How to voice your concern
The EITI’s governance structure provides stakeholders with a number of ways to address possible grievances or raise concerns.
The EITI takes decisions in many different ways. Different decisions can be appealed in different ways. In the below an overview is provided of how redress can be sought to decisions by different EITI bodies.
The governing body of the EITI is the Members’ Meeting, which meets at least once every three years. It takes the most important decisions and significant rights and obligations are associated with being a Member. Anyone wishing the Members’ Meeting to reconsider its decisions or otherwise consider EITI policy or implementation, should communicate this to the Chair.
According to Article 8.1.iv) The EITI Members’ Meeting shall:
Consider any other matters pursuant to requests from a Member. Such requests shall be submitted in writing to the EITI Chair in time for any such matters to be included in the agenda for the EITI Members’ Meeting stated in the summons.”
Given the significant role of the Members’ Meeting, it is important to determine who the members are. It is the constituencies who appoint the members, but the Board can terminate membership if a member does not comply with the EITI Articles of Association or if they are considered to have conducted themselves in a way prejudicial to the EITI principles. Any stakeholder whose membership has been terminated by the EITI Board in accordance with Article 5.5 in the Articles of Association can appeal the decision to the EITI Members’ Meeting in accordance with Article 5.6 in the Articles of Association.
In summary, any stakeholder can write to the Chair requesting that the Members’ Meeting considers a matter. If the Board has terminated someone’s membership, this can be appealed to the Members’ Meeting.
The executive body of the EITI is the EITI Board. It takes a wide range of decision, related to the implementation of the EITI Standard and to the running of the EITI as an organisation. Anyone wishing the Board to reconsider its decisions or otherwise consider EITI policy or implementation, should communicate this to the Board. This can be done by writing to the Board Chair, (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the Board Secretary (. The Chair may then decide that the Board should address the matter and may ask one of the EITI Board committees to consider the issue before the Board does so.
For countries implementing the EITI, there are particular provisions set out in the EITI Standard. Countries who disagree with a decision by the EITI Board on their status can appeal the decision in accordance with requirement 8.8 in the EITI Standard:
“The implementing country concerned may petition the EITI Board to review its decision regarding suspension, delisting or the country designation as EITI Candidate or EITI Compliant following Validation. In responding to such petitions, the EITI Board will consider the facts of the case, the need to preserve the integrity of the EITI and the principle of consistent treatment between countries. The EITI Board’s decision is final. The country concerned may, prior to the notice periods under Article 8 of the Articles of Association, appeal a decision of the EITI Board to the next ordinary Members’ Meeting.”
In summary, any stakeholder can write to the Chair also requesting that the Board considers a matter, action or decision taken by the Board or Secretariat.
The EITI requires effective multi-stakeholder oversight, including a functioning multi-stakeholder group (overview to EITI Standard Requirement 1). Issues related to implementation should therefore first be addressed to the multi-stakeholder group.
There are particular provisions related to civil society in the Protocol: Participation of civil society, which forms an integral part of the EITI Standard. The protocol states that the Board through its Rapid Response Committee may be called to investigate particular cases and address alleged breaches (Section 3 of Protocol: Participation of civil society).
In summary, issues related to EITI implementation in a country should in the first instance be brought to the attention of the multi-stakeholder group of that country.
If there are concerns related to civil society participation, there are particular provisions providing for stakeholders to contact the Board. This is best done by writing to its Chair at (email@example.com). If it is an urgent matter, the Board’s deliberations are likely to begin with the Board’s Rapid Response Committee being convened.
The EITI has adopted a Code of Conduct, seeking to ensure that EITI office holders observe the highest standards of integrity. This code applies to all EITI office holders.
“EITI Office Holders with a concern related to the interpretation, implementation or potential violation of this Code of Conduct shall bring such issues to the attention to the immediate EITI body. Where matters are brought to the attention of the EITI Board, the Board will consider the circumstances and consider whether action is necessary in accordance with the EITI Principles, the EITI Standard and the Articles of Association. Anybody who is uncomfortable to raise any such concerns with the immediate EITI body may bring their concerns to the attention to the EITI Board through its Governance [and Oversight] Committee and its chair.”
The EITI’s Draft Constituency Guidelines, which are meant to assist constituencies in the development of their own guidelines, have the following advice for addressing complaints within constituencies:
“If an EITI stakeholder wishes to complain about the processes his/her constituency has followed to agree its representation on the EITI Association or Board, those complaints should firstly be directed towards the members of that constituency. If a satisfactory solution cannot be agreed, a written report should be made to the EITI International Secretariat. Within three weeks of receiving such a report, the Secretariat will investigate the complaint and make a report of its findings to the EITI Board.”
Should a member of staff have any concerns they do not consider appropriate to address to the Executive Director, they should contact the Chair. Norwegian law and in particular the Working Environment Act applies. Further details are found in the EITI International Secretariat Staff Manual.