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Canada

Implement the Extractives Sector Transparency Measures Act (CA0058)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Canada Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Natural Resources Canada

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, E-Government, Extractive Industries, Fiscal Transparency, Records Management

IRM Review

IRM Report: Canada End-Term Report 2016-2018, Canada Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Why do this: The Government of Canada remains committed to improving the transparency and accountability of the Canadian extractives sector. In its second Action Plan, legislation was introduced, the Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act (ESTMA), which established new reporting and transparency obligations for the Canadian extractive sector to contribute to global efforts against corruption in the extractive sector. How will it be done: Canada’s extractive sector has a well-established financial reporting system, which ensures transparency and the good governance of natural resource revenues. Implementation of the ESTMA will help improve the transparency of payments made by extractive companies involved in the exploration and/or extraction of oil, gas, or minerals to all levels of government, both foreign and domestic. The new reporting system complements existing reporting requirements with a view to ensuring Canada’s framework is aligned with other G-8 countries and is consistent with existing international standards, particularly those of the United States and the European Union

IRM Midterm Status Summary

17. Implement the Extractives Sector Transparency Measures Act

Commitment Text:

The Government of Canada will implement the Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act (ESTMA) that requires the reporting of certain payments made to governments related to the commercial development of oil, gas, and minerals.

Milestones:

17.1. Undertake outreach activities with reporting entities to ensure awareness and understanding of processes for publishing their reports based on a consistent template and format.

17.2. Improve public access to published reports through a common online window.

17.3. Seek broader alignment of ESTMA with other jurisdictions in Canada and around the world.

Responsible institution: Natural Resources Canada

Supporting institution(s): N/A

Start date: Not specified

End date: Not specified

Editorial Note: The text of the commitment was abridged for formatting reasons. For full commitment text, visit: http://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2001/01/Canada_AP3.pdf.

Context and Objectives
Canada passed the Extractive Industry Transparency Measures Act (ESTMA) in connection with its second action plan, and it came into force on 1 June 2015. This commitment aims to improve implementation of ESTMA and expand the utility and accessibility of ESTMA material through outreach to reporting entities, publishing reports through a common online window, and aligning ESTMA across jurisdictions. Although the milestones under this commitment are clear and target an important action area, Publish What You Pay-Canada, a leading civil society stakeholder on this issue, noted that the milestones set a relatively low bar, and that strong accessibility still required significant improvement beyond what the commitment promises.
Completion

Natural Resources Canada carried out several outreach activities to promote awareness of ESTMA (Milestone 17.1), including developing a webinar on its website,[Note147: Available at: http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/mining-materials/estma/18184#webinar.] participating in events in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and St. John’s, and posting an article on Rock to Road, an industry publication.[Note148: Available at: https://www.rocktoroad.com/news/everything-you-need-to-know-5131.] Natural Resources Canada also created a survey of reporting challenges. The results are set to be analysed during the second year of implementation. Substantial progress has been made here, and the milestone is on time to be completed.

In terms of Milestone 17.2, Natural Resources Canada developed an online portal for ESTMA reports.[Note149: At: http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/mining-materials/estma/18198.] This is substantial progress, and the milestone is on time to be completed.

For Milestone 17.3, Natural Resources Canada reports that they have held bilateral meetings on ESTMA with Quebec, the United Kingdom and France, to align standards for reporting on payment categories, the definition of 'payee', and similar values. This represents limited progress, and the milestone is on time to be completed.

Early Results

Implementation of ESTMA has been moving forward, as evidenced by the reporting posted on Natural Resources Canada’s online portal. In terms of civil society, Publish What You Pay-Canada has been utilising the information which has been uploaded, though they are also critical of the materials which are available, as outlined below.

Next Steps

Several Canadian civil society organisations including, though not limited to, Publish What You Pay-Canada, are keenly interested in tracking more information about Canada’s extractive industries, and have identified this as an important priority area going forward. However, in utilising Natural Resources Canada’s online portal, Publish What You Pay-Canada noted that searchability is virtually non-existent and, even more problematic, reporting is not being done via machine-readable formats. The IRM researcher recommends bringing these disclosures in line with better practices for open data. This includes both building additional accessibility and searchability into the website and imposing better formatting standards for companies regarding their ESTMA disclosures to better facilitate scraping and reprocessing of this information.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

17. Implement the Extractives Sector Transparency Measures Act

Commitment Text: The Government of Canada will implement the Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act (ESTMA) that requires the reporting of certain payments made to governments related to the commercial development of oil, gas, and minerals.

