Local extractive industry transparency initiative better equipped to produce annual report after capacity building workshop – Coordinator

The recent two-day capacity building workshop that was hosted here by the international body of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) resulted in the local body being more equipped to produce its annual report, National Coordinator Rudy Jadoopat says.

The workshop, which was held at the Cara Lodge, featured representation from the Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) of Guyana’s EITI along with representatives from the relevant stakeholders, including the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC).

Speaking to Stabroek News, Jadoopat said, “Indeed we are more equipped to prepare the report. We are better equipped to monitor the International Administrator (IA). We are absolutely better equipped after the workshop and we learned how it should be with the IA, what you can ask them to do and the expectations. Indeed, the workshop was very productive, very fruitful and very successful. We learnt what exactly is expected of the first GYEITI report.” Guyana became a candidate of the international body in April, 2017, and, as a requirement, a conciliation report has to be done within 18 months. In order to prepare the report, an IA has to be hired and Jadoopat said that they have already made significant headway in the process and a contract should be signed soon with the UK firm Moore Stephens International.

“The bidding went through the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) and the bids were opened on April 17th. The technical proposals were opened first and evaluated and the bidders were ranked and then their financial packages were opened.

The process went smoothly and the highest ranked bidder was identified and I can disclose that it is Moore Stephens [International] and we’re about to sign a contract,” he said, while noting that the IA’s first role will be to prepare the report, which the MSG will be overseeing to ensure that the EITI’s guidelines and rules are followed.

Jadoopat also noted that they were able to make clear distinctions between the role of the government agencies and companies and what information they have to request for them to compile the report. The MSG will determine which companies will be listed and documented in the report, based on a threshold.

Jadoopat had questioned one of the presenters last week on how to accept assistance from private sector companies after he had stated that they were unsure how to deal with offers from ExxonMobil.

However, Jadoopat said that they have been able to draw a clear picture on how to go about dealing with the private sector and companies willing to partner with them as a result of the workshop. “We have a clearer picture on how to deal with those issues now. We have to find out what they are looking for and if there are no strings attached then of course we can accept it because they are part of the process. Remember, this is a tripartite process and once they are not going to tell us how to do it, we are going to accept it and will follow the standards,” he explained.

He noted that even though the standards are vague on how to deal with private sector partnership, it comes down to good judgement, sentiments that the international body had echoed when Jadoopat enquired.

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