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Sierra Leone News: SLEITI trains oil & gas and mining companies on reporting template

The Sierra Leone Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (SLEITI) on Thursday 20th July 2017 held a training session with oil, gas, exploration and mining companies on beneficial ownership declaration forms and how to complete the 7th SLEITI report for the fiscal year 2015/16 reporting template.
Giving an overview of the training, the National Coordinator of (SLEITI), Mina Horac, said that they are presenting a two-year report for the period under review 2015/16, noting that the last report was done in 2014.
The 2015-2016 SLEITI report, which will be published by the Independent Administrator will provide information mainly on certain payments that are made to government of Sierra Leone by oil and gas, mining companies and receipt of such payments by government and it agencies.
She continued that February 2016 required countries to disclose their beneficial ownership not later than January 2020, citing that “it would be a disaster on our path if we fail to comply” She said they have developed a road map to surmount those barriers.
She further said, there have been additional areas, which companies are bound to complete. According to the Coordinator, two new areas have been added to the existing ones, noting, “there must be a better understanding on the part of companies in order to complete those forms.”
The newest areas added are beneficial corporate ownership and the corporate social responsibility. She cited that one key benefit these areas will bring is the clarity and transparency those voluntary contribution companies are undertaking and for the first time companies are require to report on the minerals they are producing.
She engaged those representatives from various sectors on how to complete or go about the newly additional areas in a presentation on ownership and guideline on completion beneficial ownership.
She said SLEITI, on the behalf of the government and in line with EITI Global Standard is requesting declaration of the ultimate beneficial owners of all companies operating in the extractive sector, at the date of submission by companies of the declaration form.
She mentioned that on 18 July 2018 Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Board will validate its report and Sierra Leone will be assessed whether it has met the stipulated threshold.
She mentioned that the need to know what the beneficial entail would help companies to complete the template on time. She pointed out also that, this is the first time they will report on production and export data. She said the deadline for companies to return their reporting template is on 15 August 2017.
Giving the benefit of implementing the EITI, the Communication Officer of SLEITI, Mohamed F. Conteh, said it will enhance trust, inform debate strengthen government and company system and also fight corruption.
Mathiew Kambay, representing Shandong Group of Company said, the training is vital, noting, “it is a way of monitoring fund or expenditure of Companies and also it promote transparency”
Jonathan Teckham, from Audit Service Sierra Leone, said Section 199 (2) of the 1991 Constitution and Section 11 (1) of the Audit Service Act of 2014 gives them the mandate to audit all public account of Sierra Leone and all offices including the judiciary, central and local government institutions. Adding that they are not going to certify any template that are photocopies given by mining company.
By Mohamed J. Bah
Fariday July 21, 2017.

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