Milestones:

17.1. Undertake outreach activities with reporting entities to ensure awareness and understanding of processes for publishing their reports based on a consistent template and format.

17.2. Improve public access to published reports through a common online window.

17.3. Seek broader alignment of ESTMA with other jurisdictions in Canada and around the world.

Responsible institution:Natural Resources Canada

Supporting institution(s): N/A

Start Date: Not specified

End Date: Not specified

Editorial Note: The text of the commitment was abridged for formatting reasons. For full commitment text, visit http://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2001/01/Canada_AP3.pdf.

Commitment Aim

This commitment built on a commitment from the previous action plan to pass legislation establishing new reporting and transparency obligations for the Canadian extractive sector: the Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act (ESTMA). This commitment aimed to improve the implementation of ESTMA, and the accessibility of information published under that law, by doing the following:

Conducting outreach to reporting entities to raise awareness of the new standards;

Developing an online window for access to reports submitted under ESTMA; and

Engaging with other jurisdictions to align reporting standards.

Status

Midterm: Substantial

From July 2016 to June 2017, Natural Resources Canada conducted several outreach activities connected to Milestone 17.1. These included an online webinar, events in seven Canadian cities, and an article in an industry publication.[Note144: See “Recorded Webinar on the ESTMA,” Natural Resources Canada, http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/mining-materials/estma/18184#webinar; and “ESTMA 101: Everything You Need to Know,” Rock to Road, 2 February 2017, https://www.rocktoroad.com/news/everything-you-need-to-know-5131.] The department also developed a survey of reporting challenges, meant to inform and improve outreach and awareness-raising efforts going forward. Regarding Milestone 17.2, by the midterm, Natural Resources Canada had developed an online portal for Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act (ESTMA) reports.[Note145: “Links to ESTMA Reports,” Natural Resources Canada, http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/mining-materials/estma/18198.] Under Milestone 17.3, Natural Resources Canada reported having held bilateral meetings on ESTMA with Quebec, the United Kingdom, and France, to align standards for reporting. Such standards included those on payment categories and the definition of “payee.”

End of term: Complete

Building on the survey carried out in connection with Milestone 17.1, Natural Resources Canada developed a revised guidance document for reporting entities. The department provided this guidance to stakeholders in March 2018.[Note146: The guidance document is available at https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/sites/www.nrcan.gc.ca/files/estma/pdf/ESTMA%20Guidance%20-%20Version%202_1%252C%20July%202018.pdf.] It also formed a Stakeholder Advisory Group to collaborate on improving tools and guidance. Regarding Milestone 17.2, over the course of the second year of implementation, Natural Resources Canada uploaded 850 reports to the online portal, and 1,419 reports were available as of June 2018.[Note147: “Links to ESTMA Reports.”]

Under Milestone 17.3, Natural Resources Canada reports that discussions about cross-jurisdictional reporting requirements continued during the second year of the action plan. The discussions covered the development of a memorandum with the government of Quebec regarding collaboration and the sharing of information.[Note148: “Entente de Principe Concernant la Coopération, la Consultation et l'Échange de Renseignements Relatifs aux Mesures de Transparence Conclue entre le Gouvernement du Québec, Ressources Naturelles Canada et l'Autorité des Marchés Financiers,' 22 October 2017, https://lautorite.qc.ca/fileadmin/lautorite/reglementation/mesures-transparences/Ententes/2017oct22-transparence-entente-echange-renseignements-fr.pdf.] Natural Resources Canada also pointed to a determination they made that reports filed under the European Union Accounting and Transparency Directives are now determined to be an acceptable substitute for reporting under Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act. However, in the absence of more proactive measures to harmonise reporting, that seems to be less of a step forward in terms of expanding access to information. It appears to be a move to ease the burden on industry. Nonetheless, all three milestones have been completed.

