The Way to EITI

The EITI is a global standard to promote good governance in the extractive sector implemented by more than fifty countries around the world, which requires the disclosure of information along the extractive industry value chain and is governed by an international board comprising governments, companies and civil society.

As the EITI is a government-led initiative, the Lebanese government recognises the standard as a tool to formalise the representation and inclusive participation of different stakeholders in the petroleum sector and to further complement the existing legislative framework put in place, which already imbeds transparency through different channels alongside disclosure requirements.

A country intending to implement the EITI is required to undertake a number of steps before applying to become an EITI country. These steps relate to government commitment (1.1), company engagement (1.2), civil society engagement (1.3), the establishment of a multi-stakeholder group (1.4) and agreement on an EITI work plan (1.5).

Requirement 1.1:The government is required to issue an unequivocal public statement of its intention to implement the EITI, appoint a senior individual to lead the implementation of the EITI, be fully, actively and effectively engaged in the EITI process and ensure that senior government officials are represented in the multi-stakeholder group.

Requirement 1.2: Companies must be fully, actively and effectively engaged in the EITI process, there must be an enabling environment for company participation and the government must ensure that there are no obstacles to company participation in the EITI process.

Requirement 1.3: Civil society must be fully, actively and effectively engaged in the EITI process, there must be an enabling environment for civil society participation and stakeholders must be able to be substantially engaged with the EITI process.

Requirement 1.4: The government is required to work with civil society and companies and establish a multi-stakeholder group to oversee the implementation of the EITI.

Requirement1.5: The MSG, in consultation with key EITI stakeholders, should agree on and publish a fully costed work plan containing measurable targets and timetable for implementation.



Lebanon’s Commitment

On the 25th of January 2017 the Council of Ministers, convened under the Chairmanship of the President of the Republic General Michel Aoun, made a strong commitment to uphold transparency. The Cabinet issued an unequivocal public statement declaring its intention to join the EITI. The Minister of Energy and Water has been assigned as the EITI Champion while the Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA) has been identified as the National Secretariat leading on the implementation of the EITI.

Most recently, During the EITI’s Global Conference in Paris in June 2019, the LPA – on behalf of the Government of Lebanon – reiterated the national commitment to join the EITI while collaboratively working with stakeholders to facilitate the CSOs election process.

Way Forward

The LPA abides by a participative approach with CSOs since the very beginning. For example the LPA in partnership with international organisations such as the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) and Publish What You Pay (PWYP) organized several workshops for stakeholders to support capacity building while promoting an informed based dialogue.In March 2019, the Minister of Energy and Water publicly called upon civil society organisations to independently undertake their election process. The open and transparent invitation was disseminated on the LPA’s website and by international organisations facilitating the EITI’s implementation.

Today, the candidature of Lebanon to the EITI is pending and conditional upon civil society undertaking an independent election process to select their representative(s) within the EITI’s MSG.

EITI and Beyond

The systematic disclosure of information through government systems is at the core of the EITI. Through its laws, application decrees and exploration and production agreements, Lebanon’s legislative framework already puts the systematic disclosure of information at the core of its management of the petroleum sector. As a result, the EITI’s requirements on disclosure, revenue collection, auditing, reporting, conflicts of interest, and beneficial ownership are already legally binding across the value chain of petroleum activities.

Some of the laws ratified in addition to the existing offshore oil and gas legal framework include:

  • Law for the Taxation Provisions related to Petroleum Activities.
  • Law for Enhancing Transparency in the Oil and Gas Sector, which incorporates all EITI requirements into a legally binding document.
  • The Right of Access to Information Law.

Another example setting precedents and showing Lebanon’s commitment to transparency is the Minister of Energy and Water’s decision issued in March 2018, shortly after the signature of the two exploration and production agreements, to publish the signed contracts. The contracts are publicly available on the LPA’s website. The EITI Standard was modified in June 2019 to include the publication of contracts as a requirement for all EITI countries.

Beneficial ownership – who are the flesh-and-blood people who control the companies that own or operate licenses in the extractive sector – is another frontier area for the EITI where Lebanon is already making significant progress. By 2020, all EITI countries have to ensure that companies that apply for or hold a participating interest in an oil, gas or mining license or contract in their country disclose their beneficial owners. Lebanon already has in place a draft decree addressing this issue. Beneficial ownership in Lebanon’s oil and gas sector is governed by the Decree on Registration, Mortgaging and Transfer of Petroleum Rights that remains to be ratified. In that respect, the decree defines beneficial ownership, contains provisions about the petroleum register which will be made publicly available on the LPA’s website, details the petroleum register information and highlights actions in case of violations or breaches of such a decree to name a few.

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