Colombia accepted as candidate of resource transparency body

Minister of Mines: EITI will ensure real and verifiable information about the extractive sector.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014 - Colombia was accepted today as a ‘candidate’ country to the global transparency standard EITI. It joins the almost 50 countries that have committed to improved transparency of government revenues from the extraction of natural resources.

By joining the EITI, the Colombian government is now committing to full transparency of the revenues from the oil, gas and mining operations in the country. They are also pledging to work together with business and civil society organisations to ensure an informed debate about how its natural resources are being managed.

Clare Short, Chair of the EITI said:

“Colombia’s commitment to transparency of its natural resources is highly welcome. By requiring transparency, Colombians will be able to scrutinise how the country’s oil, gas and mineral resources are managed and ensure that they are managed for the benefit of the people.”

Minister of Mines and Energy Dr Tomas González said:

“Being a candidate country for the EITI will among other things ensure that citizens receive real and verifiable information about the extractive sector through a centralized platform providing timely, quality data that will be very useful for social purposes.”

He added that “the National Government, being committed to good governance and transparency, finds the EITI to be an effective tool that generates trust and knowledge about the mining and energy sectors throughout Colombian society.”

Viceminister of Mines, Dr. Maria Isabel Ulloa said: “Today’s is a new step that we are taking towards the fulfillment of our objectives to promote good practices on behalf of the companies and to ensure that citizens are better aware of the revenues from the extractive industries. Moreover it also promotes dialogue between stakeholders.”

President Colombian Petroleum Association, Dr Lloreda said:

"For the Colombian Petroleum Association it is very good news that Colombia’s candidature to the EITI has been accepted. This mechanism will ensure that the substantial resources of the hydrocarbon sector, which contribute to the economic and social development of the country and regions through taxes, royalties and economic rights, be known in an objective and transparent manner. The candidature has been the result of an effort lead by the Ministry of Mines and Energy with the active participation and important commitment from the extractive industry (hydrocarbons and mining) as well as civil society. The next steps should be to ensure that, with the transparency required by the EITI Standard, the use given to these resources be published and proven, especially at the regional and local levels. We reiterate the commitment of the hydrocarbon industry to work on the presentation and dissemination of the information required by the Standard, making use of it on matters relating to financial and tributary resources paid by companies to the State.”

Issam Abousleiman, Country Manager of the World Bank office in Colombia, said:

“We congratulate the Colombian government on their leadership and commitment to good governance, marked by their achievement of EITI candidature. We look forward to continuing our work with Colombia to advance their good governance agenda, especially in the extractive industries,”

Ana Carolina González Espinosa, civil society representative and researcher at the Externado University of Colombia, said:

“For civil society representatives in Colombia’s EITI process, being accepted as candidate is very good news for the country because it creates new opportunities to improve the transparency of the mining and energy sectors. It is also a testament to the dialogue that has been taking place between civil society, the state and the private sector, to the effort to link the different social organisations to the process at a regional and national level, and to everyone’s commitment to build a standard that will be relevant for the country. This includes important subjects that go beyond the international standard, such as the local investment of royalties and the beginning of a dialogue between the different sectors to approach environmental issues. We reiterate our commitment to the EITI and will embark on the monitoring and execution of the commitments with enthusiasm and a positive approach.”

As a candidate country, Colombia has three years to implement the EITI transparency standard in full and reach EITI compliance.

The Board’s decision in full:

“The EITI Board admits Colombia as an EITI Candidate country on 15 October 2014. In accordance with the EITI Standard, Colombia is required to publish its first EITI Report within 18 months of becoming a Candidate, i.e. 15 April 2016. If the EITI Report is not published by this deadline, Colombia will be suspended. Validation will commence within two and a half years of becoming a Candidate, i.e. by 15 April 2017. In accordance with requirement 1.6c, the MSG is required to publish an annual activity report for 2014 by 1 July 2015.

The Board congratulates the government and the Colombian multi-stakeholder group for achieving this milestone, and for the commitment demonstrated by all stakeholders during preparations for candidature.

The Board took note of the MSG’s request for adapted implementation with respect to reconciling subnational payments as per Requirement 4.2(d). The Board welcomed the MSG’s early identification of potential barriers to comprehensive reporting. The Board encouraged the MSG to undertake further work to assess the materiality of these payments in the first reporting cycle. If subnational payments are not material, there is no requirement that they are disclosed and reconciled in the EITI Report. If the MSG determines that these payments are material, the Board will reconsider the request for adapted implementation, taking into account any additional information available from the MSG regarding the size of these revenue streams relative to total revenues and the MSG’s proposal for engaging sub-national government entities in the reporting process.”

 Notes

  • The EITI is a coalition of governments, companies, civil society groups, investors and international organisations. Learn more at www.eiti.org.

  • EITI is chaired by the Rt. Hon. Clare Short. Ms Short was the UK Secretary of State for International Development (1997-2003).

  • 48 countries are now implementing the EITI standard, and recognised as either EITI compliant or EITI candidate. See the list of countries at www.eiti.org/countries.

  • For further information about the EITI Colombia, please visit the country page on the EITI website and the national EITI website.