EITI Board Sends Wake Up Call to Candidates to Continue with Transparency Process: Board Tests Its Own Resolve to Apply Rules

Issue: Advocacy
Country: International
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Revenue Watch encourages advocates to keep pressing for accountability in oil and mining sectors


BERLIN—The global movement for accountable natural resource management gained ground today as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) resolved questions over the status of 18 countries that had missed a key deadline in the voluntary program.

At a meeting in Berlin, Germany, the EITI International Board decided on limited extensions for 16 countries to complete their reporting and validation processes, including Kazakhstan, Timor Leste and Ghana.

The board also announced that Equatorial Guinea and São Tomé and Príncipe have lost their EITI candidate status and will need to reapply if they want to rejoin the initiative. The Revenue Watch Institute urges all stakeholders in these countries to renew their commitment to improve transparency practices, take action to regain EITI candidate status and move quickly toward full EITI compliance.

Revenue Watch Institute Governing Board Chair Anthony Richter, a member of the EITI International Board, said, "This was a road test for the EITI board to see whether it could apply its own rules. Countries are learning what it means to implement EITI standards, and the EITI itself is establishing what it takes to enforce them. We still have concerns about the board’s will in this regard. We’ll be pressing for clear decisions on validation this fall."

Richter called the decisions by the EITI board a test of authority and will for all EITI participants. "It's important that the board articulate and apply clear, consistent standards. The countries receiving extensions must now take rigorous steps to meet all EITI requirements. The extensions that have been granted should be viewed as a wake up call for those countries to renew their commitment to implement the EITI and to complete the validation process in a timely manner."

"A country cannot claim EITI candidate status while performing well short of the requirements," said Revenue Watch Institute Director Karin Lissakers. "A demonstrable effort to complete all reporting and a commitment to government dialogue with citizens are essential elements of compliance."

The next test for the EITI will come when the remaining candidate countries complete their validation processes and the EITI board conducts a full review of each country's EITI reporting and governance program.

A total of 33 countries have committed to implement the EITI, most recently including Chad, whose candidate application was accepted by the board in Berlin. To date, Liberia and Azerbaijan are the only two countries to be ruled fully compliant.

Jed Miller, +1 917 257 0670, jmiller@revenuewatch.org