By Ahmed Mousa Jiyad.
Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.
Within eight months, between December 2015 and July 2016, the National Secretariat (NS) of the Iraqi Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (IEITI) launched two annual reports (2013 & 2014) and Inception Report 2015, which was made public for the first time.
No doubt that was a remarkable and commending achievement in addition to the regular release of the annual reports since the first IEITI Report 2009 (released in 2011).
But on the other hand, only meager improvement is observed while many serious flaws, inconsistencies, discrepancies and clichés still persists regarding substantive and qualitative contents of these annual reports, comparing with what should and could have been done.
Accordingly, two contrasting possibilities are highlighted in this intervention: the first indicates to “enthusiasm fatigue” combined with important recent developments, occurring in opposing directions and having different implications could shed doubt on the prospects of IEITI and its role.
The second believes that Iraq is the only MENA country with satisfactory standing among the EITI compliant countries and, thus, it could be an exemplary country, which could enhance transparency in the country and promote EITI image for other countries in the region that are or contemplating joining EITI.
Since both of these positions or possibilities have validity and likelihood; and this indicates to a significant degree of uncertainty, I would argue that IEITI current state of affairs could be unsustainable and thus serious thinking and specific measures are needed to revitalize this important transparency entity and make it more effective, proactive and relevant.
This is the second part of my midyear assessment of the Iraqi petroleum sector. The first part was posted 18 July 2016 on IBN website and can be accessed through the following link: http://www.iraq-businessnews.com/2016/07/18/midyear-review-of-iraqi-upstream-petroleum-sector/
In this brief midyear review I will make a few basic remarks on the latest IEITI Report 2014; on the Annual Activity Report 2014; skim through the Inception Report 2015; review Work Plan 2016/18; assess the foggy prospects of IEITI under highly possible opposing developments; and finally make a few concluding remarks.
It’s worth mentioning, at this juncture, that this intervention is part and continuation of my constant follow-up and assessment of IEITI development, its annual Reports, Work Plans and Activity Reports. My assessments of previous annual reports and related interventions can be accessed through my column on IBN’ website on the following link: http://www.iraq-businessnews.com/category/oil-gas/ahmed-mousa-jiyad/
Mr Jiyad is an independent development consultant, scholar and Associate with Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES), London. He was formerly a senior economist with the Iraq National Oil Company and Iraq’s Ministry of Oil, Chief Expert for the Council of Ministers, Director at the Ministry of Trade, and International Specialist with UN organizations in Uganda, Sudan and Jordan. He is now based in Norway (Email: [email protected], Skype ID: Ahmed Mousa Jiyad). Read more of Mr Jiyad’s biography here.