Most of the changes from the previous rules are of a clarifying nature, addressing challenges and ambiguities that have been noted by stakeholders, reconcilers and validators. There are also some significant changes with important ramifications for several countries. The EITI Rules now establish a limit on the amount of time that a country can be an EITI Candidate. Failure to achieve EITI Compliant status by the end of the designated candidacy period will result in delisting from the EITI. The EITI Rules also include clearer requirements regarding regular and timely EITI Reporting. Countries that do not publish EITI Reports on a regular and timely basis may be suspended and delisted from the EITI. These changes are essential to protect the integrity of the EITI. An overview of the key changes and refinements to the EITI Rules is available here.
On 9 June 2011, the EITI Board agreed a procedure for how these rules will come into force. The EITI Board has acknowledged that implementing countries will need time to make adjustments, and to complete EITI reports and validation processes that are already underway. Seeking to ensure that the rules are at all times clear, predictable and do not impose significant additional obligations on implementing countries, the Board agreed the following approach:
- Any country admitted as a candidate from 1 July 2011 shall be subject to the 2011 edition of the EITI Rules.
- Compliant countries are encouraged to make the transition to the 2011 edition of the EITI Rules as soon as possible. Compliant countries should complete EITI reports in progress under the current rules. Subsequent reports must be conducted in accordance with the 2011 edition of the EITI Rules. The provisions of Requirement 5(e) regarding regular and timely reporting will be mandatory after 31 December 2012 (i.e., Compliant countries must publish an EITI report by 31 December 2012 that meets the requirement for regular and timely reporting). Compliant countries are required to publish an annual report as per requirement 21(c) no later than 1 July 2012.
- Countries currently implementing EITI but not yet Compliant are required to meet Requirement 5(e) of the new rules on regular and timely reporting by 31 December 2012 or the end of their maximum candidacy period, whichever is later. In the interim (prior to 31 Dec 2012), the Board may apply the previously established principle that countries where EITI reporting is irregular and/or the published data is substantially out of date will not be designated Compliant.
- Countries currently implementing EITI but not yet Compliant that conduct Validation, request a secretariat review, or are granted a waiver from a second Validation in 2011 will be assessed in accordance with the current edition of the Rules. Where the Board determines that the country has made meaningful progress but not achieved compliance, the country will have its candidacy renewed for 18 months, by the end of which it must have completed a Validation that demonstrates compliance with the 2011 edition of the EITI Rules. If the country does not achieve Compliant status by the end of the 18 month period it will be de-listed.
- Candidate countries with Validation deadlines in 2012 and 2013 will be assessed in accordance with the 2011 edition of the EITI Rules. Their Validation deadlines will be extended by 6 months to allow MSGs to make the necessary adjustments to adapt EITI reporting to the new rules. If the Validation at the end of this period demonstrates that the country has made meaningful progress but not achieved compliance, the country will have its candidacy renewed for 18 months, by the end of which it must have completed a second Validation that demonstrates compliance with the 2011 edition of the EITI Rules. If the country does not achieve Compliant status by the end of the 18 month period it will be de-listed.
Implementing countries have been grouped according to their progress in EITI reporting and Validation, with pragmatic transitional arrangements tailored to each group. An overview of the transitional arrangements for each group is available in the Minutes from the 17th Board meeting.
Stakeholders with questions and comments about the EITI Rules are encouraged to contact Sam Bartlett the EITI Secretariat.