To Include the Mineral Sector (Starting with National Quarries Company Ltd) in the TTEITI Reporting Mechanism (TT0013)
To include the National Quarries Company Ltd into the TTEITI reporting process by 2015 to cover fiscal period 2013/2014.
IRM End of Term Status Summary
4.3 Inclusion of the Mineral and Mining Sector into the TTEITI
Commitment Text: To include the National Quarries Company Ltd into the TTEITI reporting process by 2015 to cover fiscal period 2013/2014.
Responsible Institution: Trinidad and Tobago Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (TTEITI) secretariat
Supporting Institution: Multistakeholder group (TTEITI)
Start Date: September 2014 End Date: September 2015
This commitment seeks to bring greater transparency to the mineral and mining sector by including it in the TTEITI reporting process. When this commitment was adopted, only companies operating in the oil and gas sectors were audited by the TTEITI reporting process.
The National Quarries Company is a state-owned mineral and mining company. It is the largest producer of aggregate in Trinidad and Tobago. Based on TTEITI’s October 2012–September 2013 report,[Note 57: Trinidad and Tobago Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Secretariat, Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago EITI Report 2012: Making Sense of T&T’s Energy Dollars (Port of Spain, 30 September 2014), 56, http://bit.ly/1WhZRne.%5D the mining sector required substantial capacity-building to attain the international standard to participate in the TTEITI reporting process.
According to public officials and a TTEITI representative, a small scoping study was completed by the targeted date. Consulted officials reported that the second part of this commitment—workshops—was completed after the target date, but the memorandum of understanding with the National Quarries Company had not been established. According to the TTEITI representative, communication gaps between the MEEI and TTEITI contributed to the limited implementation of this commitment and the changed timelines. For further information, please see the midterm IRM evaluation report.[Note 58: Open Government Partnership, Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM): Trinidad and Tobago progress report 2014–2015, http://www.opengovpartnership.org/sites/default/files/TrinidadTobago_14-15_Final_0.pdf.%5D
End of term: Complete
This commitment gained momentum in the second year of implementation.
According to TTEITI representatives,[Note 59: Interviewed were the Chair of TTEITI, Victor Hart and the Head of the Secretariat, Sherwin Long. TTEITI is a multi-stakeholder group comprising 6 government representatives, 6 energy companies’ representatives and 6 civil society representatives.] a memorandum of understanding was signed between TTEITI and four companies that participate in the mineral and mining industry of Trinidad and Tobago. These companies are National Quarries Company (state owned), Lake Asphalt of Trinidad and Tobago (1978) Limited (state owned), Trinidad Cement Limited (publicly traded) and Hermitage Limestone Limited (private). According to a TTEITI representative, this group represented four out of 10 companies that the TTEITI had identified and requested that the MEEI write to request that they join the TTEITI reporting process.
According to the TTEITI report published 30 September 2016 that at the 16 September 2016, there were:
90 active mining operations in the country; 8 of these are licensed while the other 82 operated under expired licences…. There are also 60 new applications that are before the Ministry[Note 60: Trinidad and Tobago Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, TTEITI Report 2015, http://www.tteiti.org.tt/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Trinidad-and-Tobago-EITI-Report-Sept-30-2015-Final-Issued.pdf, 97. ] for approval. Taxes that are payable to the MEEI are Corporation Tax, Individual income tax, Business Levy, and the Green Fund Levy. [However, the collection of] royalties and other payments due to the State . . . is currently estimated at less than 10% for all revenue from that sector.[Note 61: The White Paper on Minerals Policy: http://www.energy.gov.tt/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/White-Paper-on-National-Minerals-Policy-June-2015.pdf p. 12]
This commitment achieved more than projected, since the memorandum of understanding was signed with the National Quarries Company, and three additional companies (all of which are the major players in the mineral and mining industry) agreed to sign on and have been included in the TTEITI reporting process.
Did it open government?
