Government of Solomon Islands has launched the National Mineral policy-2017-2021 in June 2017. The policy formalise Beneficiary Ownership (BO) discloser as a requirement and condition for extractive industries that invest in the mining sector.
The policy require that all current and future mining companies to disclose their beneficial owners to the Government and the Government in turn published BO of companies that gain licences or contracts on annual basis. This is the first time for Solomon Islands to have BO in its policy.
Government is now leading implementing the policy and SI EITI Office is partnering, however significant reforms and review of existing legislations and regulation is require to pave ways for full roll out of the policy.
The BO discloser is covering only the mining sector. And it is the result of BO being a topic of continues discussion in public places and offices due to a potential that it pose for corruption.
The Government inclusion of BO in the National Mineral Policy is an achievement for SI EITI as the stakeholders have been advocating for it since 2012. It will provide a strong basis for SI EITI to easily access data for EITI reporting and reduce corruption risks.
However, there have been significant challenges. The number one challenges is SI EITI faces low political support at the government political level. There are challenges with data access especially from the extractive industries and meaningful participation of NSG members including their responsibility to leading implementing decision made at the MSG members meetings.
The Government and SI EITI wants all investor in mining sector to have a level playing field and eradicating corruption in all government level.