Did It Open Government?

Access to Information: Marginal

Canada passed the Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act (ESTMA) in connection with its second action plan, and it came into force on 1 June 2015. Its passage was generally welcomed as an important step forward.[Note149: See, for example, the 2016 end-of-term IRM report, available at https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2001/01/Canada_EOTR_2014-2016_EN.pdf.] Consequently, working on implementation and improving the accessibility of information published under ESTMA are natural areas for further engagement. However, during the consultations for developing Canada's midterm IRM assessment, Publish What You Pay-Canada, a leading civil society stakeholder on this issue, noted that this commitment sets a relatively low bar. The organisation pointed to a need for additional actions, such as enhanced searchability, and for a requirement that reporting be done in machine-readable formats. Although a few of the latest reports are in an XLS format, the vast majority are in PDF format. This makes them more difficult to harvest, process and manipulate, though the search and filtering function seems to have improved and now permits users to sort the reports by date, name, size and type, as well as to find reports based on key words. The commitment constituted a step forward, as information is more available and accessible than it was at the outset of this action plan. However, considerable work remains in terms of breaking down barriers to the information's use.

Carried Forward?

There are no commitments in Canada's fourth action plan related to the implementation of the Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act.


Commitments

  1. User-Friendly Open Government

    CA0064, 2018, Capacity Building

  2. Financial Transparency and Accountability

    CA0065, 2018, E-Government

  3. Corporate Transparency

    CA0066, 2018, Beneficial Ownership

  4. Digital Government and Services

    CA0067, 2018, Capacity Building

  5. Open Science

    CA0068, 2018, Capacity Building

  6. Healthy Democracy

    CA0069, 2018, Civic Space

  7. Access to Information

    CA0070, 2018, Capacity Building

  8. Feminist and Inclusive Dialogue

    CA0071, 2018, Capacity Building

  9. Reconciliation and Open Government

    CA0072, 2018, Capacity Building

  10. Open Government Community

    CA0073, 2018, Capacity Building

  11. Enhance Access to Information

    CA0042, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

  12. Streamline Requests for Personal Information

    CA0043, 2016, E-Government

  13. Expand and Improve Open Data

    CA0044, 2016, E-Government

  14. Provide and Preserve Open Information

    CA0045, 2016, E-Government

  15. Define an Approach for Measuring Open Government Performance

    CA0046, 2016, Capacity Building

  16. Develop Open Government Skills Across the Federal Public Service

    CA0047, 2016, Capacity Building

  17. Embed Transparency Requirements in the Federal Service Strategy

    CA0048, 2016, Capacity Building

  18. Enhance Access to Culture & Heritage Collections

    CA0049, 2016, Capacity Building

  19. Enhance Openness of Information on Government Spending and Procurement

    CA0050, 2016, Capacity Building

  20. Increase Transparency of Budget and Other Department of Finance Information

    CA0051, 2016, Capacity Building

  21. Starred commitment Increase Transparency of Grants and Contributions Funding

    CA0052, 2016, Capacity Building

  22. Improve Public Information on Canadian Corporations

    CA0053, 2016, E-Government

  23. Increase the Availability and Usability of Geospatial Data

    CA0054, 2016, Capacity Building

  24. Increase Openness of Federal Science Activities (Open Science)

    CA0055, 2016, Capacity Building

  25. Stimulate Innovation through Canada’s Open Data Exchange (ODX)

    CA0056, 2016, E-Government

  26. Align Open Data Across Canada (Open Data Canada)

    CA0057, 2016, Capacity Building

  27. Implement the Extractives Sector Transparency Measures Act

    CA0058, 2016, Capacity Building

  28. Support Openness and Transparency Initiatives Around the World

    CA0059, 2016, Aid

  29. Engage Civil Society on Open Government

    CA0060, 2016, Public Participation

  30. Enable Open Dialogue and Open Policy Making

