WGEI Newsletter Issue No. 14 – April 2019

WGEI Newsletter Issue No. 14 – April 2019

The content of this newsletter

Introduction

  • About this issue

Need to know

  • Recent good practice tools and resources developed for ensuring effective mine closure
  • SAI Fiji and Extractive Industries
  • AFROSAI-E Launches E-Learning for Extractive Industries Sector Auditors
  • Investing in African Mining Indaba at 25
  • Oil and gas parallel audit in action
  • WGEI Secretariat visits OAGN and external stakeholders in Oslo

Trainings and Events

  • Natural Resources for Sustainable Development course

Introduction

About this issue: 

Welcome to the fourteenth edition of the WGEI newsletter! In this edition of the newsletter, you can read about Recent good practice tools and resources developed for ensuring effective mine closure, SAI Fiji and Extractive Industries, AFROSAI-E Launches E-Learning for Extractive Industries Sector Auditors, Investing in African Mining Indaba at 25 , Oil and gas parallel audit in action , WGEI Secretariat visits OAGN and external stakeholders in Oslo, Natural Resources for Sustainable Development course.
Have a nice read!

Need to know

Recent good practice tools and resources developed for ensuring effective mine closure (By Annicken Tvenge – Senior Audit Adviser, OAG Norway and Resident Adviser, Audit Service Sierra Leone)

This year’s Investing in African Mining Indaba had Sustainable Economic Growth on the agenda. At the conference, thousands of government representatives, mining companies, investors, interest groups, non-governmental organisations and consultants discussed topics such as environmental sustainability, local content, community development, economic opportunities, resource nationalism, responsible investments and mine closure.

Discussions on mine closure revealed that:

  • Abandoned and orphaned mines is a vast problem. Canada alone has tens of thousands. In South Africa, 6,000 mines were abandoned over the last two decades, and a large number are expected to be closed in the next ten years. Drops in commodity prices have led to expected increase in closures all over the world.
  • There is a lack of regulations and standards for mine closure. Governments in many countries lack capacity to implement mine closure plans. Governments must make sure that there are local agencies with skilled people responsible for ensuring that mine closure is carried out as it should be.
  • Mine closure is not planning for an event, it is a process. Mining activities can go on for decades and the nature of the activities may change over time. The surrounding environment and the mining activities’ impact on the surroundings can also change. In order to plan for mine closure decades away, plans must be under continuous revision.
  • Reclamation and closure is technical and complex. Insufficient funding is the largest barrier to land and environmental remediation. There is a need for regulation on financial obligations for rehabilitation and environmental management.
  • The mining industry’s effect on people’s livelihood is the biggest of all industries. Whereas mine closure used to be associated with only environmental concerns, closure is now seen as concerning also land use, social, economic and sustainability issues.Mining must be seen as beneficial to the communities, and the communities must be involved in issues of mine closure. Stakeholder engagement used to take place after closure. Now it is commonly agreed that it should take place before, during and after closure. Even legacy sites require stakeholder engagement, regardless of how long ago they were abandoned. Read More…

SAI Fiji and Extractive Industries (By SAI Fiji)

SAI Fiji became a member of the INTOSAI WGEI Steering Committee to promote the audit of extractive industries in order to stimulate good governance and sustainable development in the Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions (PASAI) region.

On 24 April 2018, a five-member WGEI Committee was formed within SAI Fiji. The Committee chaired by the Auditor-General meets every month. One of the key focuses of the Committee is to carry out research, promoting and sharing information on extractive industries in the PASAI region to the INTOSAI WGEI Steering Committee.

It has almost been a year since the establishment of the Committee whereby we have embarked upon a few challenges to build a moderate foundation for audit in the area of extractive industries. For SAI Fiji and few other SAI’s in the PASAI region, audit in the area of extractive industry is indeed a new undertaking considering the limitation of capacity surrounding the matter. Read More…

AFROSAI-E Launches E-Learning for Extractive Industries Sector Auditors (By Edmond B. Shoko.)

The growth of the extractive industries sector in Africa is escalating and continues to present challenges for the public sector. The regulatory framework that is needed to ensure sustainable development of the sector, a fair share of income and an equitable distribution of that income, is complex and challenging. As part of keeping abreast with the emerging risks in this sector, AFROSAI-E has designed, developed and launched a basic e-learning course on the audit considerations for the EI sector for public sector auditors.

The aim of the course is to introduce SAI auditors (Financial, Compliance & Performance) to the key concepts, principles and terminology in the audit of extractive industries by SAIs. Its main objectives are to:

  • Enhance the understanding of SAIs unique constitutional assignment and responsibility for good national governance and sustainability in extractive industries.
  • Enhance the understanding of the distinctive characteristics and considerations exceptional for the extractive industry sector (and how to apply these in financial, compliance and performance audits).

