Systematic disclosure

Mainstreaming the EITI

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.  

Tracking progress

Our new tool tracks how much data is systematically disclosed by EITI implementing countries, and where. While still in its early stages, the tool draws on data from more than 25 countries (as of March 2021), who have reported what information is systematically disclosed.

Examples from countries

Kazakhstan

In Kazakhstan, EITI reporting forms are incorporated into an online platform hosted by the Ministry of Energy. After undertaking an annual independent audit in the first quarter of a calendar year, subsoil license holders file their data to the EGSU system. With regard to government data collection, the process still appears to be manual. Company and government data is presented in machine readable format and can be downloaded from the online platform. This system helped Kazakhstan to ensure timely disclosure of extractives data. A mainstreaming feasibility study was prepared in 2017 and the MSG is working on ensuring continuous progress in systematic disclosures.

Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s government has strengthened systematic disclosures on its dedicated Transparency Portal, which was first launched in 2018 to disclose data on licenses, fiscal terms and non-tax revenues. Since then, the portal was expanded to include production volumes, contracts, and company and license ownership. The country began publishing ownership data on its Transparency Portal in 2020. 

Mongolia

​EITI Mongolia and the Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry (MMHI) established a resource contract database with the aim to enhance transparency for contracts in Mongolia’s extractive sector. The database includes production sharing agreements in the oil and gas sector, investment agreements, concession and local development agreements in mining, as well as former stability agreements established prior to the 2006 Minerals Law. 

Mexico

In July 2020, the Mexican government launched the Data México portal with systematically disclosed data on various economic activities. It includes detailed information on the mining sector, such as employment, production, investment, financing and other key data. The Mexican government also launched GEOINFOMEX, a website with detailed information on mining concessions and licenses including the commodities, duration, geographical data and companies holding licenses.

United Kingdom

In December 2020, the UK government published its EITI Report in the form of an annual review on their website. It was designed to complement systematic, online disclosures. The review covers extractive sector payments from 2019, setting an example for timely reporting. Nearly all EITI-required data is disclosed systematically, apart from data on subnational contributions. 

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Despite challenges related to COVID-19, the Democratic Republic of Congo has made progress on systematic disclosures, with an online mining cadastreinformation about mining operatorsproduction data and decrees as well as an online platform that discloses over 200 extractive contracts. 

What does systematic disclosure mean for the role of multi-stakeholder groups?

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. 

What does systematic disclosure mean for EITI reporting?

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.

EITI open data policy

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. 

How countries and companies can move to mainstreamed disclosures

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 report provides recommendations on how to bridge the gap between current systems and routine reporting.

Systematic disclosure requirements in the EITI Standard

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. 

Support on systematic disclosure

The International Secretariat provides advice and support to implementing countries on mainstreaming. 

For further information, contact Sam Bartlett (sbartlett@eiti.org).