GUYANA EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES TRANSPARENCY INITIATIVE
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE GUYANA EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES TRANSPARENCY INITIATIVE
EITI Requirement 1.1
a) 4 May 2010 in Georgetown, Guyana, the then Prime Minister of Guyana, Honourable Samuel Hinds, during a meeting with EITI Regional Director, Dr. Francisco Paris, expressed Guyana’s commitment to implement EITI.
15 May 2012, Guyana’s commitment to implement EITI was further demonstrated by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)
12 September 2014, the Government of Guyana commissioned an EITI Scoping Study and hired consulting firm Moore Stephens for its completion. An inception report (2014) and a draft report (October 2015) served as a useful source of information for progressing the EITI process in Guyana.
The change of Government in Guyana in May 2015 led to an upsurge of efforts to complete the EITI sign- up steps.
17 November 2015, Cabinet Decision CP (2015)11:2: BBB gave approval for “The Continuation of the EITI Application Process” and the “establishment of a Steering Committee (Multi-Stakeholder Group) (MSG)”. This provided a legal basis for the creation and operation of the MSG GYEITI.
22 December 2015, Minister of Natural Resources, The Honourable Raphael Trotman, publicly announced the new government’s intention to continue Guyana’s commitment to EITI implementation when he declared the commencement of a process to establish a Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG). In order to provide for equal representation from each of the three (3) sectors; civil society, industry and government, a ratio of 4:4:4 was subsequently agreed.
24-25 February 2016, during the Seventh Global Conference of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), held in Lima, Peru, The Cooperative Republic of Guyana, through the Minister of Natural Resources, reiterated an unequivocal public statement of its commitment and intention to implement the EITI. [APPENDIX III)
21 March 2016, the Minister of Finance of Guyana wrote The World Bank Group confirming Government’s “intention to advance activities under the Extractive Industries and Transparency Initiative (EITI)” and sought “the support of the World Bank to establish an EITI Secretariat and to build relevant capacity within the Ministry of Natural Resources and the EITI Secretariat.” [APPENDIX IV]
27 June-8 July 2016, the Government of Guyana requested and received support from a World Bank Mission to assist the Guyanese government to create a tripartite Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) and to prepare Guyana’s EITI MSG Work Plan. [APPENDIX V]
b) The Cabinet of Ministers of the Government of Guyana identified the Ministry of Natural Resources as the “Lead Agency responsible for implementing the Guyana-EITI”. Minister of Natural Resources, Hon. Raphael Gregory Conwright Trotman, was identified as GYEITI Champion to lead the implementation of EITI in Guyana. Mr. Trotman has the confidence of all stakeholders and the authority and freedom to coordinate action across relevant ministries and agencies. He is able to mobilise resources for EITI implementation.
On 2 December 2016, the Minister of Natural Resources delivered a presentation at an EITI sensitisation seminar for Parliamentarians. [APPENDIX VI]
c) The Government of Guyana is fully, actively and effectively engaged in the EITI process.
There are four (4) government members with four (4) corresponding alternates on the GYEITI MSG.
The government of Guyana, in addition to establishing the GYEITI MSG, also embarked on establishing the GYEITI National Secretariat. It appointed a trained economist as GYEITI National Coordinator to Head the Secretariat. Plans have been put in place to ensure that the GYEITI National Secretariat benefits from continuous efforts to expand and build its capacity to manage the emerging pertinent challenges.
d) It is important to note that the Government of Guyana nominated senior government officials to the multi- stakeholder group (MSG). The MSG members and alternates include, Commissioner-General and Deputy Commissioner-General of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), Minister of Natural Resources (MNR), Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources, representatives from the Office of the Prime Minister and representatives from the Ministry of Finance. Click here to see list of GYEITI Members.
EITI Requirement 1.2
The Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, in pursuit of its commitment to implement the EITI Standard, embarked on a path towards the completion of the EITI sign-up Requirements 1.1-1.5.
a) EITI capacity building meetings with industry representatives were conducted during 6-7 July 2016. These were made possible by government with assistance from World Bank EITI consultant and the Carter Center. [APPENDIX IV]
b) Companies are fully, actively and effectively engaged in the EITI process.
