The makings of a fully-fledged Department of Energy are beginning to emerge as Guyana moves closer to ‘first oil’ officially scheduled to materialise in 2020.
Last weekend the Ministry of the Presidency (MoTP) disclosed in an advertisement published in the various media houses that it was seeking to recruit “suitably qualified persons” to fill vacancies in various areas. While the advertisement did not list any specific job titles it listed a number of disciplines including economics, econometrics, law, procurement, monitoring and evaluation, administration and environmental safeguards, a list that provides clues to the wide-ranging responsibilities which the Department will have to undertake in pursuit of the effective administration of the oil and gas sector.
Whilst responsibilities for oil and gas administration had originally been assigned to the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Department of Energy was created with effect from August 1, 2018 within the Ministry of the Presidency. Its main functions, as set out in the public notice regarding its creation, are to establish the institutional, legal and regulatory framework for the emerging Oil and Gas Industry over the short, medium and long terms, and set the country on a sustainable development pathway. Its expectation, according to the Ministry of the Presi-dency, is that the Depart-ment of Energy will “conduct its operations with the highest degree of professionalism, transparency, accountability, and efficiency that meets international best practices and ensure the benefits received from the Oil and Gas Industry redound to all Guyanese.”
Immediately prior to the disclosure regarding the creation of the Department of Energy the government announced that President David Granger had appointed Environment and Resource Economist and former head of the Project Development and Management Unit of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), Dr. Mark Bynoe, to head the Depart-ment.
The Ministry of the Pre-sidency’s weekend advertisement listed among the eligibility requirements for consideration for employment within the Department that applicants must possess a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree and had demonstrated “excellent academic performance” at university. The advertisement also says that employees in the Department of Energy will benefit from “competitive” remuneration packages.