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SLEITI Trains Mining, Oil & Gas Companies for 2015-2016 Reporting

Freetown, Sierra Leone: The SLEITI Secretariat on Thursday 20th July 2017 held a half-day familiarization workshop on completion of the 2015-2016 reporting templates for mining, oil & gas companies ahead of the publication of its 7th EITI Report due for publication by 31st December 2017. 

The workshop, which attracted at least 28 participants from operational mining companies in Sierra Leone, was necessitated due to the additional reporting areas introduced by the Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG). The new reporting areas include: Beneficial Ownership Disclosure, Corporate Social Responsibility, Pay-As-You-Earn, Withholding Tax, and Expenditure Disclosure.

Addressing participants, the SLEITI National Coordinator, Mina Horace, said companies and government entities are required to report on revenues and expenditures that occurred between 1st January and 31st December 2015, adding that the same applies for the 2016 fiscal year. The reporting currency for completion of the templates according to draft illustrated during the workshop is United States Dollars (USD) and Sierra Leone Leones (Le).

The reporting process, which formed part of the training modules, was clarified during deliberations and it came out clearly that “templates must be dully signed off by a senior company or government official of the reporting entity as an attestation of the completeness and accuracy of information provided”.  

On Expenditure Disclosure, participants learnt that District Councils, Chiefdom Administrators and Members of Parliament will receive three reporting templates to report on how their revenues from surface rent, Agriculture Development Fund were expended in the period being considered; and that each reporting entity would need to complete set templates applicable to their operational activities.                      

Speaking on Beneficial Ownership Disclosure, Madam Horace said the Government of Sierra Leone is committed to implementing the EITI Standard; that requesting declaration of the ultimate beneficial owners of all companies operating in the extractives sector for the 2015 and 2016 reporting years is considered a significant step forward and gradual march towards implementing the Beneficial Ownership Roadmap. She said ultimate beneficial owners are always natural persons, and never companies, trusts, or other related legal entities. In addition to beneficial ownership, the Standard requires that any politically exposed persons with any stake in ownership or control of a company, whether held directly or indirectly, must also be declared as ultimate beneficial owners.

According to the EITI Standard, information about the identity of a Beneficial Owner to be disclosed should include the name of the beneficial owner, the nationality, country of residence, national identity number, date of birth, residential or service address, and means of contact.

Though participants described the familiarization workshop as timely and educative, many were concerned that owing to the nature of the new reporting areas, the exercise might take longer than expected and therefore pleaded with the Secretariat to consider shifting the deadline for submission of certified templates from 10th to 20th August 2017.

The workshop was designed to provide guidance on completion of the 2015 and 2016 reporting templates and at the same time create an interactive platform with participants from the mining, oil/ gas industries.


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