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EITI standards supported by Burmese government: official

The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative said on its website on Thursday that Burma affirmed its intention to implement the EITI standards during a meeting in Naypyitaw on Monday.

EITI and Burmese government officials meeting in Naypyitaw. Photo:
EITI and Burmese government officials meeting in Naypyitaw. Photo:
Minister of Industry Soe Thein said the government was committed to transparency as part of its wider reform efforts.

At the meeting, attended by eight other ministers, including the Minister of Energy Than Htay, Minister of Mines Thein Htaik and Minister of Finance Hla Tun, they discussed the process of preparing for membership in the group.

This includes forming a multi-stakeholder group with representatives from civil society and the extractive companies operating in Burma.

Jonas Moberg, the head of the EITI International Secretariat, welcomed the government’s commitment and confirmed that EITI and its partners would support the government in its efforts.

While in Naypyidaw, Jonas also met with Aung San Suu Kyi, who earlier had urged the government to implement the EITI standards as a way to ensure transparency and to obtain more international investments.

She welcomed the commitment while emphasizing the continuous need for radical and extensive reforms. Jonas said that the EITI requirements are structured to hold governments to account for delivering on their transparency commitments.

Acording to the EITI website, the standards include:

  • Regular publication of all material oil, gas and mining payments by companies to governments (“payments”) and all material revenues received by governments from oil, gas and mining companies (“revenues”) to a wide audience in a publicly accessible, comprehensive and comprehensible manner.

  • Where such audits do not already exist, payments and revenues are the subject of a credible, independent audit, applying international auditing standards.

  • Payments and revenues are reconciled by a credible, independent administrator, applying international auditing standards and with publication of the administrator’s opinion regarding that reconciliation including discrepancies, should any be identified.

  • This approach is extended to all companies including state-owned enterprises.

  • Civil society is actively engaged as a participant in the design, monitoring and evaluation of this process and contributes towards public debate.

A public, financially sustainable work plan for all the above is developed by the host government, with assistance from the international financial institutions where required, including measurable targets, a timetable for implementation, and an assessment of potential capacity constraints.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 19 July 2012 16:36 )  
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Since October this year, Burma has been in a state of civil war, with fighting between Burmese military and armed ethnic rebels. The ruling junta started a crackdown on these armed groups.

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