About the initiative
The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is a voluntary mechanism which promotes and supports improved governance in resource-rich countries through the full publication and verification of company payments and government revenues from oil, gas, and mining. It is a global standard that promotes revenue transparency and accountability in the extractive sector, and is a global benchmark for natural resource revenue management.
The EITI is a part of the increased international focus on transparency of financial markets and is supported by governments, industry, and non-government organisations (also referred to by EITI as "civil society") around the world. There are currently 39 countries participating in the EITI.
Australia is one of the largest supporters of the EITI and has committed $18.45 million from 2006 to 2015, also actively participating in Board discussions. Further to this, in October 2011, Australia announced that it would undertake a domestic Pilot to test the applicability of EITI rules and principles to Australian conditions, and to inform whether Australia should move to full implementation of EITI.
About the EITI pilot
The Australian EITI Pilot was announced on 27 October 2011 by then Foreign Minister Rudd and Minister for Resources, Energy and Tourism Ferguson at the CHOGM 2011 Australia-Africa Foreign Ministers' Mining Event.
The Pilot is testing the governance and transparency of Australia's financial reporting arrangements for the resources sector against the principles and criteria of the EITI, and whether there are any possible enhancements of the EITI methodology that might be appropriate for Australia.
The Pilot commenced in November 2011 with an inaugural meeting of the Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) overseeing the pilot process. The MSG brings together representatives of government, industry and non-government organisations and has the responsibility of developing and overseeing implementation of the Pilot's methodology.
The MSG is chaired and supported by the Department of Industry through a funding stream for pilot activities, and through provision of a Secretariat. The department will contribute up to $500,000 for the Pilot. Since its inception there have been 12 MSG meetings.
The Pilot will use information and data gathered from the Commonwealth, participating state governments and a sample of Australian and multi-national companies operating in Australia's extractives industries, to test the application of EITI Principles to Australia's financial reporting regime. The sample includes companies of various sizes and geographical locations across a range of resources and jurisdictions.
Australia is in the final stages of the Pilot, and initial results have highlighted the strength and robustness of our domestic governance and transparency frameworks. The Pilot has provided regulators with a valuable insight that will support the continuous improvement of these safeguards.
The pilot objectives are outlined in the MSG Terms of Reference.
What is RET's involvement?
During the initial Multi-Stakeholder Group meeting held in November 2011, RET undertook to provide services to assist with the EITI pilot process, including the establishment of the group's secretariat to aide with delivery of the pilot.
For more information about the Australian government's involvement with the EITI contact Mr Nicholas Birch:
Phone: (02) 6243 7684