Guyana advances application for EITI candidacy

GINA, GUYANA, Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Guyana is aiming for a mid-year submission of its application for membership to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

National Coordinator of the G-EITI Secretariat, Dr Rudy Jadoopat, today told the media during a briefing at Cara Lodge, Quamina Street, Georgetown that the submission of initial candidate application is targeted for June/July.

National Coordinator of the G-EITI Secretariat, Dr Rudy Jadoopat speaking to the media on Guyana’s candidacy to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)

“Sub -groups have been formed to actively engage in finalising the terms of reference and confidentiality, and a work plan. Focus will soon be shifted to the preparation of application for EITI candidacy,” Dr Jadoopat noted.

The media briefing was facilitated by Policy Forum Guyana, a representative of the civil society component of the Multi Stakeholder Group (MSG).

Guyana first gave its commitment to joining the international standard in May 2010. In 2012, an MOU was signed between Guyana and the EITI for assistance in the preparation of its candidacy.

The country also received assistance and support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), World Bank and the Carter Centre towards its candidacy.

Guyana has stepped up its progress towards eligibility, Dr Jadoopat noted. Last month the MSG, an integral component of the requirements for candidacy, was officially launched.

“A fully functioning MSG is essential for Guyana to be accepted as an EITI candidate country,” Dr Jadoopat stated.

Barring unforeseen obstacles, Guyana can become a candidate before the end of 2017. Following this, the country will have 18 months to generate a report providing extractive data such as laws, fiscal management, licences and contracts, money received production data and where the money goes.

Mike McCormack speaking at the press conference on Guyana’s candidacy to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)

Convenor of Policy Forum Guyana and civil society representative on the MSG G-EITI board, Mike McCormack, stressed the importance of the EITI process in generating reports.

“The importance of the report is that after the report is produced…other civic organisations, the media could utilise this report as a basis for stimulating discussion around issues,” McCormack said.

In tandem with finalising its application, Dr Jadoopat said that the Secretariat will be undertaking several measures aimed towards implementing the EITI standards across the extractive sector. Those include assisting the MSG in making decisions on how the EITI process should work in Guyana; embarking on a comprehensive data and information compilation project on governance of the extractive sector, and preparing regular reports and  issuing recommendations for improving the sector’s governance.

The Secretariat will also design and implement a public awareness campaign to promote and explain the work of G-EITI to inform public debate towards seeking recommendations.

The MSG comprises four representatives each from government, industry and civil society. The MSG G-EITI meets monthly. It is the main decision making body responsible for setting objectives for the EITI implementation, producing EITI reports and ensuring that the findings contribute to public debate.

By: Tiffny Rhodius