Efforts are underway to adopt a policy and legal frameworks for the Papua New Guinea Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PNEITI), according to the PNGEITI National Secretariat.
“We are happy to inform the general public of PNGEITI Multi Stakeholder Group’s (MSG) desire to come up with a PNGEITI policy framework and legislation to provide the policy and legal footings for effective implementation of this global standard that seeks to promote transparency and accountability around the management of wealth derived from petroleum and mineral resources,” Head of PNGEITI National Secretariat Mr Lucas Alkan said.
He said the PNGEITI Multi Stakeholder Group- the body that oversees PNGEITI activities, in 2016 considered that it was necessary for the PNGEITI to have a legal and policy basis to exist in PNG for sustainability of PNGEITI activities into the future.
“The PNGEITI MSG subsequently tasked a Technical Working Group (TWG) to review existing laws and legislative arrangements for the possibility of legislating PNGEITI’s existence. The TWG had extended this function to a sub-group comprising of legal and policy officers from relevant MSG constituents to undertake this work,” Mr Alkan said.
“The sub-group has conducted various meetings and identified possible options for the scoping, formulation and development of the PNGEITI Policy Framework and Legislation. Through its ongoing work, the sub-group has been able to draft a framework for formulation of the policy, setting the basis for the corresponding legal framework,” Mr Alkan said.
“Given the sheer scope and meticulous work required to come up with a PNGEITI standalone legislation and a policy to ensure PNGEITI policy/legislation blend or coexist harmoniously with existing laws/policies in the mining and petroleum sector, we are mobilizing resources to engage legal and policy experts to draft the PNGEITI policy and legislation.
We hope to present to the Government a draft policy and legislation for vetting before the end of this year,” Mr. Alkan said.
“Four years into implementing EITI in PNG, I am pleased to inform that meaningful progress had been made in terms of policy reforms tailored towards positioning reporting entities to report financial data accurately and timely when required for EITI reporting as required by this global body. The primary case in point is a NEC decision early last year (2017) endorsing key recommendations from the first PNGEITI report based on the fiscal year 2013. Eight recommendations out of a total of eleven recommendations have been implemented. Notable is the Department of Petroleum’s commitment to improve its paper ledger licence registry into an electronic registry. Another important achievement was a technical amendment made during the 2018 National Budget to remove the secrecy provision of the Income Tax Act. Following this change in law, PNGEITI is now an authorised agency to collect company tax information from the Internal Revenue Commission.