Local press has resumed discussions on the incorrect statement made by the non-governmental organizations’ Coalition for Increasing Transparency in Azerbaijan a short while after the first Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative reports had been disclosed on March 15, 2005.
The statement given on March 31, 2005 by the NGO Coalition about Deloitte’s opinion on the government’s 2003 annual and first six months of the year 2004 reports said: “The opinions of the audit company cover the activities of the companies operating under PSA only. Thus, only partial information on the revenues received by Azerbaijan from the exploitation of the oil and gas resources in the year 2003 and 2004 first six months has been disclosed (i.e the operations of SOCAR haven’t been reflected in the report). ”
On April 4, 2005 Mr. Samir Sharifov, Chairman of the National Committee on EITI and the Executive Director of the State Oil Fund described the above mentioned statement by the NGO Coalition as hasty and wide from truth, saying: “The statement of the Coalition concerning the Reports of D&T does not reflect the real status of things. In accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding on implementation of EITI in Azerbaijan that was signed between the governmental Committee on EITI, foreign and local extractive industry companies and NGO Coalition, D&T was submitted both the reports of the Committee on EITI and the reports of 21 local and foreign extractive industry companies. These are not only the companies working under PSA, but also SOCAR, Azgerneft, Shirvan Oil and Anshad Petrol joint ventures.”
The parties to Memorandum of Understanding on EITI held a meeting on April 6, 2005 at which Mr. Sharifov answered the NGO Coalition's questions. It was proved during the meeting that the statement of the NGO Coalition regarding the Reports by the audit company was completely wrong.
As an outcome of this event NGO Coalition’s Board held a meeting on April 8, 2005, during which the members of the Board acknowledged the statement made by the NGO Coalition as incorrect and comprehended that SOCAR has independently submitted its reports to the audit company. Outcomes of the meeting was replaced on the NGO Coalition’s web-site(www.eiti-az.org)and its minuties were submitted to all of the MOU parties.
6 months after such an acknowledgment by the NGO Coalition, some local media and suprisingly even senior representatives of some international organizations also make incorrect statements regarding SOCAR’s involvment in the EITI implementation process.
National Committee restated that SOCAR has submitted reports about its payments from the oil and gas extractions and continues doing so. The Committee has called the media to be more exact while reporting about EITI and to crosscheck the information with all MOU parties before its official publication.
Press Service of the State Oil Fund Republic of theAzerbaijan