Civil Society Organisations withdraw from UK EITI

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Undue interference by UK Government officials in the civil society nomination process jeopardises genuine multi-stakeholder dialogue in long standing transparency initiative.

Several years of positive progress by a UK Government anti-corruption initiative, the UK Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), are at risk due to a recent imposition by UK Government officials which undermines the initiative’s multi-stakeholder nature.

The decision by UK Government officials this week to give one organisation, Extractive Industries Civil Society (EICS), authority over certain civil society nominations to the UK EITI’s multi-stakeholder group has pushed ten full member organisations of the UK EITI Civil Society Network and more than twenty individual associate members, including academics, to withdraw from the UK EITI process. Among the organisations withdrawing are Global Witness , Natural Resource Governance Institute, Transparency International UK , and Publish What You Pay UK .

Miles Litvinoff, Coordinator of Publish What You Pay UK, said:

“Government officials’ decision to overlook the strong concerns expressed by the Civil Society Network is deeply worrying and goes against the democratic principles fundamental to the EITI and to the UK as a country.”

Joseph Kraus, Director, Transparency & Accountability (interim) at the ONE Campaign and a member of Publish What You Pay UK’s Steering Group, said:

“Should the UK Government persist with this decision, it will set the UK EITI process on an uncertain path. The UK will face difficulties in passing EITI Validation, a quality assurance mechanism that assesses countries’ compliance with the requirements of the EITI Standard, which the UK is due to undergo in 2018.”

The Civil Society Network (CSN) facilitates mainstream civil society engagement in the UK EITI and has released a statement which can be read here.

Contact: Miles Litvinoff, Publish What You Pay UK Coordinator, [email protected], +44 7984 720103.

Note to editors

  • The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is an international standard for openness around the management of revenues from natural resources. It is designed to improve accountability and public trust for the revenues paid and received for a country’s oil, gas and mineral resources.
  • In 2003, the UK Government helped break new ground by launching the EITI which has since been paving the way for better governance in the oil, gas and mining industries worldwide.
  • The EITI makes relevant information available to citizens, in particular about the revenues generated by their country’s mineral wealth, to enable them to hold their government to account.
  • In over a decade, USD 2.3 trillion in revenues from the exploitation of natural resources have been disclosed and are open to public scrutiny thanks to EITI reporting in over 50 member countries. This includes the UK which joined the initiative as an implementing country in 2014 and released two EITI reports for the fiscal years 2014 and 2015.
  • The EITI established an unprecedented governance approach in the sector whereby three constituencies – government, companies and civil society – have equal weight in making decisions about how the country’s mineral wealth is managed.
  • To ensure the dialogue between the three constituencies is meaningful, the EITI Standard prohibits any form of interference in constituency processes, including the nomination process of representatives.
  • The UK EITI Civil Society Network (CSN) facilitates broad and mainstream civil society engagement in the UK EITI and is made up of 10 full member organisations and 20-plus individual associate members, including academics whose work relates to the extractive industries. CSN members Transparency International and Global Witness were instrumental in the establishment of the EITI internationally in 2003.
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