Guyana is now officially the 53rd candidate country of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) which is aimed at openness around the governance of natural resources.
Guyana’s application to become a candidate country was deliberated upon during the 38th EITI Board Meeting which is being held in Manila, Philippines, according to a statement yesterday from the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR).
At its core, according to the EITI website, governments disclose how much they receive from extractive companies operating in their country and these companies disclose how much they pay. In addition, other key data is published. Governments sign up to implement the EITI Standard and must meet seven requirements. Entering the EITI was seen as pivotal before oil revenues begin flowing here around 2020.
Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, along with National Coordinator of the Guyana EITI Secretariat Dr. Rudy Jadoopat were invited as observers. At the minister’s request, Curtis Bernard, Co-Chair of the Multi-Stakeholder Group acted as his representative.
“I am elated that Guyana’s candidature application has been accepted. I see this as the fruit of an inclusive and committed process of shared governance…a process in which Government, Industry and Civil Society have worked together to deliver a nationally beneficial result. I congratulate all stakeholders who worked assiduously to ensure a timely submission of the application that met the EITI’s Secre-tariat’s standards and expectations,” Trotman was quoted as saying in the MNR release.
Once a country becomes a member of EITI it must be assessed against the EITI Standard in a process called Validation which reviews the country’s progress against the EITI requirements, evaluates the impact, and makes recommendations for strengthening the process and improving the governance of the natural resources sector, the MNR release stated. The country is re-assessed anywhere between three months and three years depending on the outcome of the Validation, thus encouraging continuous improvement and safeguarding the integrity of the EITI.
According to the MNR release, the EITI Board, through the EITI Secretariat oversees the Validation process and if warranted ascribes the country as having made satisfactory, meaningful, inadequate or no progress. An implementing country’s first EITI Report must be prepared by an independent administrator and published within 18 months from the date that the country was accepted as an EITI candidate country and Validation is required to commence within two and a half years of becoming an EITI candidate country.
The Secretariat is imploring all citizens, government officials and companies to visit the Guyana EITI website at gyeiti.org where they can read Guyana’s work plan, Guyana’s candidature application and a list of members of Guyana’s Multi-Stakeholder among other details, the MNR release stated. Interested parties can also visit the international EITI website at eiti.org.
According to MNR, Guyana first made a commitment to EITI on May 4, 2010 and a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with EITI on May 15, 2012. The Guyana EITI National Secretariat was established in December, 2016 and a National Coordinator appointed on February 1, 2017
A Multi-Stakeholder Group comprising representatives from Government, Industry and Civil Society was launched on February 15, 2017 and the government submitted its application to become a candidate country of the EITI on August 18, 2017.
The organisation was founded at a conference in London in 2003 and now has 53 members.