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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Implementing the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

Dr. Andre Ufer, Sustainable Energy – Oil, Gas and Mining, The World Bank described implementing the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) globally and at the country level at the IGFM Winter Conference. Dr. Ufer asked why it is important to have transparency at the sector level. He contrasted the difference between mineral and fishery industries.

Dr. Ufer provided a history of origins of EITI. He described the "paradox of plenty" in countries with mineral resources: poor development results and high corruption. EITI was luanched in Johannesburg in 2002.

The purpose of EITI is to help resource-rich developing countries in their own national efforts to better manage natural resources. Dr. Ufer described how the “resource curse” effects of oil gas and mining wealth can be managed through accountability and transparency. Transparency gives civil society an oversight role. He described how EITI supports standards for through open dialog, public/private sector balance, and transparency.

Dr. Ufer described the EITI process and the adoption to date by countries and private sector organizations.

Dr. Ufer described EITI benefits to governments:

  • Demonstrate value of the sector to citizens

  • Income across all government organizations consolidated

  • Improve government credit-worthiness

  • Less risk to private sector investment

  • Strong brand in accountability
Benefits to business was also described:

  • Demonstrates value of business to citizens

  • Reduces operational risks

  • Improves relationships with governments

  • Reduces reputational risks

Dr. Ufer described the motivations for countries to implement EITI. He provided case studies of Nigeria and Ghana. Nigeria exceeded EITI requirements and an audit found significant unresolved differences in payments and receipts.

Dr. Ufer suggested that EITI has achieved strong momentum. IASB (International Accounting Standard Board) is currently working on a possible country-by-country reporting requirement. He stated that there is a general agreement that longer-term outcomes need to be tracked. The future impact of EITI is still a work-in-progress. He pointed out that EITI provides a very narrow focus on disclosure.

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