Publish the Number of Carats of Diamond Exported and Accompanying Kimberly Process Certificates (CI0001)
Action Plan: Côte d’Ivoire Action Plan 2016-2018
Action Plan Cycle: 2016
Lead Institution: Ministry of Industry and Mines
Support Institution(s): -Société pour le Développement Minier de la Côte d'Ivoire (SODEMI) -General Customs Department; Civil Society Organization; Diamond industry(Operators, Collectors and Exporters)
Policy AreasCapacity Building, E-Government, Extractive Industries, Fiscal Transparency, Records Management
Current situation or problem/ issue to be addressed/having to be resolved: - End of embargo on Ivorian rough diamond -Continued efforts to implement the post embargo strategy measures; Main purpose: Inform citizens on Ivorian diamond marketing; Brief description of the commitment: -Accompany all parcels of exported diamonds by a certificate of origin -Issue cards for various actors -Record productions and sales in the sales and production books -Release the number of carats exported and the Kimberley certificates accompanying them on the website of the Ministry in charge of mines; OGP Challenges addressed by the commitment: -More efficient management of natural and public resources -Increase in public integrity -creation of more safe communities; Relevance: - Access to information -Citizen participation -further development of internal control system by identifying all the players in the chain -continued public sensitization campaigns on Kimberley Process -continued implementation of measures of fight against fraud -sub-regional active involvement in harmonization activities; Ambition: -Strengthening of rough diamond tracing system in compliance with Kimberley process -Control of production, recording and tracing chains particularly the issuance of cards to various production actors and of Kimberley Process Certificate.
IRM Midterm Status Summary
1. Publish the number of carats of diamonds exported
To Publish the number of carats of diamond exported from Côte d’Ivoire as well as the accompanying Kimberly Process certificates, each year
Brief description of the commitment:
- Accompany all parcels of exported diamond by a certificate of origin
- issue cards for various actors
- record production and sales in the sales and production books
- release the number of carats exported and the Kimberly certificates accompanying them on the website of the Ministry in charge of mines
Verifiable and measurable steps to implement the commitment
1. A road-map has been established with the support of countries of Côte d’Ivoire ’s friends Group
2. Strengthening the governance framework (institutional, regulatory)
3. Establishment of legally incorporated purchasing offices
4. Capacity building in assessment
5. Implementation and development of measures to fight against fraud
6. Regional harmonization
Editorial Note: Three of the six milestones were completed before the implementation period of this commitment. This evaluation will concentrate on the three that took place during the implementation period. However, four milestones were added by the IRM researcher to reflect the brief description and the aspirations of the national action plan. These milestones were: (i) to ensure a certificate of origin accompanies each batch of diamonds exported, (ii) to allocate cards to the different actors, (iii) to register the production and sales in record books, and (iv) to publish on the website of the Ministry of Industry and Mines the number of carats and the relevant Kimberley Process certificates.
Responsible institution: Ministry of Industry and Mines
Supporting institutions: Permanent Secretary representing the Kimberley Process in the Côte d’Ivoire/ Society for Mining Development in the Côte d’Ivoire/ Directorate General of Customs.
Start date: 2013
End date: Continuing
Context and Objectives
This commitment seeks to offer the citizens of Côte d’Ivoire a way to trace uncut diamonds. It can show transparency but also manage the lines of production through registration and traceability.
Registration and traceability efforts include the issuing of cards to different actors and the issuing of Kimberley Process certificates. The commitment aims to correct problems that occurred before 2000, when natural resources were used to fuel conflicts. In effect, according to the Practical Guide to the Kimberley Process,1 the strategy of certain sides in the conflict was to seize control of diamond-rich zones, which gave them a source of income from the taxation or sale of diamonds. As the guide points out, diamonds were also used as currency to pay for heavy weapons. They were also used by rebel factions or their allies to finance armed conflict that aimed to destabilize legitimate governments.
By making information on diamond exports public, the government hopes to provide more transparency and obligations with respect to this procedure. The government also seeks to avoid all forms of corruption and conflicts associated with diamond production. According to the previously mentioned guide, the Kimberley Process brings together participating countries and their observers twice a year to debate the problems and questions concerning the fight against conflict diamonds. Recognized by the United Nations, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme defines the conditions for the control of the production and commercialization of uncut diamonds.
