In response to the November 22, 2017 article in the Kaieteur News entitled ‘Petroleum Commission Bill prescribes imprisonment for sharing of info’, the Ministry of Natural Resources wishes to advise as follows:
- The Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana is committed to transparency and accountability, not only within the oil and gas sector but also in all sectors. This commitment for transparency and accountability has been demonstrated through efforts made by the government to implement EITI which is a global standard that promotes transparency and accountability in the oil, gas and mining sectors. Guyana’s application for candidacy has been accepted and Guyana is now an implementing country of EITI. EITI brings together civil society, industry and government, each having an equal stake in monitoring how natural resources derived monies are generated and expended.
- Guyana is not the first country to insert stringent penalties within the petroleum sector’s regulatory framework for breach of a duty not to disclose information. Tanzania’s Petroleum Act 2015, Section 106, stipulates a fine or jail time for disclosing confidential information. So do the laws of Uganda (Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Act 2013 Section 32 and Trinidad and Tobago’s (Petroleum Act, Section 35). The section is aimed at deterring those who hope to benefit from improper disclosure, thereby providing another means of fighting corruption. It is one of many anti-corruption strategies which have to be employed in the proper management of the petroleum sector and is very consistent with international norms.
- The Petroleum Commission Bill 2017 is the subject of widespread consultation, the aim of which is to take on board input from numerous stakeholders so that the finalised Bill reflects a collective effort to create a nationally applicable and internationally relevant law.
We continue to thank all stakeholders for their vigilance as together we strive to bring Guyana to preparedness, not only for oil production in 2020, but also for the continued exploration and growth of the sector.
N Johann Earle
Public Affairs and Communications Officer
Ministry of Natural Resources