, the figures for environmental payments (energy tax and ODE) by extractive companies in the 2018 EITI Report appear to indicate that both of these revenue streams were material in 2018, i.e., above the EUR 100,000 threshold for selecting material revenue streams for reconciliation.