Sep 20, 2018 News
The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) wants the final version of Guyana’s Local Content Policy to have a penalty in place for oil operators who fail to give preference to local goods and services.
The Chamber made this known to the government in a document that captures its recommendations on how the policy can be improved.
Specifically, the private sector body said that any operator or contractor who carries out any project contrary to the local content provisions commits an offence and should be held liable upon conviction to a fine of 10 percent of the project sum.
GCCI also recommended that an annual plan as well as an annual report regarding the company’s local content efforts be submitted to the Petroleum Commission when it is established.
The Chamber believes that that plan must be satisfactory to the Petroleum Commission for the employment of Guyanese and, in particular, providing manufacturers, consultants, contractors and service companies domiciled in Guyana with beneficial Guyanese ownership with a full and fair opportunity to participate in the supply of goods and services used in that work or activity.
While the second draft of Guyana’s local content policy does not speak to penalties for noncompliance, it does provide a mechanism for regulation by accountable agencies.
The document notes that the development of the sector must see Guyanese as viable participants in it. The draft policy, which was prepared by Trinidadian Local Content Expert, Anthony Paul, notes that governance of the sector will require policies and strategies that engender and leverage partnerships between the Government of Guyana and other participants.
For assurance, Paul, in the document, states that the policy will be enforced through appropriate legislative mechanisms and regulated by capable, well-resourced and accountable institutions/agencies.
The draft document notes that the Regulator will be steered by a multi-stakeholder body representing those Guyanese parties involved in delivering national development and sector goals that support and/or are impacted by local capacity development and participation in the sector.
The selected regulator will be expected to report to the people of Guyana through their elected representatives in the Parliament of Guyana, as provided for in the Constitution of Guyana.
The regulator will also require international operators and contractors to manage their procurement through local content policies and strategies that align with the national policy for every licence or contract awarded by the Government of Guyana.
Furthermore, the document notes that Government should use work permits and the licensing/registration of international firms as tools for capacity development and knowledge transfer, rather than barriers to entry of skilled personnel and competent companies.
Business Minister, Dominic Gaskin has noted that the Government will be moving to conduct a series of consultations on the document.
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