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EITI International Secretariat holds pre-validation workshop with SLEITI MSG

Freetown, Sierra Leone -SLEITI News ( December 2017) : Having gone through validation in 2014 and thus deemed compliant under the 2013 EITI Standard, Sierra Leone according to the EITI Board will commence validation under the 2016 Standard on 1st July 2018. In order to get it right, the SLEITI MSG on Tuesday 12th December 2017 organized a 1-day pre-validation workshop at the Buxton Church Memorial Hall, Freetown.

Eddie Rich, Deputy Head and Regional Director for Africa and Middle East, and lead facilitator of the pre-validation workshop said each EITI implementing country will be validated under the EITI Standard. The objective is to “identify opportunities to reinforce EITI’s impact and drive meaningful reforms” and to also ensure that all EITI countries are access to the same requirements.

Introducing the scope of the validation process, Eddie informed that it comprises 3 major parts- governance, EITI reporting, and impact and outcomes. Alongside the aforementioned, Eddie maintains that the validation process will also take into account progress made with each of the requirements.

Sharing the Liberian experience, Deputy National Coordinator of the Liberia EITI (LEITI) Myers Saye, said prior to LEITI’s validation process, the LEITI Secretariat developed a validation matrix with key deliverables.  Coupled with other activities, Saye said the LEITI MSG hired the services of a consultant to conduct an internal assessment using the EITI Standard. According to Saye, the consultant was extremely familiar with LEITI’s implementation process since signing up and had worked with the LEITI Secretariat before. The consultant’s final assessment report was timely and helpful, he added.    

Following a step-by-step assessment of SLEITI’s implementation against the EITI standard, the SLEITI National Coordinator Mina Horace is of the view that Sierra Leone is making progress in the areas of license and contracts, monitoring production, and revenue collection. On the other hand, in terms of MSG governance, SLEITI will learn from its Liberian counterpart in areas of mining industry and civil society engagements.

The outcome of the pre-validation suggests among other issues that the SLEITI MSG should consider agreeing on a much higher materiality threshold to drastically reduce the number of companies to report for the 2015 and 2016, and at the same time split the report and produce 2015 and 2016 reports separately. For obvious reasons, SLEITI could seek for an extension of the 2015 report's deadline in line with requirement 8.5 of the EITI Standard.

Since signing up in 2006, Sierra Leone has come a long way in its EITI implemention process. However, participants including the EITI Secretariat seem concerned that more time is being spent on collecting data for report production instead of building awareness and engaging key decision makers. While the aforementioned seems common in most EITI implementing countries, Eddie informed that certainly there are opportunities for SLEITI and it is too early to make an overall assessment of SLEITI’s implementation against the EITI Standard.


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