Sep 22, 2021 News
…body now left with 12 weeks to compile country report
Kaieteur News – With the administration putting in place the Multi Stakeholder Group (MSG) for the Guyana Chapter of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GYEITI), albeit seven months after the life of the previous incarnation expired, the group will now have a little over three months to prepare and submit a country report for Guyana.
The second 12-member multi-stakeholder group for GYEITI was launched on Monday, at the Main Street office of the Ministry of Natural Resources and is the group responsible for implementing the standard of the global EITI, ensuring Guyana’s extractive sectors are managed transparently.
To this end, it was noted by Subject Minster, Vickram Bharrat, that Guyana is quickly approaching the deadline for the submission of the third EITI report – December 31, 2021. This submission is the responsibility of the new MSG.
It was explained to the members that an extension was granted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and he urged the members of the MSG to make themselves available, when called upon.
Those appointed to the second incarnation of the MSG are, from civil society, Nicholas Fredericks, Larry Carryl, Gomin Camacho and Vanda Radzik.
Alternate appointees identified are Diane Khan, Mike McCormack, Kerry-Ann Cort-Kansinally and Sharmaine Rambajue.
The appointees from the industry are Jesus Bronchalo, Ryan Ramjit, Andron Alphonso, and Rafeek Khan. The alternate appointees are Joachim Vogt, Norman Mclean and Avalon Jagnandan.
A fourth alternate member is yet to be nominated.
Government appointees to the MSG are Sonya Roopnauth, Hema Khan, Vanelda Harris and Michael Monroe.
The alternate members identified are Sean Johnson, Tarachand Balgobin, Martin Pertab and Sharook Hussain.
Addressing the modest ceremony at the Ministry’s Boardroom on Monday last, Minister Bharrat noted, “As a government, we’re committed to ensuring there is transparency and accountability in all sectors, more so, the revenue earning sectors, which are referred to as the extractive sectors, oil and gas, mining, forestry, fisheries.
He told those in attendance, “I want to say too that every single member of the MSG and the Secretariat is important to this process. There is no one that is less important than the other one, whether you’re from civil society, industry or government. We are all in this together as a team, and we hope that we can work together.”
The move by the administration comes days after the Opposition Alliance For Change (AFC) Leader, Khemraj Ramjattan, had warned that Guyana risks losing its membership in the international transparency watchdog body, as a result of not having its MSG in place ahead of the EITI’s October meet.
Ramjattan had at the time posited that the reluctance on the part of the administration to appoint the board is also being encouraged by ‘big miners’ who do not want their practices to be exposed to the public, since it would, among other things, reveal rampant instances of ‘landlordism’ among other questionable, and likely illegal practices.
Ramjattan was adamant that the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) administration, despite its glib promises and commitments to transparency “are simply playing games and fooling the public.”
As it relates to the involvement of ‘big miners’, Ramjattan was adamant, “the whole world has seen the massive corruption that took place between PPP elites, Ministers, and bigwigs in the mining sector.
According to the AFC Leader, since the expiration of the life of the body in March last, the PPP/C “if it wanted transparency should have named members.”
To this end, he posits that the big miners in the sector want the PPP/C to stifle the growth of the local EITI—GYEITI—and to eventually pull out from the international transparency watchdog body.
He reminded that under the previous administration, two reports were submitted by the GYEITI, the first being some 6,000 pages documenting the affairs of the extractive industry.
According to Ramjattan, were Guyana to lose its membership in October, the PPP/C’s commitment to transparency would be called into question.
Additionally, the AFC Leader has also called on the administration to go a step further and concretise the EITI reporting standards and guidelines in law, so as to make it legally enforceable and binding.
He is calling for the EITI’s International Standards and Guidelines to be codified in Law.
EITI is a global standard that promotes transparency and accountability in the oil, gas and mining sectors.
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