Mainstreaming the EITI

Moving from reports to reporting

Extractive industry transparency should not be confined to an EITI Report, but rather become an integral part of how governments manage their extractive sector. Rather than relying on the EITI Report to bring about transparency, EITI implementing countries are increasingly making the information required by the EITI Standard available through government and corporate reporting systems (databases, websites, annual progress reports, portals etc.).

Mainstreaming is about encouraging and recognising countries that make transparency an integral and routine feature of their governance and management systems.

Examples from countries

Some examples from EITI implementing countries highlight this trend:

  • In Kazakhstan, the government has requested that companies file their EITI Reports as part of other mandatory reporting for subsoil license holders using an existing online platform in the Ministry Energy. The system is being further improved to reconcile data automatically. This system enabled Kazakhstan to become the first country to publish a 2014 EITI Report (read more here).
  • In the United States, as part of its commitment to implement the EITI, the US Department of Interior (DOI) has produced an interactive data portal, which allows the public to study the use of natural resources on federal lands. It includes detailed information on taxes collected from the oil, gas, coal, wind and geothermal industries and how these revenues are put to use. While the EITI Reports covers data from over a year ago, the portal allows for much more recent DOI revenue data. (Read more here).
  • In Norway, the government maintains a site called Norwegian Petroleum with “Everything you need to know about Norwegian petroleum activities”. The portal provides up-to-date aggregate data.
  • In addition to its annual reports, the Ministry of Finance in the Democratic Republic of the Congo releases quarterly figures on production and exports, and taxes and revenue. In October 2015, the government, in collaboration with United Nations Environmental Programme and the World Bank launched a pilot project, MAP-X, with the aim of embedding EITI reporting in government systems. The first phase of this project includes an assessment of government systems or “data readiness score card”, which evaluates the extent to which EITI data is machine readable, interoperable, publicly accessible, regularly updated and reliable.

Role of EITI open data policy

The EITI open data policy encourages EITI implementing countries to orient government systems towards open data by default, so that the latest information is readily available. In many cases, the disclosures required by the EITI Standard can be met by taking existing information systems and making them publicly accessible. While it is recognised that there is national and international legislation, in particular pertaining to intellectual property, personally-identifiable and sensitive information, which must be observed, in many cases there are no major practical barriers to releasing this data under an open license that allows stakeholders to freely obtain and easily re-use it. 

When countries make this transition, EITI reporting becomes simpler and cheaper. It enables the EITI multi-stakeholder group to shift their attention away from collecting data toward encouraging stakeholders to make effective use of this information.

A procedure for mainstreamed disclosures

In countries that have made substantial progress in making the information required by the EITI Standard routinely available through government and corporate reporting systems, the 2016 EITI Standard provides MSGs with an option to seek EITI Board approval to use an ‘agreed upon procedure for mainstreamed disclosures’ (available below).

All EITI implementing countries are required to make an assessment of whether the company payments and government revenues are subject to credible, independent audit, applying international auditing standards (Requirement 4.9a). Where this assessment concludes that there is: (i) routine disclosure of the data required by the EITI Standard in requisite detail, and (ii) that the financial data is subject to credible, independent audit, applying international standards, the multi-stakeholder group may seek Board approval to mainstream EITI implementation in accordance with the ‘Agreed upon procedure for mainstreamed disclosures’. Without such prior approval, conventional EITI reporting is required.

The procedure does not alter the EITI’s disclosure requirements. It requires the same information, in the same amount of detail, as conventional EITI reporting. However, it offers opportunities to improve the timeliness of reporting, while reducing the cost of implementation.

Support on mainstreaming

The International Secretariat provides advice and support to implementing countries considering mainstreaming. 

For further information, contact Sam Bartlett (sbartlett@eiti.org).