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Adapting the EITI Standard to reflect country-led innovations on transparency

EITI Board to assess proposed changes to the global standard for the good governance of oil, gas and mineral resources on 27-28 February

To date, 38 of the EITI’s 51 members have completed the Validation process, which is the assessment of a country’s performance against the requirements of the 2016 EITI Standard. The process has revealed the need for greater clarity on certain requirements, but also that implementing countries were finding increasingly innovative ways of disclosing data about their extractives sector.

A multi-stakeholder group mandated by the EITI Board to collect proposals for updating the Standard has come up with thirteen suggested changes, which will be discussed at the Board meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine, on 27-28 February. The proposals range from encouraging countries to disclose employment figures by project, role and also gender; to increasing transparency around how subnational transfers are managed.

“Our implementing countries have kept raising the bar since the last revision to the EITI Standard, with innovative disclosures related to extractives contracts, licensing, state-owned enterprises and the sale of the state’s share of oil, gas and minerals,” said Ines Schjolberg Marques, policy director at the EITI International Secretariat. “Our flagship EITI Global Conference coming up in June provides an excellent opportunity for the Board to support implementing countries’ success in delivering against such heightened aspirations, by ensuring that innovations are reflected in the updated Standard.”

Ines Schjolberg Marques, policy director at the EITI International Secretariat

Many of the proposals are about demonstrating what is good practice, without being prescriptive or requiring additional disclosures where it may not be relevant or feasible. Some proposals draw from extensive work conducted by thematic EITI working groups on systematic disclosures, state-owned enterprises and commodity trading. Others relate to areas where there are demands for the EITI to do more, such as on gender, environment and revenue management.

Feedback showed broad support for most of the proposals, notably to strengthen the systematic disclosures of data through changes to requirements 4.1 and 4.9 of the Standard. The Kyiv Board meeting will be the last prior to the 2019 Global Conference, which will be held in in Paris, France. The event will provide an opportunity for heads of state, civil society representatives and industry leaders to discuss emerging trends and best practices in the good governance of natural resources. The previous EITI Global Conference, held in Lima, Peru, hosted the launch of the 2016 EITI Standard, which put further emphasis on beneficial ownership disclosure, opened for mainstreamed disclosure and introduced more nuanced performance assessments under Validation.