EITI progress in general and in Peru specifically

The International Advisory Group to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) has now met twice, Chairman Peter Eigen reports “and is well into its programme of work, developing recommendations for the future of EITI. It is absolutely vital that EITI should have some clear standards associated with it. Without these it would be possible for any country or company to claim a commitment to transparency but without actually doing anything, or with a mere smokescreen of apparent compliance. The six implementation criteria agreed at the global conference in London [in 2005] were a major step forward but now the IAG is working on both a methodology and a process for validation. Our second meeting agreed on the principles to be adopted, two brief pilot exercises are being carried out to test the method, and a paper is being prepared to consider how and by whom it should be applied.

“Until now the secretariat functions of EITI have been carried by the UK Government with support from the World Bank. As the Initiative becomes more global we will need longer-term governance and management arrangements. The IAG will have this subject high on its agenda at the next meeting. Starting early in 2006 we also hope to hold a number of meetings in various parts of the world to explain EITI, its objectives and operation, to a wider range of governments, companies and other institutions and civil society bodies, and to enable wider discussion of the IAG’s developing thoughts on the future of the Initiative.

“Papers relating to the IAG meetings are available publicly on the EITI web site (www.eitransparency.org). Now we look forward to our third working session in Abuja in February as guests of the Nigerian Government during the week of the Nigerian EITI’s second anniversary. The fourth meeting is due to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan, in April.”

At the national level, Peru has already achieved a relatively high standard on accountability and transparency in the collection and distribution of oil, gas and mining revenues. This effort is part of a broader process of fiscal decentralization; it builds upon existing legislation regarding access to information and is consistent with Peru’s commitment to the G8 Transparency Compact. The Government, through the Minister of Energy and Mines, has subscribed to EITI and appointed an EITI coordinator. In addition, EITI implementation in Peru will involve local government and regional projects to account for revenue management in the provinces of Cusco and Cajamarca – the main regions that produce natural gas and host mining activities.

An Action Plan drafted by a multi-stakeholder committee was adopted and published on Peru’s EITI website in June 2005. In addition, the Ministry of Energy and Mines signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the World Bank in October 2005, which outlines an agreement for technical and financial support for the implementation of the EITI Action Plan. It is expected that a Presidential Decree will launch officially the work of a tripartite committee to implement this initiative.