Libya’s NOC dismisses Audit Bureau report as false

The building housing Libya’s oil state energy firm, the National Oil Corporation (NOC), is seen in Tripoli, Libya

National Oil Corporation (NOC) has today issued its official response to the false claims made in a report by the Audit Bureau (AB) regarding its operations and staff. 

The corporation expressed surprise and frustration at the report’s inaccuracy, releasing a 51-page rebuttal letter to the AB President that was sent on June 19, 2018.  NOC is now releasing its full response to the report as a result of the failure of the AB to publicly redress its multiple inaccuracies, as initially highlighted by NOC.

The AB report has, by design or otherwise, irresponsibly created a false narrative regarding NOC’s good governance of the Libyan oil and gas sector. Such disinformation has as a result created and encouraged an anti-NOC narrative in the country – justifying threats and attacks made on NOC facilities, the corporation’s leadership, its staff – and on Libyan unity.

The AB report, released on 23rd May 2018, featured detailed critique of key Libyan governmental institutions; including the Presidency Council, the Central Bank of Libya, the Ministry of Finance – and NOC.   The release of the report to the media prior to any ‘right to reply’, and subsequent media campaign against NOC, have mislead the public and attempted to foster a negative image about the oil sector’s leadership specifically. This serves as an unhelpful distraction at a critical time in the nation’s recovery. NOC continues to demonstrate national leadership and good governance – as exhibited through the disclosure of record production revenues for 2018, and transparent disclosure of monthly revenues delivered to the Central Bank of Libya.

NOC’s commends all competent moves toward transparency and governance within government, including a working audit function of public institutions. The Board of Directors however demand that that this be devoid of political bias, incompetence – or seek to deliberately undermine the work of the very organisations it scrutinises.

In his letter to the AB, chairman Sanalla (who has long championed the need for transparency in Libya’s finances and public life) expressed his hope that the two organisations could work together in the public interest.

NOC also notes that despite all assistance provided to the AB, the report lacks any clear recommendations that could help improve future operational and financial performance.

The position of NOC chairman Eng. Mustafa Sanalla on corporate governance is a matter of public record, and exists in parallel with a performance optimization review across the corporation and subsidiaries to secure revenue and fight corruption.

NOC has already begun work to adopt key principles of the internationally renowned Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative financial reporting standard. In the same vein of this transparency, NOC hereby releases its full response to the AB report.

The corporation hopes that a deeper understanding of the sector and role NOC performs will prevail – thereby allowing all state entities to work with one common purpose – the national interest.

The views expressed in Op-Ed pieces are those of the author and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Libyan Express.
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