Norway's PSA to Review AoC Scheme
In identical letters sent to relevant players on the Norwegian shelf, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has suggested re-establishment of the working group on the Acknowledgement of Consent (AoC) scheme. The topics to be evaluated by the group include employee participation in connection with AoC.
There have been some changes in the player scenario since the AoC scheme was established. New players have applied for AoC both because they are new to the Norwegian shelf or as a consequence of the expansion of the AoC system. There are also a number of new players that have commenced new construction projects in parallel with development of their operations organizations, and starting preparations for AoC applications.
Some questions have been raised by a few companies over the last year, as well as by employee organizations, regarding how employee participation is to be safeguarded in the development of AoC, as a basis for the employees' statement in the AoC application.
Questions have also been raised regarding the role the employees' statements play in connection with the employer's AoC application, i.e. what impact do these statements have in relation to the PSA's consideration of the application.
It is the PSA's opinion that the most practical solution is for these more general issues to be discussed between the parties, and we have proposed that this be done by re-establishing the working group for the AoC scheme. If possible, the working group should include the same persons who took part in the working group in 2004 so as to ensure the best possible transfer of experience.
We have proposed the following mandate for the working group:
- Consider experience gained from employee participation based on different cases.
- Clarify how AoC applicants shall ensure sufficient employee participation in the AoC process so that the employees can submit their statement regarding the application.
- Initiate any need-based updates of guidelines for the AoC process as a result of the conclusions from the above points.
The PSA, represented by Kjell-Gunnar Dørum, will lead the work of the group, as well as designate a secretary. The PSA also wants to use this group to discuss other experience gained with the AoC as well as any need for updating AoC guidelines, etc.
We have asked the recipients to designate representatives for the working group and to provide their response by May 10, 2008.
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