Today we conclude our review of the Petroleum Commission Bill which was begun last week in Part 10. Readers will recall the critical review and adverse comments on the composition and appointment of the Chairman and the eight members of the Board of the Commission who will serve for mere one-year periods after which they may or may not be reappointed. It is instructive to note that under the Ghana Petroleum Commission Act on which the Guyana Bill has been patterned, directors are appointed for three years!
The financial provisions in relation to the Commission are set out in clauses 4 (4) (b), 8 (7) and 34 of the Bill. It is not all too obvious that these provisions are entirely consistent with Article 216 of the Constitution which, broadly, requires all moneys due to the State to be paid into the Consolidated Fund. Hopefully, any inconsistencies will be addressed by the Select Committee when they review the Bill and hold hearings.
It is unclear whether the drafters’ instructions included a review of the Petroleum Exploration and Production Act which would have helped in providing direction and preventing overlaps and confusion. The Minister had announced earlier that the Petroleum Exploration and Production Act was not being amended at this stage. I strongly believe that the Petroleum Exploration and Production Act Cap. 65:04 should be amended concurrently with the introduction of the Commission…..