International bodies such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are in line to help Guyana design a menu of anticorruption plans and measures that would go a long way in safeguarding the nation’s oil wealth. They will also provide several rounds of training for the oil and gas sector.
This was confirmed recently with Head of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), Godfrey Statia.
The tax chief noted that Guyana’s petroleum sector is progressing swiftly with first oil expected in 2020. He said that this planned petroleum development, coupled with ongoing assessment of new discoveries, has led the Government of Guyana to focus on ramping up preparations to oversee the upstream sector (exploration, development and production); to develop policy and legislation, to build up internal capacity building, to promote governance and transparency, and to undertake financial and economic planning.
It is with this in mind that he noted the international partners will help Guyana in an Oil and Gas Capacity Building Project. He said that this initiative aims to enhance the Government’s capacity to achieve its management goals for the petroleum sector through interventions focused on enhancing legal and institutional frameworks and strengthening the capacity of key institutions to manage the oil and gas sector in Guyana.
Statia also sought to remind that the International Monetary Fund will be helping the authority in gathering a team of efficient persons to conduct the most rigorous audit possible on all costs to be recovered by ExxonMobil.
The GRA Commissioner General also noted that the IMF will be lending its expertise to audit the controversial pre-contract costs, which is believed to be some US$900M.
Kaieteur News understands that the Fund and other institutions will be tasked with auditing, examining and verifying all available documentation and records necessary for charges and credits relating to the contractor’s activities under the Petroleum Agreement.
This means all books of accounts, accounting entries; material records and inventories, vouchers, payrolls, invoices and any other documents, and correspondence will be requested and checked thoroughly.
The international bodies will also determine if any required documents are yet to be submitted.
The global financial bodies will also assess the impact of the audit on future Profit Oil and Profit Gas, its subsequent petroleum tax implications and if relevant tax entitlements are optimized in the interest of the Government of Guyana.
Statia said that the support from the IMF will be financed through the Managing Natural Resource Wealth (MNRW) trust fund, which has also funded the technical assistance received so far on petroleum taxation and revenue management.
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