The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) has introduced flexible reporting measures to enable implementing countries meet up the reporting deadlines as required by the EITI Standards.
The flexible reporting measures are contained in a recent publication by the EITI.
The EITI Board published the measures in recognition of the profound challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic that implementing countries and the world in general are facing at this time.
Part of the flexible measures as contained in the report is that the Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) is encouraged to use flexibility to communicate timely data that is relevant to the situation in their country. That is to say, they can consider reporting on production, exports, and revenue for the first half of 2020 or disclosing licenses or contracts awarded during this period that might affect future extractive revenue.
Other flexible measures include documentation requirements which state that countries should clearly document and share with the EITI International Secretariat the flexible approach agreed to enable the Secretariat record the approach for monitoring of impacts of COVID-19 on implementing countries thereafter.
According to the EITI, “The COVID-19 pandemic is having significant effects in the extractive industries and EITI implementation. Core aspects of the EITI process, such as convening stakeholders and disseminating information, may be challenging under current circumstances. Alternate approaches may be required as countries undertake virtual ways of working”.
The EITI advised that this is an opportunity for innovations that can be sustained in the future. The Board noted in the report that flexible measures can allow greater reliance to be placed on timelier data published by governments and extractive companies which can inform debates during this challenging time.
Furthermore, countries who are unable to meet up with the options given may apply for extensions as the global board has agreed to endorse such request due to the unique circumstances that COVID-17 pandemic has created. Such extension request must be made by November 1st 2020 the report emphasized.
The flexible measures outlined in the publication are for the EITI reports that are due and planned for publication by December 2020. The measures might be reviewed in the next board meeting later in the year as events unfold in the health and economic sectors the report explained.