During the period 25-31 October 2016, representatives of Large Scale Mining, Small and Medium Scale Mining, Oil and Gas and the Forestry Sectors held separate meetings to specifically discuss EITI related matters and nominate potential MSG representatives.
c) Government of Guyana ensured that an open and transparent process led to the nomination of four (4) members and four (4) alternates to the MSG as representatives of the industry sector. The nominees to represent industry sector on the MSG emerged from a transparent process in which representatives of large scale, small and medium scale mining, oil and gas companies and the forestry sector participated. At a meeting on 3 November 2016 the four members and their respective alternates to represent industry on MSG were nominated. [APPENDIX VIII]
EITI Requirement 1.3
CIVIL SOCIETY ENGAGEMENT
a) Civil Society is fully, actively and effectively engaged in the EITI process.
b) Several EITI public awareness meetings and capacity building events and symposia were held.
In 2016 and 2017 EITI capacity building meetings and symposia with civil society representatives were facilitated by government with the assistance of World Bank EITI consultant. [APPENDIX IX]
c) There are no obstacles to civil society’s participation and engagement in the EITI process. The Constitution of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana enshrines, and offers protection to, fundamental rights and freedoms, including freedom of conscience, freedom of expression, and freedom of assembly and association. [APPENDIX XX]
d) Government of Guyana ensured that an open and transparent process led to the nomination of four (4) members and four (4) alternates to the MSG as representatives of civil society. The names of nominees to represent civil society on the MSG emerged as a result of a transparent process.
On 5th July 2016, representatives of twenty (20) civil society organisations participated in a transparent and open meeting to discuss and agree on criteria for the selection of MSG representatives of civil society sector. A draft list of criteria was widely circulated with request for feedback and comments. It was decided that one of the four (4) civil society seats be reserved for indigenous peoples whose organisations will among themselves agree on a nomination process for the member and alternate.
Public advertisements were placed in the national newspapers, paid for by the Ministry of Natural Resources. The agreed criteria for representatives were advertised in the national press, namely the Guyana Chronicle, Guyana Times, Kaieteur News and Stabroek News on Sunday 10 July 2016 and also on social media.
Candidates were required to submit the following to apply to become a representative:
1. Complete an Application Form
2. Submit letters of support from three civil society organisations or communities
3. Provide an acceptance letter expressing commitment to devote time to prepare for, and attend, MSG meetings and to also participate in GYEITI related activities.
The Personal Criteria required of representatives were:
i) Understanding and sharing the EITI goals and aims
ii) Devoting sufficient time for MSG activities and wider GYEITI activities
iii) Evidence of ability to engage in financial discussions
iv) Experience or proof of engagement, in civil society advocacy
v) Personal qualities to negotiate confidently and work with a wide spectrum of stakeholders
vi) Membership of an organisation with legal character or affiliation to credible alliances
vii) No affiliation within the extractive industries that could be interpreted as a conflict of interest.
A selection panel comprising of Rudy Collins and Joseph Singh, former Chairmen of the Guyana Elections Commission, and Sandra Jones, an independent consultant reviewed the applications received.
The civil society committee agreed to ratify the nomination of the indigenous peoples together with the other three (3) nominees from civil society. [See page 15-17 for information about GYEITI MSG members]
e) There are no obstacles to civil society’s participation in EITI related activities. The Constitution of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana, Articles 40, 145, 146 and 147 enshrine the Fundamental Rights and Freedoms of the Individual.
EITI Requirement 1.4
a) The Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana has committed to working with companies and civil society. On 15 February 2017 the multi-stakeholder group (MSG) GYEITI was officially launched to oversee the implementation of EITI in Guyana.
