EITI: the sector became more open, but there are still many problems that should have been solved “yesterday”
Representatives of public bodies, donors, experts and the public at large took part in the online conference “The effect of EITI on efficient public administration” held on 23 June.
The participants discussed the new EITI Standard and the outcomes of its implementation for the state, communities and companies; the level of government support for EITI; the implementation status of the Transparency Law; data published in EITI reports; companies’ interaction with the government and communities using new technologies, and many more. In addition, the conference featured a presentation of the EITI Platform and the studies concerning indirect contribution of the extractive sector to development of regions.
According to Deputy Energy Minister Yaroslav Demchenkov, the start of work on the EITI Reports for 2018 and 2019, which for the first time in history will be funded from the state budget, remains one of the ministry’s priority objectives today. In addition, the Energy Ministry continues to work on developing the regulation on the Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG): “The draft has passed discussions with representatives of civil society. Presently, the draft regulation is being reviewed by the State Regulatory Service. If they won’t have any reservations or comments by the end of this week, we will make inquiries to find out why everything is being dragged out.” According to Mr. Demchenkov, his Ministry wants to submit this draft regulation for registration with the Justice Ministry.
In addition, the Deputy Minister said that his Ministry intends to continue abiding by and fulfilling all provisions of the Transparency Initiative.
The reports for 2018 and 2019 will be published this year, and subsequent reporting will be done via the online platform. The relevant regulation will be approved, and this platform will soon become operational. “We advocate the maximal openness and transparency in the extractive sector,” Yaroslav Demchenkov emphasized.
Oliana Valigura-Josater, Regional Director at the EITI International Secretariat, spoke about the recent changes in EITI. They include, in particular, the requirement to publish contracts made, signed or amended after 1 January 2021. As for current contracts, they are required to be described but not published. It is expected that MSG will include the relevant actions in their work plans for this year.
In turn, Oleksii Orlovskyi, member of the EITI Board and director of the International Renaissance Foundation’s Democratic Practice program, says that in recent years EITI has been increasingly positioned as an anticorruption initiative that created equal conditions for all market players. In his opinion, the number one objective for Ukraine today is further disclosure of contracts.
Olena Pavlenko, DiXi Group President, and Olesia Nekhoroshko, Chair of the EITI National Secretariat, said that despite significant improvements, such as greater openness of the energy sector, simplification of reporting procedure and the prospects of online reporting in the nearest future, there is still a large number of obstacles hampering the EITI’s implementation. These are, in particular, frequent change of the government, excessive bureaucratization of processes, and implementation of the Transparency Law in practice, not just on paper.
The event was held as part of USAID Energy Sector Transparency project implemented by DiXi Group in the partnership with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative National Secretariat, International Renaissance Foundation, and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.