Samir Sharifov, Chairman of the National Committee on Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and Executive Director of the State Oil Fund met on April 5 in Baku with the representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and Azerbaijanâ€TMs extractive sector companies, and also foreign diplomats, to discuss a company reporting form under EITI.
Mr. Sharifov proposed that the NGO representatvies set up a group that would aggregate the figures in the company reporting forms about payments to the government of Azerbaijan. The aggregate group should submit its proposals on the reporting forms to the National Committee on EITI. The Committee chairman and representatives of the foreign companies underlined that the aggregate group should be independent and possess technical abilities to perform the computations.
The representatives of the foreign and local institutions welcomed the move of the National Committee on EITI to initiate discussions on reporting forms and assessed the meeting as â€œa positive step.â€
The issue of company reporting, by which the foreign and national companies of the extractive sector will submit figures to the National Committee on EITI on their payments to the government of Azerbaijan, was discussed earlier on March 18 with representatives of the foreign and national companies of the extractive sector. Then, Mr. Sharifov indicated that the Committee has arranged a meeting on company reporting with representatives of the NGOs, â€œas they have been demonstrating special interest in the process.â€
The NGOs represented at the meeting will set up an independent aggregate group and elect its chairman. A copy of the quarterly reports submitted by the companies to the Committee will be sent to the group. The first of such reports will cover the entire year of 2003.
Commonwealth Oil&Gas, Conoco Phillips, UNOCAL, ExxonMobil, Turkish Petroleum, Itochu Oil Exploration, British Petroleum, SOCAR and local and international NGOs, including Open Society Institute and Transparency International were represented at the meeting. The British Embassyâ€TMs Secretary for Energy, Trade & Investment, Norwayâ€TMs Ambassador to Baku and members of the National Committee on EITI also participated in the meeting.