Access to information: Major
Public accountability: Did not change
Before this commitment, mineral and mining companies in Trinidad and Tobago were not included in the TTEITI reporting process. These companies not only contribute to the revenues of Trinidad and Tobago, but also operate in environmentally sensitive regions. From earlier documented reports,[Note 62: Open Government Partnership, Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM): Trinidad and Tobago progress report 2014-2015, http://www.opengovpartnership.org/sites/default/files/TrinidadTobago_14-15_Final_0.pdf, 49–50. ] this sector is highly unregulated and poses a number of challenges and risks for the government as well as citizens.
The impact of this commitment on opening government practise is coded as major, given that this is the first time that companies in the mineral and mining sector have been included under the TTEITI reporting mechanism. Additionally, the sector is highly unregulated and includes many artisanal and smaller quarries. Their record keeping may not meet TTEITI standards.[Note 63: Those interviewed include the chair of the Trinidad and Tobago Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (TTEITI), Victor Hart, and the head of the secretariat, Sherwin Long. TTEITI is a multistakeholder group composed of six government representatives, six energy company representatives, and six civil society representatives.] Therefore, this commitment could increase regulation in this sector while facilitating public accountability.
The inclusion of four major companies in the pilot helps to set the tone and encourage smaller companies to participate in the TTEITI process. These large companies have disclosed information related to royalties and tax information that have been reconciled with the government’s accounts. Given that this report was published on 30 September 2016 by the TTEITI, there is no evidence of the use of the report for public accountability.
This commitment is a major step forward in increasing the public’s access to information on mining and mineral companies, in a system in which the revenues paid to the government are reconciled with government receipts and companies can be held to TTEITI reporting standards.
In terms of increasing public accountability, this commitment did not change the status quo. While there has been a major step to increase access to information, to change public accountability practises, the government is required to establish mechanisms for citizens to provide feedback and hold government accountable. Such mechanisms were not present in this commitment. Consideration should be given to the creation of a feedback mechanism to achieve a change in the public accountability coding.
At the time of the writing of this report, the government did not conduct consultation to develop the next action plan. Given that this commitment surpassed its objective, a more ambitious commitment should be developed—such as the creation of an interactive map that shows the level of mining activity, like what has been proposed for the oil and gas sector.
The commitment will transform the extractives sector by ensuring that data is easily available and updated. However, there is a need to build the capacity of smaller companies who may not have the required reporting standards in place. Additionally, civil society should become more involved in sensitising stakeholders to the value of the TTEITI process and its outcome.
The latest TTEITI report notes an initiative to develop and publish a beneficial ownership register for companies participating in the TTEITI reporting process. This is a positive and transformative step to increase public accountability in the extractives sector. In addition, it also has a demonstrative effect for other sectors of the country’s economy.
Trinidad and Tobago's Commitments
To Certify Public Agencies’ Service Quality
TT0001, 2014, Capacity Building
To Develop Human Resources Management Capacity in the Public Service
TT0002, 2014, Capacity Building
To Conduct a Pilot Project for the Development and Introduction of a “Easier Life for Citizens” Index
TT0003, 2014, Public Service Delivery
To Develop Interactive Media on Government Business Processes and Programs to Better Access Government Services
TT0004, 2014, Public Service Delivery
To Establish a Contact Centre to Address the Needs of National Scholars (Local and International) of Trinidad and Tobago
TT0005, 2014, Education
To Adopt a Policy on Data Standards and Classification Frameworks
TT0006, 2014, Open Data
To Increase the Number of Publicly Accessible Government Datasets in Open Formats
TT0007, 2014, Open Data
To Conduct a Diagnostic Review of Public Information Needs
TT0008, 2014, Open Data
To Create an Easily Accessible Open Government Portal , with a Platform/Repository for Open Data, as Well as an Interface to Allow for Feedback from the Public
TT0009, 2014, Open Data
To Create a Civil Society Board
TT0010, 2014, Public Participation
To Audit the Accounts of the Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs to International Standards
TT0011, 2014, Audits and Controls
To Make Publicly Available the Cadastre of Licenses and Contracts for the Exploration and Production of Oil and Gas in Trinidad and Tobago
TT0012, 2014, E-Government
To Include the Mineral Sector (Starting with National Quarries Company Ltd) in the TTEITI Reporting Mechanism
TT0013, 2014, E-Government