On 15 February 2017 the Prime Minister of Guyana, Hon. Moses Veerasammy Nagamootoo, Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Dr. Barton Scotland, Minister of State, Hon. Joseph Harmon, Minister of Natural Resources, Hon. Raphael Gregory Conwright Trotman, Junior Minister of Finance, Hon. Jaipaul Sharma attended or otherwise participated in the official launch of the GYEITI Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) at a special EITI public event. The general public was invited to the launch of the GYEITI MSG. In attendance were members of the National Assembly of Guyana, members of the Diplomatic Corp, members of the opposition, and government and other public officials. [APPENDIX X]
Invitations to participate in the formation on a multi-stakeholder group were open and transparent. Civil society organisations and companies held separate meetings to agree on a transparent process to nominate their own members and alternates. Public notices were posted in national newspapers, on the website of the Ministry of Natural Resources and on social media.
The GYEITI MSG is comprised of twelve (12) members with four (4) representatives each from civil society, industry and government. Each MSG member has a designated alternate.
As mentioned above, the legal basis of the MSG is provided for in a Cabinet Decision CP (2015) 11:2:BBB issued 17 November 2015.
b) Several Capacity building EITI related activities, events, seminars and symposia which were completed during the periods 22 December 2015, 26 June to 8 July 2016, 25 to 31 October 2016, and 3 November 2016 led to the nomination of twelve (12) members and 12 alternates from government, industry and civil society to serve on the GYEITI MSG. Despite these efforts, the MSG was not officially launched in 2016 as anticipated, but instead on 15 February 2017. The MSG members acquired limited capacity to carry out their duties, but agreed a work plan with opportunities to manage these challenges.
The GYEITI MSG and National Secretariat undertook effective public outreaches with representatives of civil society, government and companies in several regions of the country, including Corriverton, Bartica, Linden, Charity and Georgetown.
Members of the MSG liaise with their respective constituencies and groups and provided feedback. Some ideas from feedbacks were later incorporated into the GYEITI MSG Terms of Reference and Work Plan.
GYEITI NATIONAL SECRETARIAT
Minister of Natural Resources of Guyana, The Hon. Raphael Gregory Conwright Trotman in February 2016 made public government’s intention to establish “a fully functioning Secretariat” to advance the work associated with EITI implementation.
GYEITI NATIONAL COORDINATOR
The Ministry of Natural Resources placed a public advertisement in the national Newspapers and on its website, for the position for National Coordinator – Guyana EITI Secretariat. [APPENDIX XI]
Economist Dr. Rudy R. Jadoopat, Ph.D. Economics, was appointed as Guyana’s EITI National Coordinator effective 1st February 2017.
MULTI-STAKEHOLDER GROUP (MSG) GYEITI
The MSG held its first meeting on 15 February 2017, shortly after its official launch.
At its second meeting held 8 March 2017, the GYEIYTI MSG, from among its members, established two (2) Working Groups, one with a mandate to review a proposed draft ‘Terms of Reference’ prepared by the National Secretariat for the MSG and to prepare a draft ‘Confidentiality Agreement’ for MSG members and alternates, and the other to prepare a draft ‘Work Plan’. The ‘Work Plan’ and ‘TOR and Confidentiality’ Working Groups comprised of six (6) persons each, with two (2) representatives from each sector. [APPENDIX XVI]
CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENT SIGNED BY MSG MEMBERS AND ALTERNATES
12 April 2017, the third GYEITI MSG meeting approved a ‘Confidentiality Agreement’ and recommended that each MSG member and alternate sign it. [APPENDIX XII]
GYEITI MSG TERMS OF REFERENCE (TOR)
26 July 2017 at its Sixth (6) Statutory Meeting the GYEITI MSG adopted its Terms of Reference, a draft of which was prepared by the working group and which was previously adopted conditionally by the MSG at its fourth meeting. [APPENDIX XV]
The Terms of Reference (TOR) of the MSG stipulate that each constituency and sector are equal partners. This principle is further enhanced by the composition of the MSG with sectoral ratio 4:4:4 (MSG TOR, Article 5.1)
As stated in the TOR, Meetings of the MSG are to be held at least once per month.
Minutes of meetings, invitation to MSG meetings, draft agenda and secretariat’s report are to be circulated to MSG members and alternates in advance of meetings.
