At the I International EITI Conference held in London on June, 2003 the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev declared the decision of the government of Azerbaijan to join the EITI and support the international efforts aimed at ensuring transparency in extractive industries. Azerbaijan volunteered to become a pilot country in the EITI implementation. The countries joined in EITI, the extractive industry companies and the non-governmental organizations adopted a Declaration on the principles of the EITI.
Three following reporting forms were adopted at the conference:
- report on payments received by government from foreign and local extractive industry companies;
- report on payments of the foreign extractive industry companies to the host government;
- report on payments of the local extractive industry companies to the government .
After the declaration at the EITI Lancaster House Conference the decision of the government of Azerbaijan to join the EITI the President Ilham Aliyev instructed to establish an interagency committee on EITI to implement obligations taken at the conference. Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan established Committee on EITI by its Ordinance No .224 dated November 13, 2003. The Committee is charged with the task of collecting information about receipts of the governmental agencies, companies and other governmental institutions (from foreign and local industry companies) and preparation of the government’s report.
President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan pointed out in his speech at the 11th Caspian Oil and Gas - 2004 Exhibition and Conference held June 1-4 in Baku that Transparency would be one of the major reasons for the country's success. "You know that Azerbaijan has joined the international Transparency Initiative. We have been involved in this for more than a year and support the initiative by the British Prime Minister. Azerbaijan is the only country that is actively taking part in this Initiative. It will bring about effective use of oil revenues in the future and every Azerbaijani citizen will feel the benefit in his or her daily life."
The Committee established close contacts and extensively cooperates with the foreign and local extractive industry companies operating in the country, government and non-government organizations in order to implement the EITI in Azerbaijan. An important step towards implementation of the EITI in the Republic of Azerbaijan was taken on November 24, 2004. The Committee on the EITI, local and foreign extractive industry companies and Coalition for Improving Transparency in Extractive Industries signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). It was the first document in the world of this kind.