In an effort to promote the highest degrees of transparency & accountability, good governance, and the inclusion of all citizens into the Oil & Gas sector; LOGI (the Lebanese Oil & Gas Initiative) has conceived the TAP: Transparency and accountability Pledge.
As explained by LOGI’s Executive Director, Diana Kaissy: “TAP is an invitation to all private companies operating (directly and indirectly) in the O&G field to sign and adhere to an application of ethical integrity standards.”
LOGI commends the Lebanese legal framework and considers it in line with international good practices; but believes some extra measures can be taken to prevent the abuse of any loopholes within it that could facilitate corruption.
Mr. Hassan Khalifeh, of the Al-Jad Law Firm, elaborates: “The pledge requires companies (and individuals) to abide by a simple set of rules that ensure transparency and accountability in regards to operating in the O&G industry: abstaining from any bribery acts, extortion, payments/donations to political parties and facilitation of payment to influential individuals. It will also commit companies to disclosing all activities directly or indirectly related to the Lebanese petroleum sector, including all financial transactions.”
According to Kaissy, the purpose of this unprecedented move is to encourage a higher standard of performance and integrity in the industry and to assist the citizens and civil side of the country to become enabled watchdogs.
Although the signature of the Transparency and Accountability Pledge is voluntary, refusal to sign it sends a negative message to the Lebanese authorities and citizens.
The Executive Director concludes: “We urge all companies that intend to work in the oil and gas sector in Lebanon to adopt and sign the TAP. Once they do, it will be the responsibility of the greater public and civil society to make sure that this Pledge is adhered to.”