Transfer pricing (TP) is an ever-growing concern for resource rich under-developed countries. The OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) and the BEPS (Base Erosion Profit Shifting) project have gone a long way in preparing guidelines and regulations that such countries can adopt in order to tackle this problem. African countries are losing over USD 50 Billion a year to Illicit Financial Flows majorly through TP.
A training workshop on TP in the Extractive industries was held at the Audit Services office in Freetown, Sierra Leone from 4th to 8th June 2018. The training was conducted by transfer pricing experts from SAI Norway and SAI Uganda purposely to enhance the capacity of the audit staff and the relevant stakeholders on the subject.
Sierra Leone produces Iron ore, Rutile, Diamonds, and Gold amongst other minerals on which the economy is predominantly dependent. This increases the country’s exposure to TP risk considering that the majority of the licensed mining companies are foreign multinationals.
The workshop involved participants from other Government agencies and civil society such as the National Mining Agency (NMA), the National Revenue Authority (NRA) and the Sierra Leone Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (SLEITI), which emphasized the value of an interagency co-ordinated effort in addressing this TP problem.
Discussions majorly centred on the fiscal aspects of mining and petroleum contracts, key TP risks within the Extractive industries value chain, TP legal framework and documentation, the TP audit process, Functional Asset Risk analysis, Comparability databases and tackling various case studies.
The participants were actively involved in experience sharing throughout the course and showed a great desire to increase their knowledge on the subject. Possible areas for future audits were discussed and an action roadmap was agreed upon. This was a positive step in the capacity building process and the continued co-ordination between the various SAIs in the Extractives Industries.
By Godwin Matte – SAI Uganda