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[1]Trinidad and Tobago Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (TTEITI)

In 2003, Trinidad and Tobago was one of 31 countries that attended the First EITI Plenary Conference in London that established the EITI Principles that set out the underlying tenets of the EITI that were endorsed by all EITI supporters. Trinidad and Tobago committed itself to participating in the EITI and was appointed to an 8-country team to undertake a Pilot Project from June 2003 to March 2005 to interpret and implement the EITI Principles. The other seven countries in that Pilot Project were Azerbaijan, The Republic of Congo, Ghana, the Kyrgyz Republic, Nigeria, Sao Tome e Principe and Timor-Leste[2]. The lessons learnt from the Pilot Project shaped the development of the EITI as it is known today.

In 2005, Trinidad and Tobago attended the Second EITI Plenary Conference in London that established the EITI Criteria based on the common, mutually agreed upon requirements for all EITI implementing countries. Trinidad and Tobago recommitted itself to implementing the EITI. In 2006, an EITI Validation Guide was developed and agreed and later revised in 2011. The Guide expanded on the EITI Criteria and defined in detail the standard indicators to be used by an independent validator to assess how well the EITI is being implemented in a country. Also in 2006, the First EITI Global Conference was held in Oslo, Norway, and a Board of Directors was elected consisting of 20 members representing implementing countries, supporting countries, civil society organizations, extractive industries and investment companies.In 2007, the first 15 countries were admitted to EITI membership.

In 2008, Trinidad and Tobago was delisted from the EITI by the EITI Board of Directors because of its failure to fulfill its commitments under the EITI Rules. [3]However in 2010, September 9, the Cabinet of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago reaffirmed the country's commitment to the EITI and, on December 8, the then Minister of Energy and Energy Affairs, the Honourable Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan, publicly announced that the Government had taken a decision to re-apply for membership of the EITI and that Cabinet had appointed a 15 member tripartite Steering Committee (TTEITI Steering Committee) to implement the initiative comprised as follows[4]:

 A chairman with a Civil Society background

6 Government representatives (3 ministries and 3 state-owned companies):

 Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs (MEEA)

 Ministry of Finance

 Board of Inland Revenue

 Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited

 The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited

 National Quarries Company Limited

4 privately-owned energy company representatives:

 bpTT LLC

 BG Trinidad and Tobago Limited

 BHP Billiton Trinidad and Tobago

 EOG Resources Trinidad Limited

4 Civil Society representatives:

 Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce

 The Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago

 Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institute

 Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union

The Civil Society component was strengthened on the advice of the EITI Board to 8 representatives thereby making it numerically the strongest of the three stakeholder groupings.

4 Civil Society additional representatives:

 The National Youth Council of Trinidad and Tobago

 The Cropper Foundation

 Fishermen and Friends of the Sea

 The Network of NGOs of Trinidad and Tobago for the Advancement of Women

[5]In 2011, February 4, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago applied to the EITI International Secretariat in Oslo, Norway, for EITI membership and was accepted on March 1, 2011, with Candidate Country status. The EITI Board set Trinidad and Tobago a deadline of 28th August 2013 to complete the requirements for validation to gain EITI Compliant Country status. In 2011, March 2-3, Trinidad and Tobago was represented at the 5th EITI Global Conference, held in Paris, France, by then Minister Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan and Victor Hart, Chair of the TTEITI Steering Committee (SC). The Minister addressed one of the Plenary Sessions.

In 2011, April 4, Trinidad and Tobago publicly launched its EITI implementation programme guided by the TTEITI SC’s two and a half years Workplan. The MEEA, led by the new Minister Senator the Honourable Kevin Ramnarine, is acting upon the Cabinet mandate of 9 September 2010 by providing funding and administrative support to the TTEITI SC. Also, the TTEITI SC is receiving from the World Bank, IADB and EU financial support and technical assistance to execute the TTEITI Workplan.

In 2011, September 15, the TTEITI Secretariat was established with Mark Regis[6] as its Head with responsibility for the execution of the TTEITI Workplan[7]. In 2011, September 26-27, the TTEITI SC held its inaugural Capacity Building Workshops to educate and inform SC members, the media and other stakeholders on the EITI implementation process. The workshops were facilitated by representatives of The World Bank from Washington DC, Guyana, Peru and Guatemala. The World Bank also invited selected public and private sectors participants from Suriname and Guatemala[8].

[9]In 2011, December 8-9, the TTEITI SC held Capacity Building Workshops, facilitated by specialists from The World Bank, for (a) the local accounting profession on their role in the EITI implementation and the requirements for the EITI Administrator and (b) executives of upstream energy companies on their companies’ role in the EITI implementation. In 2012, June 4-5, the TTEITI SC held Capacity Building Workshops, facilitated by specialists from the EITI Secretariat and the World Bank, for upstream Energy Companies and staff of the MEEA. On June 26-28, the TTEITI SC participated in the first Regional EITI Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean hosted by the Government of Peru in Lima, Peru.

In 2012, September 3: the TTEITI Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) was formed with the aim of popularizing the TTEITI among Youths and to recruit Youth Champions to spread the EITI message among their peers. In 2012, October 29: TTEITI SC began its public engagement of the nation’s youth in EITI implementation with their participation in the 10th National Youth Parliament Debate held in the Parliamentary Chamber of the House of Representatives when students addressed the subject: ‘Transparency and accountability managing our nation’s natural resources’[10].

In 2012, November 3: TTEITI SC and the TTEITI YAC held the inaugural Youth Advisory Forum (YAF) at the St. Augustine Campus of the University of the West Indies. The Forum brought together young persons to expose them to the EITI concept with the aim of winning their support for and their assistance in promoting the EITI. In 2013, February 2: TTEITI SC and the TTEITI YAC held a second Youth Advisory Forum (YAF)at the OWTU Headquarters, San Fernando. This Forum focussed on the EITI report and what Youth can expect from the first Trinidad and Tobago EITI Report[11].

[12] In 2013, February 18, the MEEA entered into a contract with the joint-venture firms BDO Trinity Limited (T&T) and Hart Nurse Limited (UK) to provide the Administrator services and to produce the EITI Reports for fiscal years 2011 and 2012.

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