The Interior Department has established a national committee to guide and oversee U.S. implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a voluntary global initiative aimed at increasing accountability and transparency in the oil, natural gas and mining industries.

The EITI requires participating countries to disclose to an independent reconciler certain revenues obtained for oil, gas and mining development. It also requires companies to make parallel disclosures regarding payments to the government. The reconciled figures would then be made public.

The design of each nation's EITI framework is country-specific and developed jointly by a multi-stakeholder group comprised of members of the public, government and industry through a multi-year, consensus-based process, Interior said.

According to Interior, 35 countries (in addition to the United States) are already well underway in implementing the EITI, including Azerbaijan, Central African Republic, Ghana, Kyrgyz Republic, Liberia, Mauritania, Mali, Mongolia, Peru, Nigeria, Niger, Norway, Timor-Leste, Yemen, Afghanistan, Albania, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Gabon, Guatemala, Guinea, Indonesia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago and Zambia.

Moreover, the department reported that 60 of the world's largest oil, gas and mining companies support and actively participate in the EITI process through their country's operations.

The U.S. committee, which will be convened as a new federal advisory group, is to consist of approximately 21 members, including members of industry groups representing extractive industries and the public. It may ultimately include representatives from state, local and/or tribal governments.

Nominations for membership on the committee must be received by Aug. 27, and should be either mailed or hand delivered to Shirley Conway, Department of Interior, Office of Natural Resources Revenues, 1801 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20006. Nominations can also be e-mailed to ShirleyConway@onrr.gov or EITI@ios.doi.gov.

The nominations should describe and document the proposed member's qualifications for membership to the committee, and include a resume listing his/her name, title, address, telephone, e-mail and fax number, Interior said.

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