Going Digital: Publishing Open Data Online

Opening data, building trust

As the world becomes more digital, EITI disclosures are increasingly moving online, making data more timely, useful and cost-effective.

Open data, build trust

Open, shareable and useable data informs public debate. It enables academia, media and think tanks to analyse information, make recommendations and hold governments and businesses to account.

Open data also helps to improve the investment climate. By providing online and transparent ways to register a company, participate in a bidding process or submit a tax return online, governments make it more appealing for companies to invest in extracting natural resources.

Most importantly, open data helps to build trust among citizens, especially among populations affected by extractive operations, by enabling them to access real-time data about projects in their region, understand the terms of contracts and the revenues governments receive and transfer to subnational bodies.

Open data and the EITI: challenges and opportunities

Rapid advances in technology are transforming the way information is produced and shared. In this context, open data initiatives show significant potential to improve transparency and accountability. As the body of open data grows, governments, companies and civil society will have to build their capacity to analyse the increasing amount of legal, financial and technical information that is now entering the public domain. Improved disclosures and public scrutiny will need to complement existing corruption mitigation measures.

Many countries also face technical and financial challenges in publishing data and rely on the support and expertise of international partners to do so. For countries to meet the requirement, more sustained support to find viable long-term solutions will be needed.

In 2018, the EITI Board firmly established
that publication of information under the EITI Standard, should happen through systematic, routine government and company disclosures, and that this data is published online as soon as possible. Since then, many countries have shifted towards the publication of data through online and open portals. 

Despite its challenges, this approach can deliver more timely, comprehensive and reliable data, and reduces the number of EITI processes that operate separately from other government or corporate efforts. It is also cost effective, helping to address the limited funding available for standalone EITI reporting and national secretariats.

Multi-stakeholder groups will retain their role in overseeing the collection, publication and quality assurance of the data. The transition to routine disclosure allows their role to evolve, placing greater emphasis on promoting public debate and improving data access.

 

 

The EITI in Ghana will remain a key forum for multi- stakeholder consultations and for oversight of disclosures all along the extractives value chain. Our disclosure tool will just become much more efficient.

Mr Benjamin Nii Ayi Aryee
Chief Executive Officer
Minerals Commission Relations

 

EITI Open Data Policy

The revised EITI Open data policy, adopted in April 2019, places increased responsibility on reporting entities to publish information such as beneficial ownership or project-level revenue, directly and in an open format. Where needed, countries can rely on EITI reporting to publish this information, but the default expectation is that it should be routinely disclosed by the entity collecting it. This allows information to be published in a timely way and in the place that users of the data would expect to find it.

All countries must agree a clear policy on the access, release and re-use of data that is relevant to the EITI Standard. In addition, the EITI now has a mandate to engage with other organisations developing standards and supporting open data in order to facilitate learning, to the benefit of implementing countries. EITI countries can leverage other cross-sectoral initiatives, such as the Open Government Partnership and the International Budget Partnership, to improve disclosures and government services.

Afghanistan launches license portal

In 2018, the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum launched an online transparency portal that publishes information on licenses, license holders, production and associated payments. To avoid duplication, unique identification numbers for each project are being assigned, enabling government agencies and provinces to strengthen regulation and accountability.

The full detail in the Kyrgyz Republic

The Open Budget portal discloses data on all transactions of the Central Treasury, including extractive sector revenues. Revenues are disaggregated by company, date and revenue stream. Further work is needed to address disaggregation by recipient agency, and the cross-referencing with the National Budget Classification system.