New web-based system will simplify the cumbersome manual reporting process.
The procedure for reporting payments by mining companies to the government is about to go online and paperless as PH-EITI lays the groundwork for a new reporting mechanism.
The PH-EITI Secretariat, on March 19, convened a technical working group composed of representatives from the mining and oil and gas industries and concerned government agencies to present a prototype of a proposed web-based reporting application.
The ORE or Online Reporting in the Extractives Tool is PH-EITI’s latest initiative to help reduce the time and effort reporting entities have to exert to fill out paper templates.
“We want the work to be easier for all of us, and we see ORE as a way of using technology to simplify reporting, and in the process, promote greater participation, transparency, and accountability,” explained Atty. Karla Espinosa, national coordinator of PH-EITI.
The Secretariat called for the consultation workshop to gather feedback and ideas from the target users themselves, as PH-EITI aims to build a tool that is user-friendly and responsive to the needs of reporting entities, Atty. Espinosa said.
To date, PH-EITI has published four country reports, covering fiscal years 2012-2016 and reconciling about PHP201 billion in revenues from the extractive industries. Data collection for all four reports was largely done manually through paper reporting templates.
Common issues encountered by reporting entities in the manual process include timing and finality of data submission, differences in the definition of some terms, the extraction and transfer of data from varying accounting systems to the reporting template, among others.
ORE aims to address these issues by facilitating data submission, tracking submission progress, generating instant reports, as well as providing a communication channel between PH-EITI and the reporting entities. Harmonization with existing related reporting systems is likewise being considered. Overall, the tool is intended to help ensure faster, more cost-effective and efficient reporting.
Inputs from the technical working group will inform the ensuing development of the tool which is targeted to be piloted or rolled out during the PH-EITI LGU Roadshow in July and August this year. PH-EITI is enlisting the expertise of a consultant in building the online application.