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 OfficerMinerals Commission Relations