This expert report, authored by independent consultant Anwar Ravat, was originally commissioned to review the data assurance procedures used in EITI implementing countries and their cost, and to determine whether the use of Independent Administrators (AIs) safeguards the reporting of comprehensive and reliable data.
Transparency should be an integral and systematic part of extractive sector management and EITI implementing countries are increasingly making more information available online through systematic disclosures.
Disclosing data at source; through government and corporate databases, online registries, websites and portals can provide citizens and stakeholders with accessible and up to date information on the sector.
When governments make this transition, EITI reporting becomes simpler and more cost-effective. It enables stakeholders to shift their focus from collecting data to using data. Extractive sector stakeholders are then better placed to analyse and present findings for public debate and reform.
For companies, disclosing data at source helps them build trust by improving their “social license” to operate, and supports the creation of a level playing field for business. Publishing data regularly and accessibly can help set the right expectations with communities and citizens on the extractive operations in their country or region.
EITI multi-stakeholder groups (MSGs) oversee EITI implementation and disclosures. Where data is routinely disclosed, MSGs can maintain strong sector oversight by focusing their efforts on gaps in government and corporate reporting systems and issues that are matter most for stakeholders.
The transition to systematic disclosure can enable MSGs to focus on analysing data, engaging with decision makers, and sharing key sector information in an accessible format for further analysis.
In countries where data is routinely disclosed, EITI Reports can be used to analyse information and address concerns about gaps and data quality.
The EITI is currently running a project to pilot alternative approaches to reporting. The project encourages MSGs to use data to undertake analysis, influence decision makers and direct information to a wider set of users.
The EITI open data policy encourages EITI implementing countries to orient government systems towards open data by default, so that the latest information is readily available. In many cases, the disclosures required by the EITI Standard can be met by taking existing information systems and making them publicly accessible. While there are sometimes legislative restrictions, in many cases there are no major practical barriers to releasing this data under an open license.
There is no “one size fits all” approach to moving towards systematic disclosure. Solutions need to be adapted to each country’s context. They will always depend on the priorities of stakeholders.
This evolution is one of the most important steps that implementing countries can take in delivering on the original purpose of the EITI – publishing data in a way that enhances the value of resources for citizens.
Progress towards systematic disclosure can be incremental. This provides recommendations on how to bridge the gap between current systems and routine reporting.
EITI’s requirements for data quality have largely focused on “reconciliation”, an exercise that compares government receipts of revenues, versus companies’ reported payments. However, for countries where transparency is widespread and data quality is of sufficient quality, the 2019 EITI Standard provides EITI countries with an option to seek EITI Board approval to systematically disclosing data without “reconciliation”.
All EITI implementing countries are required to make an assessment of whether the company payments and government revenues are subject to credible, independent audit, applying international auditing standards (Requirement 4.9a). Where countries routinely disclosure data required by the EITI Standard in requisite detail, and the financial data is subject to credible, independent audits, EITI countries can seek approval to mainstream EITI implementation. This is done in accordance with the “Agreed upon procedure for mainstreamed disclosures”.
The procedure does not alter the EITI’s disclosure requirements. It requires the same information, in the same amount of detail, as conventional EITI reporting. However, it offers opportunities to improve the timeliness of reporting, while reducing the cost of implementation.
The International Secretariat provides advice and support to implementing countries on mainstreaming.
For further information, contact Sam Bartlett (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Extractive industry transparency should not be confined to an EITI Report. Rather, it should become an integral part of how governments manage their extractive sector and companies manage their operations.
This toolkit includes an introductory document which explains what mainstreaming means in practice; it includesa tool for assessing which disclosures are made systematically, and provides some examples of how countries have mainstreamed some aspects of the EITI Standard.
In February 2018 the EITI Board adopted the recommendations in the paper below and decided to encourage implementing countries to move to systematic disclosure. See decision nr 2018-8/BM-39/BP-39-4-A
The Board-approved summary data template is the EITI’s tool for collecting and publishing structured extractive sector data (an Excel file). The revised template draws on experience gained since the introduction of the summary data template in 2015 and on stakeholder consultations conducted in late 2018 and early 2019. The template came into force on the 1st of July, meaning that data published after this date uses the 2019 template.
The EITI’s Validation model was revised in December 2020. A country’s overall assessment in Validation will now take into account three components – “Transparency”, “Stakeholder engagement” and “Outcomes and impact”. Each EITI Requirement will be assessed under one of these three components.
When preparing for Validation, multi-stakeholder groups should use the following Board-approved templates to provide evidence of progress in the three components of Validation. These must be submitted to the EITI International Secretariat by the commencement of Validation.
This document has been issued by the EITI International Secretariat as a standardised model Terms of Reference (TOR) for implementing countries that wish to conduct a feasibility study for systematic disclosure of EITI data. Countries may wish to use parts of or the entire TOR depending on study needs. The text [in brackets] should be completed by the MSG. It also contains comment boxes to guide the MSG in the inclusion or exclusion of some aspects of the feasibility study. Questions about this document can be directed to the International Secretariat.
The objective of the procedure is to recognise implementing countries that make transparency an integral and routine feature of their management systems. It is important to emphasize that the procedure does not alter the EITI’s disclosure requirements. Implementation in accordance with this procedure would require the same information, in the same amount of detail, as is the case today. The procedure would not in any way alter the provisions regarding MSG oversight.
The proposed procedure has seven phases:
The purpose of this paper is to explore the potential of mainstreamed disclosures by using Nigeria EITI’s (NEITI) participation in the Federation Account Allocation Committee meetings as a concrete example. The information used in these meetings has the potential to cover EITI Requirements 4.1, 4.2, 4.5, and 5.1-5.3 at least partially. It identifies some of the potential benefits and challenges involved. We also provide some recommendations to embed transparency and accountability into government systems.