The GYEITI National Secretariat is responsible for keeping written records of meetings.
EITI Requirement 1.5
WORK PLAN AND CAPACITY BUILDING
It was determined that there was a need to build capacity to prepare a Work Plan for which national priorities are to be agreed.
The multi-stakeholder group (MSG) formulated a work plan for the period August 2017 – December 2019, fully costed and aligned with reporting and Validation deadlines established by the EITI Board. See Work Plan page.
Work Plan related capacity building activities were conducted.
The third MSG meeting agreed that it should embark on capacity building efforts in order to better understand how to formulate an EITI work plan.
19 May 2017 the GYEITI MSG successfully held a symposium specifically to determine national priorities which is a key element of the work plan. [APPENDIX XIII]
31 May 2017 a special capacity building symposium was successfully conducted. The Trinidad & Tobago EITI provided guidance and assistance to GYEITI MSG and National Secretariat. [APPENDIX XIV]
25 June – 1 July 2017 a World Bank Mission including EITI Consultant, Ana Maria Rodrigues Contreras from Columbia EITI and Oil & Gas specialist Susana Moreira provided technical assistance to GYEITI MSG and GYEITI National Secretariat.
WORKING GROUP – DEFINING MATERIALITY, REPORTING ENTITIES AND REPORTING THRESHOLDS
In addition to a ‘work plan’ working group, a ‘materiality’ working group was established by the MSG. [APPENDIX XVII, XXI]
Data and information on the extractive sectors and government were requested from various government ministries and agencies including the Guyana Geology & Mines Commission, The Ministry of Finance, The Ministry of Natural resources, Guyana Gold Board, Fisheries Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, The Guyana Forestry Commission, The Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association and the Guyana Revenue Authority. This information was reviewed by the materiality working group and a materiality statement was formulated.
WORKING GROUP – WORK PLAN
The work plan working group held several meetings during which a working draft work plan was initially formulated and presented to the MSG for review. The MSG identified weaknesses in the work plan and requested further modifications. The working group later provided a draft work plan. The sixth MSG meeting endorsed its first work plan which took into consideration feedback provided at consultations with key stakeholders.
A website, www.gyeiti.org has been created and is currently being improved. The GYEITI MSG work plan is available on gyeiti.org. The GYEITI MSG Terms of Reference (TOR) and other EITI related materials and links are available on gyeiti.org and also the Ministry of Natural Resources website, www.nre.gov.gy. The Government of Guyana through the Ministry of Natural Resources has provided all the funding for the design development and registration of the website gyeiti.org.
The work plan will be reviewed and updated annually. The scope can be expanded upon recommendations of studies to be embarked upon.
The GYEITI MSG work plan objectives are linked to the EITI Principles and national priorities for the extractive industries. The work plan incorporated activities to address potential legal and regulatory obstacles. It was agreed that the first report will be submitted at least eighteen (18) months after acceptance of candidature application, which will also facilitate Validation within thirty (30) months from acceptance of candidature application, consistent with the EITI Standard.
The MSG agreed on a logo. The National Secretariat was asked to request proposals to procure web design development services to create, design and build a dedicated and independent website for GYEITI. Five proposals were received and evaluated and the one with the lowest offer was identified.
MORE CAPACITY BUILDING FOR NATIONAL SECRETARIAT
The MSG agreed that the National Secretariat should, as a matter of priority, continue to build capacity. It identified the need for the secretariat to at least benefit from the services of a legal research officer, a communications specialist, a finance / statistical data analyst and a secretary. This will enhance the capacity of GYEITI MSG and the GYEITI National Secretariat to better implement the EITI in The Cooperative Republic of Guyana.
The Government of Guyana, through the Ministry of Natural Resources has been the major domestic source of funding. Although this source of funding will continue, it is envisaged that external sources of funding will become accessible. Meetings are anticipates / sought with identified donor agencies in Guyana, including the World Bank, Carter Centre, USA Embassy, European Union, UK High Commission, Canadian High Commission, and the Inter-American Development Bank. Access to the Multi-Donor Trust fund is anticipated.