No sale of new oil blocks
─ AG Williams tells business forum
─ reiterates govt’s acceptance of interim status
DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, August 7, 2019
Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Hon. Basil Williams has stated that there will be no awarding of oil blocks before the next General and Regional Elections is held and a government is appointed.
During his address to a forum hosted by the American Chambers of Commerce, Guyana (AmCham), the Legal Affairs Minister took the opportunity to explain government’s position following the Caribbean Court of Justice’s (CCJ) Consequential Orders on the December 21, 2018 case and its implications for business in Guyana.
The Attorney General reiterated that the government had accepted its ‘interim status’ from the very onset.
“We are there as an interim government. We have acknowledged that we can only do routine matters,” he told the audience.
He also noted that the government acknowledges the limitations it has on entering into new contracts.
The AG explained that while certain contracts can be entered into, “it’s the big Amaila Falls-like contracts you have to avoid, giving out oil blocks, you have to avoid.”
He also reiterated that following the CCJ ruling, the government is on a ‘different footing’ from that which existed before the December 21, 2018 vote. During this ‘interim’ period, the government is expected to behave as a caretaker. This means that the government has to restrain the exercise of its legal authority.
While there are limitations, members of the private sector can, however, “still enter into routine commercial transactions… and can still tender for certain contracts,” AG Williams further explained.