Validation is an essential feature of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) process. It serves two critical functions. First, it promotes dialogue and learning at the country level. Second, it safeguards the EITI brand by holding all EITI implementing countries to the same global standard.
At the III EITI International Board meeting held in September 2007, Azerbaijan obtained an “EITI Candidate” status as a result of fulfillment of initial EITI requirements. Based on the decision of the EITI International Board, Candidate countries willing to become an EITI Compliant country should pass through Validation. The EITI Board has established the deadlines for all Candidate Countries, and has agreed to assess countries’ EITI status by these deadlines.
Validation provides an independent assessment of the progress achieved by Implementing Countries on their progress on EITI and what measures they should take to make better and faster progress. This assessment is carried out by an independent validator, using the Validation Grid and Indicator Assessment Tools as outlined in the EITI Validation Guide.
Article 14, EITI Articles of Association, makes a general statement on the purpose and composition of EITI Board Commitees: “The EITI Board may create committees to further specific issues. Any such committee should include two or more Board Members or their Alternates, and its composition should, as far as is reasonable, reflect the multi-stakeholder nature of the EITI Association.” EITI Board Committees should facilitate the working of the EITI Board. This is mainly done by making recommendations to the Board.
Board Committees do not take decisions on behalf of the EITI Board. Committees advise the Board on specific issues related to EITI implementation, validation, policy and management. Committees hold telephone conferences or get together in person around Board meetings. Committees have are reestablished every two years, after the election of a new Board. In all decisions on validation, the Board places a priority on the need for comparable treatment between countries and the need to protect the integrity of the EITI brand. The Validation Committee plays a key role in safeguarding the quality and consistency of EITI validation.
On behalf of the EITI Board, and in accordance with the EITI Rules, the Validation Committee shall:
- Review draft validation reports submitted by implementing countries
- Review final validation reports submitted by implementing countries and make a recommendation to the EITI Board
- Review applications for extensions of the validation deadline submitted by implementing countries and make a recommendation to the EITI Board.
- Review and make recommendations on validation procedures.
Starting from 2011, Shahmar Movsumov, Executive Director of the State Oil Fund, Chairman of the Committee on EITI in Azerbaijan, EITI International Board member is also a member of the Validation Committee.
Azerbaijan is the first Compliant country
As a leader country in the EITI implementation Azerbaijan has become the first country officially started the Validation process on March, 2008. Coffey International Development in association with IPAN and PKF was selected to exercise this process in Azerbaijan. The validation process in Azerbaijan was completed a year earlier – in 2009, though the deadline established for it by the International Board was 9 March, 2010. Coffey International Development presented its final report with positive opinion according to the results of validation in Azerbaijan to EITI International Board.
Taking into account that:
- Azerbaijan has instituted a regular process of disclosing, reconciling and publishing company payments and government receipts;
- Azerbaijan is the first ever country to complete Validation, the EITI's quality assurance process which verifies compliance with EITI principles and criteria;
- And referring to Validator’s report.
The EITI Board designated Azerbaijan as EITI Compliant country at the 4th EITI International Conference, held on February 16-18, 2009 in Doha, Qatar.
Thereby, Azerbaijan became the first EITI “Compliant” country. The promotion of Azerbaijan from “Candidate” to “Compliant” country status marks an important milestone for the EITI.