The Solomon Islands Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (SI EITI) Stakeholders endorsed review of EITI implementation for Solomon Islands to ensure it consider interests and relevant to stakeholders. This is to ensure stakeholders meaningfully participation on the EITI process.
The decision was made during a National Stakeholders Group (NSG) meeting in December 2017. Over the past years, mining companies have been reluctant to supply require data to the Solomon Islands EITI Office for the reconciliation process.
On the other hand, Civil Society Groups have not active on their monitoring roles and Government indicate unclear commitment to the EITI process.
George Tapo, Deputy Commissioner of Inland Revenue Division, Ministry of Finance and Treasury said stakeholders have view the EITI as an isolate International process. It is time Solomon Islands take ownership of the process and align EITI to each stakeholders focus and programs.
Speaking to open the meeting, Mckinnie P Dentana, SI EITI National Coordinator and Under-Secretary-Economic of the Ministry of Finance and Treasury explained that, when the current Government took leadership, the Government has new priorities. That has been impacting on EITI especially to win political supports and Government engagement.
Also the World Bank budget support ends in 2015 which causes budget support constraints for Solomon islands EITI.
However, Mr. Dentana said EITI implementation must go on. He called on stakeholders to finds ways and position EITI in the way that funds can be access to carry on the work in progress and to make meaning impacts to the management of the natural resources revenue.
At the end of the stakeholders meeting, the following actions were endorsed:
- Review of SI EITI work plan to specifically focus on activities which aims at addressing EITI requirements that Solomon Islands has been assessed poorly on. Make time bound plan and activities must specific enough on what are the issues, who to act and when to be done.
- Align EITI plans to stakeholders work plans and priorities and increase partnerships.
- Continue dialogue with the mining companies to be a member of EITI working groups and to be able to sit in the meetings.
- Make EITI reporting requirements to be mandatory via legislation or regulated. This should be pursued with the current reform programs that is happening in the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Mines and Energy to make it a requirements for the mining companies to provide data.
- Conduct number of awareness in the provinces and review the existing laws to harmonise implementing EITI.
- Actively working with companies and government because transparency is a national priority.
- Strengthened EITI team and improve close relationship with the Government to ensure Government re-affirm commitment to implementing EITI.
- Seek donors for budget supports