Ahead of summer of 2019, around 1000 participants attended the 8th EITI Global Conference which held in OECD Conference Center, last June 17th-19th in Paris. With the theme “Open Data Build Trust”, the conference elaborates on how open data will become the norm in the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) in the future.

Indonesia’s delegations attending the conference include Inspector General of Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (MEMR), Inspector General of Ministry of Finance, Assistant Deputy of the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, EITI Indonesia Secretariat, CSO, and SKK Migas representatives.

Some essential points from the conference are the election of Helen Clark, former Prime

Minister of New Zealand, as 2019-2021 EITI Chair and the enactment of 2019 EITI Standard.

A number of challenges also found in mainstreaming EITI, utilizing EITI data, and implementing open contract and beneficial ownership. Civic space topic also became one of the significant issues for the civil society. For instance, EITI Myanmar is declared “meaningful” in fulfilling the EITI Standard point 1.3, while CSO said otherwise given the available evidence.

Using EITI Data, CSO’s Experience in Indonesia

Ermy Ardhyanti, CSO representative in the multi-stakeholder group of EITI Indonesia, presented how to make the EITI data work in a session entitled “Extractive Data Use”. Ermy further shared the stories of civil society and local government in using EITI data, including the practice in Riau, in which the civil society used EITI data as a basis for policy advocacy regarding Oil and Gas Revenue Sharing Fund.

The advocacy for Oil and Gas Revenue Sharing Fund uses two analyses, namely double cross-checking and output analysis. Double cross-checking is comparing EITI data with oil and gas production data, lifting, non-tax revenueand revenue sharing fund received by local governments. Then the discrepancy is found, which shows that the received Revenue Sharing Fund is lower than it should be. While the output analysis aims to determine the impact of mining in human development, economy, and poverty alleviation,” explained Ermy.

“Like swimming in the vast ocean, abundant EITI data helps illuminate and solve certain problems,” added Ermy.

Commitment on Openness and Regulation Challenges

On the last day of the conference (19/6), Indonesia’s delegation led by Inspectorate General of MEMR was invited by the EITI International Executive Director, Mark Robinson to discuss the progress of Beneficial Ownership, Commodity Trading, and Open Contract initiatives also a high-level commitment for EITI Indonesia’s sustainability. One of Indonesia’s achievement as EITI implementing countries is the publication of Beneficial Ownership road map and commodity trading report.

On regard of contract transparency, Inspector General of MEMR still sticks to the existing regulations, namely Oil and Gas Law and Mineral and Coal Mining Law. Thus, for now, the contract transparency still cannot be opened.

However, according to CSO, further discussion on the perception of contract disclosure is needed. Then, it is necessary to conduct the consequences test of contract information which is deemed as an excluded information category.

Indonesia-Myanmar Bilateral Meeting

On the last day of the conference, Indonesian delegation was invited by the Myanmar delegation, which consists of one minister, deputy minister, ambassador of Myanmar in France, Head of EITI Secretariat and staff. In this occasion, the delegations discussed Indonesia’s experience in implementing EITI such as building a regulatory framework, structure, financing, also civic space and CSO governance.

Civic space, heated issues surfaced at the Global Conference, also becomes topics of discussion. Myanmar’s delegation is curious about Indonesia’s experience, whichhad already become one of the democratic countries. As a follow-up, Myanmar will visit Indonesia in July 2019.

Challenges in the New EITI Standard

What’s new in the EITI Standard consist of gender, commodity sales, contract disclosure and environmental report. EITI report should include gender-based disaggregated data and also data on gender mainstreaming in the extractive industries. Also, the gender affirmation policy within the EITI in implementing countries.

One of the significant challenges in Indonesia, according to Ermy, is contract transparency. The government has not agreed with several regulatory reasons — the same barrier inthe commodity trading. As presented in the report, the data transparency commitment still becomes a huge homework.