DEPARTMENTS

Petroleum Regulation Department    
The Petroleum Regulation Department exists to improve the management, regulation and operations of the Petroleum Industry in Afghanistan and by so doing secure the supply of petroleum products; reduce the volatility of prices, and ensure that retail prices are reasonable. The Department is therefore critical for achieving MOCI’s third Strategic Objective for 2015 – ‘to ensure the private sector operates fairly and equitably’.    
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Information and Communication Technology Department    
The core roles of the Information Technology (IT) Department include developing and maintaining reliable, sustainable and technically sound operating systems, networks, email, shared drives and internet access. Given the increasing importance of ICT in the activities of the Ministry (both day to day administration and specific applications in Directorates such as ACBR and the Finance Department), the IT Department assumes particular importance for the Ministry in successfully realising MOCI’s seventh strategic objective of ensuring that MOCI has the capacity to deliver on its role.    
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Gender Department    
The purpose of the Gender Unit is to ensure equal opportunities for the economic and social advancement for women both within MOCI and within the Afghan economy as a whole. As such, this Unit contributes to MOCI’s strategic objective for 2015 - ‘to ensure the private sector operates fairly and equitably’, as well as providing important input into MOCI’s strategic objective to ‘ensure pro-poor growth’, given women are amongst the poorest members of society in Afghanistan. Furthermore, the Unit supports ANDS’ strategy for Gender Equality which envisions ‘a peaceful and progressive Afghanistan where women and men enjoy security, equal rights and opportunities in all spheres of life’.    
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Petroleum Regulation Department

The Petroleum Regulation Department exists to improve the management, regulation and operations of the Petroleum Industry in Afghanistan and by so doing secure the supply of petroleum products; reduce the volatility of prices, and ensure that retail prices are reasonable. The Department is therefore critical for achieving MOCI’s third Strategic Objective for 2015 – ‘to ensure the private sector operates fairly and equitably’.


The Department was set up as part of the Pay and Grading reform programme, in response to Parliament’s increasing focus on the volatility of petrol prices.  Over the last 12 months, the Ministry has benefitted from technical assistance in this policy area in the form of a fuel expert provided by GIZ and a number of DFID advisers. This has allowed for the development of a plan to corporatise the Fuel and Liquid Gas Enterprise (FLGE) and separate it from MOCI – a plan approved by the Council of Ministers in December 2010. Further, this assistance has facilitated the establishment of the Petroleum Regulation Department (PRD) within MOCI; advanced the fuel price monitoring procedure, and prepared new licensing and regulatory measures to recommend to Cabinet.
Going forward, the Department’s primary activities will focus on obtaining more accurate information on fuel prices at all stages in the supply chain, as well as drafting appropriate regulations to ensure sufficient stock. Sustained technical assistance over the next twelve months will, however, be critical for achieving the objectives outlined below.


Information and Communication Technology Department

The core roles of the Information Technology (IT) Department include developing and maintaining reliable, sustainable and technically sound operating systems, networks, email, shared drives and internet access. Given the increasing importance of ICT in the activities of the Ministry (both day to day administration and specific applications in Directorates such as ACBR and the Finance Department), the IT Department assumes particular importance for the Ministry in successfully realising MOCI’s seventh strategic objective of ensuring that MOCI has the capacity to deliver on its role.


The IT Department is also responsible for managing a help desk and providing ongoing support to staff on all approved applications. Moreover, the IT has a responsibility to introduce security and anti-virus measures to MOCI IT systems; create IT procurement and usage policies for the Ministry, and to develop IT literacy of staff throughout the MOCI (this includes facilitating the provision of relevant IT trainings).


In June 2010, USAID produced an Information Technology Roadmap which provided guidance on the priorities over the next period of the IT Department’s work. The objectives, activities and outcomes for the year ahead are faithful to the priorities identified in the Roadmap.


Gender Department

The purpose of the Gender Unit is to ensure equal opportunities for the economic and social advancement for women both within MOCI and within the Afghan economy as a whole. As such, this Unit contributes to MOCI’s strategic objective for 2015 - ‘to ensure the private sector operates fairly and equitably’, as well as providing important input into MOCI’s strategic objective to ‘ensure pro-poor growth’, given women are amongst the poorest members of society in Afghanistan. Furthermore, the Unit supports ANDS’ strategy for Gender Equality which envisions ‘a peaceful and progressive Afghanistan where women and men enjoy security, equal rights and opportunities in all spheres of life’.


To this end, the Gender Unit has responsibility for reviewing the current position of women within MOCI and identifying initiatives to improve their status. Within the economy more broadly, the Gender Unit will have a role to play in ensuring equal opportunities for women in key sectors and in encouraging greater female representation in business associations and advocacy groups.
Given the Unit has been only recently introduced under Pay and Grading, the focus of the Unit over the next twelve months will be on the foundation work for these initiatives.