26 February 2014

Liberia: Sime Darby Clarifies Leiti's Visit

Sime Darby Plantation Liberia Inc., has clarified that the visit by the Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI) last week within its concession

area, was not intended for verification nor compliance, but rather for collaboration and coordination between the transparency body and the company.

The Transparency watchdog said, as a global actor in transparency and accountability within the extractive sector, it believes assessing facilities of concessionaries will inform the secretariat about the business operations of various concession companies.

LEITI says that in keeping with EITI standards and procedures, validations and verifications are conducted by independent external auditors.

The LEITI further noted that while the Head of Secretariat acknowledges and appreciates the clinic, schools and other basic services provided by the Sime Darby in the local communities, the Secretariat was not in the position to confirm that the Company was in full compliance with the Concessions Agreement in the absence of an independent assessment. Mr. Samson Tokpah, Head of LEITI's Secretariat called for increased collaboration that will ensure LEITI understands what companies like Sime Darby and all other extractive companies are doing and that they too understand the EITI process and are contributing to resource transparency. Wednesday's visit according LEITI to was a follow-up to the Secretariat's meeting with four Agricultural companies last week--including Sime Darby--during which discussions were held on several issues relating to improving relations and collaborations amongst stakeholders of the process.

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