Government, Companies, Civil Society Sign Energy Transparency Pact
For immediate release – The leaders of the country’s major oil and gas companies, Civil Society Organisations and the Government, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Friday June 7, 2013 at the Capital Plaza hotel, committing to make information about the revenues earned from the oil and gas sector more transparent and available to the public by way of an independent, internationally recognised transparency process.
The MOU on the implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in Trinidad and Tobago, was signed by leaders from 18 of the country’s major oil and gas producing companies, eight (8) Civil Society Organisations and Senator the Honourable Kevin Ramnarine, Minister of Energy and Energy Affairs on behalf of the Government. In accordance with the terms of this MOU, Government – through the Ministries of Energy and Energy Affairs and Finance and the Economy – and the participating companies, voluntarily agree to provide their receipt and payment data respectively, to a mutually accepted “Administrator” or accounting firm, for independent reconciliation in accordance with the EITI’s international Standard. The report produced by the Administrator will be disaggregated to detail the total of each type of payment received by Government from each of the companies. The entire process is overseen by the participating Civil Society Organisations to ensure transparency and accountability. The first such report due in the third quarter, will cover Government’s fiscal year 2011 and will continue on an annual basis.
In his address on the occasion, Minister of Energy and Energy Affairs Senator the Honourable Kevin Ramnarine heralded the work done by the Cabinet appointed EITI Steering Committee chaired by transparency advocate Victor Hart to bring the MOU to fruition. Minister Ramnarine also stated “The signature of this MOU is a manifestation of my Government’s commitment to delivering on our social contract with the people of Trinidad and Tobago to enhance their avenues for interaction. We take this commitment seriously and congratulate the extractive industry companies who have voluntarily agreed to participate in this pioneering exercise for Trinidad and Tobago”.
The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative
The EITI is a global standard for ensuring transparency of payments from natural resources providing transparency and accountability in the extractive sectors (oil, gas and mining) through the annual publication of payments made by companies to governments, independently audited and reconciled with government’s declared receipts. Established in 2003, the EITI is currently being implemented by a coalition of Governments, Companies and Civil Society Organisations in 39 of the 53 countries around the world considered to be rich in natural resources.
The Trinidad and Tobago Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative
The Government of Trinidad and Tobago acceded to the EITI’s principles in December 2010 and was accepted as a Candidate Country of the EITI in March 2011.
The Trinidad and Tobago EITI (TTEITI) Multi-stakeholder Steering Committee, chaired by well know Transparency advocate Victor Hart, is fully representative of the three stakeholders: government, extractive companies and civil society. The TTEITI Steering Committee, in conjunction with the Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs, is charged with the implementation of the EITI and recognizes the key role to be played by stakeholder engagement and public awareness to achieve EITI compliance in Trinidad and Tobago.
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