This commitment contains several inconsistencies. According to its title, it concerns the publishing of the number of carats of diamonds each year. Ostensibly, the commitment aims to improve transparency by informing citizens on the commercialization of Ivorian diamonds. As Chantal Angoua indicated, 'for the embargo to be lifted, the country had to conform to the objectives of the Kimberley Process. By taking this commitment, our intention was to show that after lifting the embargo, Côte d’Ivoire will continue to be transparent.'2 Despite the intent, none of the commitment milestones reflect the goal of informing citizens on the sale of diamonds. However, the 'brief description' in the commitment contains a milestone on publishing information. The commitment is pertinent to access to information. According to civil society representatives,3 civil society questioned the government about the pertinence and consistency of this commitment, and it was a subject of great debate.
The level of the specificity of this commitment is low. Certain milestones, such as the establishment of a route map, were quantifiable. However, most milestones did not contain any quantifiable elements. For example, the milestone on the reinforcement of the governance framework did not clarify which parts of the framework were targeted.
The potential impact of the commitment is minor. The participation of the country in the Kimberley Process guarantees that diamonds do not help to fuel conflicts. In this sense, the commitment would help to achieve the stated objective. The certification process provides controls at all levels of production, from the mine to the marketing. With the resultant transparency, the Kimberley Process could also help to ensure that revenue from diamond sales is reinvested and aids sustainable development.4 However, as it is written, the commitment does not clearly or specifically give all the conditions of membership of the Kimberley Process. Because of its shortfalls and the lack of consistency among the title, its description, and its various milestones, the commitment is difficult to quantify. Thus, the IRM researcher considered its potential impact to be minor.
Reinforcement of the governance framework (institutional, regulatory)
The level of implementation of this milestone is limited. The commitment text is vague and does not specify which elements of the governance framework should be strengthened. The government issued six decrees, but they all date from 2013 and 2014. No regulatory texts dated within the implementation period were given to the IRM researcher. However, the government took certain actions, such as establishing purchase offices, to reinforce governance. (This relates to milestone 3 in the original text of
the commitment.) These offices were authorized to buy uncut diamonds from collectors and certified operators across the country, allowing the monitoring of all uncut diamond transactions. The Ministry of Industry and Mines website provides no information on the number of offices in the country. A 1 May 2014 article5 announced, 'Diamond purchasing offices opening soon in Côte d’Ivoire.'
Implementation and development of actions to fight fraud
The implementation of this milestone had not started during the implementation period. The language in the commitment does not specify the type of actions included in the milestone. Nevertheless, a spokesperson from the government6 stated that two measures had been taken by the government to fight fraud. (i) The government has raised awareness among actors who have control on the ground.
These include the police, the local police, customs officers, mining agents, and mining administration; (ii) The government trains these actors on anti-fraud techniques and has conducted workshops and assessments. The government provided the IRM researcher with a final report on the workshop, which focused on the approach and methods of fighting fraud in the Côte d’Ivoire diamond sector. However, the report carries a 2004 date. A list of participant names was not included with the report. The government supplied none of the evidence from the period that was examined by the IRM researcher. However, the government specified that these measures are effective and are still being implemented.
This milestone was fully implemented. Côte d’Ivoire has used a regional approach with the Mano River countries (Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia), which share common borders.7 These countries have the same Kimberley Process challenges as Côte d’Ivoire. This milestone has encouraged the standardization of the fiscal regime for operations, as Côte d’Ivoire does not process diamonds like the other countries. As stated in the Kimberley Process guide, the region of the Mano River Union shares characteristics and important commercial ties concerning the diamond industry. Different fiscal regimes and insecure conditions could facilitate smuggling across these permeable borders. So the Kimberley Process created a framework of cooperation and harmonization among these countries, using a regional approach.
This framework involves a sharing of information, exchanges on best practices, coordination between security forces, and the determining of duties and taxes appropriate for the subregion.
Thus, the government adopted a ruling concerning export taxes. It provided text of the ruling and a circular regarding it to the IRM researcher. However, the two texts carry the dates 2013 and 2015, respectively, and the national action plan has a completion date of 30 June 2018. The government provided no evidence of this milestone’s implementation from the implementation period to the IRM researcher. However, since this milestone had a series of measures that were limited in time, the IRM researcher considered it completed.
