SIERRA LEONE GOVERNMENT OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF STAFF STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE

Government wishes to inform the general public that it is fully committed to implementing the Extractive Industries Trasnparency Initiative (EITI) for the promotion of transparency and accountability in the extractive sectors.

In this regard, Government has established the EITI Secretariat at 29 Dundas Street, Freetown, away from State House so as to enhance access of the public.

The Multi-stakeholder Group (MSG), which is the governing body of the EITI, has been expanded to include the following:

i) Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources
ii) Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security
iii) Petroleum Directorate
iv) Council of Paramount Chiefs
v) Association of Local Councils of Sierra Leone
vi) Association of Dealers and Exporters
vii) Two more representative from Civil Society

The scope of the EITI report which initially focused on the mining sector, now incorporates the oil/gas sector for the 2008, 2009 and 2010 reconciliation report. Also, districts, local councils and chiefdoms where direct payments are made by large scale companies are now to disclose receipts of payments to the Reconciler.

The recruitment of a Reconciler who will be responsible for the production of the second reconciliation report is in progress.

The Government is also addressing recommendations in the first report. The Mining Cadastre Office (MCO) in the Ministry of Mineral Resources which among other functions generates revenue data on companies for the EITI process, is now functional and has been rolled out to offices in Bo, Kenema, Makeni and Kono. In addition, a Minerals Working Group and the Extractive Revenue Taskforce have been established to facilitate information sharing and assist with the EITI process.

And in order to promote access to revenue information, an On-line Repository has been developed which will soon be made available to the public.

The Government is aware that enactment of a law is critical to the implementation of the EITI. As a result, a committee drawn from diverse backgrounds has been set up to facilitate the passing of the EITI bill into law in early 2012.

The Government wishes to make 2012 a year of difference for the EITI, and as such, it will assiduously work with all stakeholders concerned.