The National Coordinator of the Guyana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GYEITI) is confident Guyana will complete its first reconciliation report within the 18 months deadline.

During an interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI) today, Dr. Rudy Jadoopat said the Secretariat will soon be engaging the general public through outreaches across Guyana.

“We’re going to have all these outreaches and we’re going to discuss, at different levels, what information is there, how the processes are taking place. We’re going to get the public involved (and) we’re going to make them aware of some of the challenges we face,” Dr. Jadoopat said.

The GYEITI Secretariat will soon advertise for the hiring of a Communications Consultant. Dr. Jadoopat said the Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG), which is tasked with implementing the EITI standards, will finalise the terms of reference before advertising for the post.

The first EITI report is expected to comprise of information on Guyana’s legal and fiscal framework, licence allocation, licence registered, contract transparency, beneficial ownership, exploration, accurate assessment of reserves, monitoring production data, development of procedures and systems to compare declared production volumes with government’s measurements, exports of products from the extractive industry among a detailed list required by the global EITI body.

Dr. Jadoopat explained that the MSG has established a working group to determine the definition of materiality for the report. “Materiality is the information that they’re going to use to determine whether the omission or the misstatement of this data is going to affect the comprehensiveness of the EITI report,” he explained.

Additionally, the MSG will also have to determine the reporting period. “According to the EITI standard it’s supposed to be not later than two years from the date when the report is to be filed,” Dr. Jadoopat explained.

The MSG will also have to decide what sectors will be covered in the report. Dr. Jadoopat said the focus will likely be on the oil and gas sector and large-scale mining with the inclusion of other sectors over time.

Another important step for the GYEITI in completing the report is the hiring of an independent administration to compile the report. The administrator is likely to be an international auditing firm, with experience in preparing EITI reports, working with local firms.

“We are currently in the process of preparing the terms of reference for the independent administrator,” Dr. Jadoopat explained. The GYEITI is receiving assistance from the international EITI Secretariat as it finalises the TORs and fills the position by mid-2018.

“There’s a lot of other things that have to be done,” to ensure that the EITI report adheres to the EITI standard.

Dr. Jadoopat noted the GYEITI Secretariat’s work plan for 2018 includes systemising and publishing the information it is collecting on beneficiary ownership, document and discuss government’s policy on disclosure of beneficiary ownership and build capacity on among the GYEITI staff.  The deadline for the submission of the first EITI report is April 2019.

“I think in the long run, the people of Guyana who own all the resources in Guyana, they are going to benefit from this level of transparency we are creating. Because from transparency it will lead to greater accountability. And that is one of our objectives we want everyone to benefit from the resources of Guyana,” Dr. Jadoopat said.

Guyana became the 52nd country to join the global standard last October. EITI seeks to promote tenets of good governance, transparency, and accountability in the management of the extractive industries.

 

By: Tiffny Rhodius

National Coordinator of the GYEITI Dr Rudy Jadoopat