Accompany all batches of exported diamonds with a certificate of origin
This milestone has not started. Its implementation is ongoing, according to the government. However, no evidence has been provided, as the certificates are confidential documents and cannot be shared with the public, according to a government representative.8 The IRM researcher found no information concerning the number of batches of diamonds that were exported. The researcher also could not find information concerning certificates of origin issued during the implementation period. In the absence of any proof, the degree of execution is not complete.
The issue of cards to various actors
This milestone has not been completed. The cards identify the people associated with production, the collectors, the operators, and the employees working in the diamond mining sector. When questioned,9 the government representative said that all cards are entered into a database and each one has an identification number. The IRM researcher was not allowed access to this database, due to the confidentiality of the contents. Thus, the researcher was not able to question representatives from civil society to confirm whether the actors did indeed have cards.
Recording of production and sales in logbooks
This milestone is mostly completed. The Ministry of Industry and Mines stated that it had drafted quarterly reports on exports and biannual reports on production that were published on the Kimberley Process website. These reports are not available to the public. The IRM researcher found no trace of them on the website, which is only accessible in Côte d’Ivoire. The volume and the values of production and exports are, however, accessible online. The last entry dates are from 2016.10
Publication of the number of exported carats and the associated Kimberley certificates on the Ministry of Industry and Mines website
This milestone has not started. The IRM researcher found no such information on the ministry’s website.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Mines, the website is regularly updated each time there is an export. The ministry notes that the information has been updated quarterly on the Kimberley Process website since 2015 and that citizens have access to these.11 But stakeholders who were questioned remarked that the sites publish only the number of Kimberley certificates, not the certificates themselves, as the commitment requires. The last entry for the number of carats and certificates on the Kimberley Process website is dated 2016 and indicates that there were 21,724.34 carats and 17 export certificates for Côte d’Ivoire.12
Early Results (if any)
At the implementation halfway point, the only result to report involves the publication of production and sales on the Kimberley Process website. Civil society representatives13 noted that information is not published regularly and, consequently, cannot be verified in real time.
To date, as stated by Ministry of Industry and Mines representatives,14 the government has had no feedback from citizens concerning the traceability of diamonds and the certification system.
According to the IRM researcher, the commitment could be extended in the next action plan, on the condition that it includes actions that were not implemented. These actions should be quantifiable and verifiable, and they should contribute to a more open and responsible government, in accordance with OGP values. Civil society representatives15 would like to see a future commitment that is related to 'a better collaboration between the OGP procedure and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)16 in order to improve the governance of the extractive sector.'
1 Secrétariat Permanent de la Représentation du Processus de Kimberley en Côte d’Ivoire, Guide Pratique du Processus de Kimberley, remis en copie physique au chercheur du IRM.
2 Chantal Angoua, Technical Advisor, Ministry of Industry and Mines, main contact in the government for the OGP process, interview by IRM researcher, 24 January 2018, followed by email and telephone conversation.
3 Civil society platform representative, interview by IRM research, 2018, followed by phone and email exchanges; and civil society representative wishing to remain anonymous, interview by IRM research, February 2018.
6 Fatoumata Thes Olemou, Permanent Secretary of the Kimberley Process, Secrétariat, Permanent representation of the Kimberley Process in Côte d’Ivoire, Ministry of Industry and Mines, interview by IRM researcher, 15 February 2018.
7 Guide Pratique du Processus de Kimberley, permanent representation of the Kimberley Process in Côte d’Ivoire, remis en copie physique au chercheur du IRM.
8 Fatoumata Thes Olemou, Permanent Secretary of the Kimberley Process, Secrétariat, Permanent representation of the Kimberley Process in Côte d’Ivoire, Ministry of Industry and Mines, interview by IRM researcher, 15 February 2018.
13 Civil society platform representative, interview by IRM researcher, 2018, followed by phone and email exchanges.
14 Mme Fatoumata Thes Olemou, Secrétaire Permanente du Processus de Kimberley, Secrétariat Permanent de la représentation du Processus de Kimberley en Côte d’Ivoire, Ministry of Industry and Mines, rencontre en personne le 15 février 2018.
15 Civil society platform representative, interview by IRM researcher, 2018, followed by phone and email exchanges.
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