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November 8, 2018

US association agrees to develop,improve OGRA’s system


November 8, 2018

KARACHI: The US National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) have agreed to pursue the development of a system to improve the latter’s internal functions and processes, an official said.

NARUC assists the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Nepra) and OGRA to enhance their regulatory capacity. The partnership focuses on sharing best practices and providing a platform for regulatory dialogue to support sound legal, technical, and regulatory frameworks. Through the partnership, NARUC is contributing to a broader effort for NEPRA to enhance regulatory frameworks as the country transitions towards a competitive wholesale market and OGRA to improve their existing internal functions and processes to reflect international standards and practices.

The official said that OGRA and NARUC conducted a meeting earlier this year to discuss opportunities for collaboration, as supported by the USAID-funded Energy Regulatory Partnership-Pakistan (ERP-P).

NARUC’s cooperative agreement supports technical assistance, training and capacity building on regulation and policy in Pakistan, as the country shifts toward more transparent, coordinated, strengthened and effective regulation of its electric power and natural gas and oil industries.

This cooperative agreement identified OGRA, NEPRA, Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) and Private Power Infrastructure Board (PPIB) as potential ERP-P counterparts with NARUC.

To formalise the OGRA and NARUC relationship, a cooperative agreement has been signed. The agreement established a foundation for OGRA and NARUC to closely cooperate as a team to jointly develop a Docketing and Information Repository System (DIRS) to conduct regulatory training to facilitate OGRA functions, responsibilities, and actions. With the support of USAID, NARUC is assisting OGRA in developing a docketing and information repository system (DIRS) that will serve the public need in a timely and efficient manner.

“It is well recognised that the current OGRA system for records management is old and needs to be updated. Not only does technology need to be replaced, but more resourceful processes and procedures should be established, so that all stakeholders can have access to records, as needed,” an official OGRA document noted.

NARUC’s website notes that Pakistan is working to improve its energy sector to help attract and promote private investment, and in recent years, the country has successfully reduced blackouts and losses while at the same time improving the financial viability of the country’s utility sector.

“On the regulatory front, multi-year tariff frameworks for distribution companies will help to strengthen the regulatory framework as well as attract investors.”

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