The Timber Resource Management Amendment in 2003 established that "competitive bidding shall be the basis of allocation of timber rights, and shall be conducted serially through two stages, namely, a pre-qualification process and bidding for timber rights process". The Timber Rights Evaluation Committee (TREC) has responsibility to validate pre-qualification and bids of companies involved. It meets when there are applications to be considered and the result of the process is usually published in the national dailies. Some summary reports are available online and documents on the winners of the auctions can be accessed on request, but in practice due processes have not been consistently followed.
However, in practice the TREC is not independent and due processes have not been consistently followed. For example, Timber Utilisation Contracts have been granted administratively since 2003 without being subject to competitive bidding. These shortcuts may enable corruption.
The Forestry Commission (FC) has also set up the Timber Validation Department (TVD) as set out in the Voluntary Partnership Agreement with the European Union. It will become fully operational when the Legality Assurance System procedures have been agreed. The Timber Validation Committee with civil society representation has also been set out to oversee the transparency and independence of the TVD and deal with complaints. While these arrangements have the potential to improve the verification of timber rights, it remains to be seen how effectively they are implemented.
|Title||a. Timber Resources Management Act (Act 547)
b. Timber Resources Management Act 617 (Amendment)
c. Legislative Instrument 1721 Timber Resources Management (Amendment)
TREC summary reports on bidding rounds in 2003 and 2004