Following the release of the 2020 Local Content Policy, Kaieteur News had exposed that the document contains confidentiality provisions.
Such stipulations prevent the full disclosure of plans oil companies and their subcontractors submit to the government regarding their use of local goods, skills and services. The policy only allows for the responsible Minister to release a summary of the information received to Parliament.
Furthermore, the policy states that confidentiality provisions are needed due to certain legal constraints.
Because of the ambiguity of that explanation, this newspaper asked the Energy Department’s Director, Dr. Mark Bynoe, for further explanations.
By way of an email correspondence this week, Dr. Bynoe noted that drafters of the policy had to honour the contractual terms of Articles 18 and 19 in Guyana’s current legally binding Petroleum Agreements.
In yesterday’s edition, Kaieteur News, carried this explanation in full, but in the headline, only the Exxon PSA was identified. Dr. Bynoe however did not point to Exxon’s Stabroek Block PSA alone. He was careful to note that the Articles in question pertain to all of the PSAs Guyana has with oil companies.
As it relates to the Articles which speak to the Local Content requirements of oil companies, Dr. Bynoe clarified that they do not call for disclosure but for the Operators meeting with the Minister on such issues.
He further noted that Government has taken substantial steps to disclose as much information as possible without contravening the stipulations of the PSAs.
While Articles 18 and 19 of the oil agreements Guyana has, do not demand disclosure, whether in full or part, by the same token, it does not say that confidentiality provisions should therefore be included in the country’s Local Content Policy.
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