Ministry of Mines and Energy. Bogota D.C. June 29th, 2018. The International Secretariat of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) has confirmed that Colombia is the first country in the contentment which has reached the ‘satisfactory progress' category within the transparency standard for the management of non-renewable resources and promotes accountability towards the citizens.
This initiative demands mining and energy companies to show their licenses and contracts, monitor production, revenue assignment and collection, socio-economic contributions and impact on society. Out of the 51 nations present in the EITI, only five of them have been able to achieve the ‘satisfactory progress' status, while the remaining 46 members are still working towards this goal.
The EITI grading scale has five categories that certify national progress: outstanding, satisfactory, significant, and inadequate and no progress. Colombia has reached the second rank in terms of importance, while the sharing of contracts, cost and revenue management, national economic contribution and access to mining and energy information has obtained the highest grade: ‘outstanding.'
Fredrik Reinfeldt, EITI President, congratulated Colombia for its quick adaptation to the standard and underlined that "the results of the country evaluation show that Colombia went above and beyond the demands regarding several requirements, which demonstrates its commitment to transparency within the extractive sector."
Francisco Paris, Latin American Director for EITI, has confirmed that "Colombia is the first country in the region that achieved ‘Satisfactory Progress' in less than four years" and added that "this achievement will enable the generation of new public policies in favor of the extractive sector, solidify trust among stakeholders and will help bring maturity to the public debate."
Likewise, German Arce Zapata, Minister of Mines and Energy, expressed his satisfaction and thanked both civil society and companies for their commitment to work towards a more transparent extractive industry. "Colombia's new status is the result of the efforts made by a team which overcame difficulties in order to work in the same direction for the benefit of national and sector development."
Carlos Andres Cante Puentes, Vice-Minister of Minas, stated that reaching this status will bring very significant benefits to the mining and energy industry. "We will leave the next Administration with Colombia in a state of worldwide recognition for its commitment to transparency, governance and good practices, which has been able to catch its breath in order to accelerate foreign investment in a key sector of the national economy."
The main EITI recommendations given to Colombia in order to continue with its work plan include: continuing the modernization efforts for the mining cadaster system and hydrocarbon licensing, publishing the real beneficiaries of companies with mining titles and oil contracts, and deepen territorial issues in order to find the best way to bring more detailed information to the communities with mining and energy activities
Colombia's EITI Progress
Colombia became an EITI candidate country in 2014, for the purpose of demonstrating its commitment to the management of the revenues from natural resources and in order to support Colombia's entry to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In January 2018, the International Secretariat of the organization began to carry out its country evaluation, for the sake analyzing whether sector transparency efforts complied with the requirements of the initiative and assign a progress level to the country as an official member.