    CA0061, 2016, Capacity Building

  31. Promote Open Government Globally

    CA0062, 2016, Capacity Building

  32. Engage Canadians to Improve Key Canada Revenue Agency Services

    CA0063, 2016, Civic Space

  33. Implement Directive on Open Government

    CA0030, 2014, Open Data

  34. Starred commitment Open Data Canada

    CA0031, 2014, Open Data

  35. Canadian Open Data Exchange (ODX)

    CA0032, 2014, Capacity Building

  36. Open Data for Development

    CA0033, 2014, Capacity Building

  37. Open Data Core Commitment

    CA0034, 2014, Open Data

  38. Starred commitment Open Science

    CA0035, 2014, Science & Technology

  39. Starred commitment Mandatory Reporting on Extractives

    CA0036, 2014, Extractive Industries

  40. Open Contracting

    CA0037, 2014, Open Contracting and Procurement

  41. Open Information on Budgets and Expenditures

    CA0038, 2014, Fiscal Transparency

  42. Digital Literacy

    CA0039, 2014, Capacity Building

  43. Open Information Core Commitment

    CA0040, 2014, Right to Information

  44. Consulting Canadians

    CA0041, 2014, Marginalized Communities

  45. Starred commitment International Aid Transparency Initiative: Publish Plan to Make CIDA Activities Available and Accessible

    CA0010, 2012, Aid

  46. International Aid Transparency Initiative: Implement Plan

    CA0011, 2012, Aid

  47. Opening Government of Canada Records: Increase Access to Archived Federal Documents at Library and Archives Canada

    CA0012, 2012, Records Management

  48. Opening Government of Canada Records: Issue New Mandatory Policy on Document Classification

    CA0013, 2012, Records Management

  49. Opening Government of Canada Records: Make Classified Information Available Online

    CA0014, 2012, E-Government

  50. GCDOCS: Deploy Wave One of Electronic Record and Document Management Solution

    CA0015, 2012, E-Government

  51. GCDOCS: Deploy Across Federal Government

    CA0016, 2012, E-Government

  52. GCWEB: Develop Consolidated Web Presence

    CA0017, 2012, E-Government

  53. GCWEB: Implement New Platform

    CA0018, 2012, E-Government

  54. Data.Gc.Ca: Expand Number of Datasets Available

    CA0019, 2012, E-Government

  55. Data.Gc.Ca: Implement Data.Gc.Ca Portal

    CA0020, 2012, E-Government

  56. Data.Gc.Ca: Improve Standardization of Data

    CA0021, 2012, E-Government

  57. Government of Canada Resource Management Data: Publish Resource Management and Performance Data

    CA0022, 2012, E-Government

  58. Government of Canada Resource Management Data: Enhance Search and Data Tools

    CA0023, 2012, E-Government

  59. Consulting Canadians: Develop New Platform for Consultation

    CA0024, 2012, E-Government

  60. Consulting Canadians: Develop Standard Approach to Use of Social Media

    CA0025, 2012, E-Government

  61. Consulting Canadians: Pilot a Crowdsourcing Initiative

    CA0026, 2012, E-Government

  62. Consulting Canadians: Enable Use of Common Online Tools

    CA0027, 2012, E-Government

  63. Open Regulation: Federal Regulators to Post Forward Regulatory Plans

    CA0028, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  64. Open Regulation: Simplify Engagement Activities

    CA0029, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  65. Open Government Directive: Issue Directive on Open Government

    CA0001, 2012, E-Government

  66. Open Government Directive: Implement Directive on Open Government

    CA0002, 2012, E-Government

  67. Starred commitment Open Government Licence: Issue Open Government Licence

    CA0003, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  68. Starred commitment Open Government Licence: Adopt Open Government Licence

    CA0004, 2012, Records Management

  69. Modernising Administration of Access to Information: Pilot of Online Request and Payment Service

    CA0005, 2012, Fiscal Transparency

  70. Modernising Administration of Access to Information: Implement ATI Solution

    CA0006, 2012, Fiscal Transparency

  71. Modernising Administration of Access to Information: Make Completed ATI Request Summaries Searchable

    CA0007, 2012, Right to Information

  72. Virtual Library: Begin Design of Virtual Library

    CA0008, 2012, E-Government

  73. Virtual Library: Launch Virtual Library

    CA0009, 2012, E-Government