As a result of taking the course, we expect participants should be able to understand and comprehend the key concepts, principles and terminology in the audit of extractive industries. Read More…

Investing in African Mining Indaba at 25 (By Sheilla Ngira (WGEI Secretariat/ SAI Uganda)

The Investing in African Mining Indaba celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. The Indaba was held from 4th to 7th February 2019. The conference brought together 6192 delegates comprising of government representatives, mining executives, investors and government ministers. It was an opportunity for the delegates to discuss and gather knowledge on the state of mining in 2019, and what the future looks like for the mining industry.

The Indaba was addressed by His Excellency Nana Akufo – Addo, the President of Ghana who said that Ghana has embarked on a campaign to eliminate illegal mining, particularly small scale artisanal mining. This has reduced the level of pollution in the rivers affected by the practice. He also emphasised the need to diversify mining to include other minerals, in addition to gold.

The conference was also graced by the presence of His Excellency Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa, who in his address emphasised the need for government and other players in the mining sector to work together for the mutual benefit of all. His Excellency outlined the principles he believes are necessary for the success of the mining sector. Read More…

Oil and gas parallel audit in action (By Sybrand Struwig, SAI South Africa)

The regional project “Performance auditing in the oil and gas industry” is funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and led by the Netherlands Court of Audit (NCA) in partnership with AFROSAI-E. Partners in the program are SAI Tanzania, SAI Mozambique and SAI Kenya. The purpose of this regional project is to further improve the quality of performance auditing activities in the oil and gas industry and to stimulate capacity building and knowledge distribution in the region. The kick-off of the project (including SAI leadership and audit teams) took place on 4th and 5th February 2019 at the premises of AFROSAI-E in Pretoria, followed by a three-day workshop for the audit teams (6th -8th February) to start working on their audit designs.

The objectives of this kick-off meeting were twofold: To discuss recommended areas of focus from the perspective of extractive sector specialists to identify and agree on the audit topics for this regional project

All participants registered for the event (33) attended the kick-off meeting, including the Auditors-General from SAI Tanzania and SAI Kenya. SAI Mozambique was represented by one of their Judge Counsellors. After the welcome remarks by leadership, the Founder and President of Resources for Development (Res4Dev) contextualized and presented the commonalities of the value chain of the oil and gas sector in Tanzania, Mozambique and Kenya. The presentation included an explanation on how audits can contribute to an increase of the return in public value from natural resource wealth. A fair share requires coordinated activity across the value chain. This includes a good deal (original contract, amendments, and infrastructure) and monitoring project costs and project revenues (volume and value). With the oil-projects entering the construction phase in the three countries, it has been recommended to prioritise the audits around monitoring and assess the “whether” and the “how”. The participants were advised to formulate system performance audit topics within the following four focus areas: (i) assess government effectiveness and efficiency (ii) processes, information, capacities and results; (iii) assess cross-government responsibilities for management; and (iv) preparedness / anticipate future risks. Read More…

WGEI Secretariat visits OAGN and external stakeholders in Oslo (By Stefanie Grace Fernandez, SAI Norway)

The WGEI Secretariat, consisting of Mr. Maxwell Ogentho, Ms. Sheilla Ngira and Mr. Emmanuel Angole, held meetings in Oslo from March 25th to 29th with the Office of the Auditor General of Norway (OAGN) and external stakeholders such as the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI), The Norwegian Oil for Development (OFD) and Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), to promote WGEI activities.

Meeting with OAG Norway

As a member of the WGEI Steering Committee, OAGN has close cooperation and is in regular correspondence with the Secretariat to keep track of WGEI activities and the implementation of the WGEI Activity Plan. The working meeting in March dealt predominantly with preparations for the WGEI Members meeting in May 2019, drafting a new Activity plan for 2020-2023, updating the website and planning future WGEI activities. Read More…

Trainings and events

Natural Resources for Sustainable Development course

The next online Natural Resources for Sustainable Development course will start Monday 6 May 2019.

This is a 12 week course developed by the Natural Resource Governance Institute, the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investments and the World Bank.

The course will teach you

  • How countries translate natural resource wealth into sustainable development outcomes
  • How governance of extractive industries impact long term economic development
  • The policies necessary for the sustainable management of natural resource wealth
  • Why communication between government, industry, and citizens is critical to sustainable natural resource management

The course is taught through video presentations, questionnaires, provided reading and discussion forums.

And best of all – you can do it on your computer, at your own pace, and it is completely free of charge!

To read more, or to sign up, please visit the course website.

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