The United States has officially joined a global effort to increase transparency and strengthen public trust in the governance of natural resource revenues, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced today. The U.S. application for candidacy in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) was approved by the EITI Board at its March 18-19 meeting in Oslo, Norway.
"This achievement marks another significant milestone on the road to USEITI implementation," Jewell said of the approved candidacy application. "In addition to global leadership by example, our goal in pursuing USEITI implementation complements the Obama Administration's commitment to reforming and modernizing management of domestic natural resources overseen by the Department of the Interior."
The U.S. is the first G8 country to achieve candidate status and become an EITI implementing country, joining a group of 41 countries around the world that are working actively to improve the management of their oil, gas and mining sectors.
Under EITI, participating governments work hand-in-hand with company and civil society representatives to produce reports that help citizens understand how the government manages its extractive sectors. The reports include parallel public disclosures by both the government and companies, of the payments that companies have made to the government on their oil, gas and mining development. In addition to increased transparency, EITI strengthens accountability and empowers citizens by enhancing the accessibility of information available about the revenues generated from natural resource development.
The EITI is a voluntary, global effort designed to increase transparency, strengthen the accountability of natural resource revenue reporting, and build public trust for the governance of these vital activities.
Jewell added, "U.S. domestic implementation of the global EITI standard demonstrates President Obama's continued commitment to U.S. global leadership in promoting the principles of the Open Government Partnership."
In September 2011, President Obama announced the U.S. commitment to domestic implementation of EITI, a key element of the President's Open Government Partnership commitments, and appointed the Secretary of the Interior as the senior U.S. official to lead USEITI implementation.
In December 2013, the USEITI Multi-Stakeholder Group, which is comprised of government, industry and civil society representatives, approved the U.S. Candidacy Application for Secretary Jewell's transmission to the International EITI Board. In her transmission, Jewell praised the work and commitment of the USEITI Multi-Stakeholder Group.
Jewell wrote, "While a tremendous amount of work remains as we move to the implementing stage of EITI, the Multi-Stakeholder group has demonstrated that it has the competence and energy to see the effort through to successful completion."
In particular, the Secretary praised the group's ability to host collaborative and participatory decision-making among a diverse range of interests, including government, industry and civil society.
With approval of its candidacy application, the U.S. will now move to produce its first USEITI Report within the next two years and complete the remaining requirements to become an EITI Compliant Country.