Payment periods are now limited in Guyana as its government on Friday issued an ultimatum to all contractors and sub-contractors operating in its oil and gas industry to institute a 45-day payment period.
According to Guyana’s Local Content Secretariat (LCS), the Local Content Act stipulates a Procurement Sub-Plan that includes a supply chain management strategy, to promote local suppliers’ competitive financing and growth with appropriate contract and payment terms. This provision was created to ensure that Guyanese nationals and Guyanese companies generate capital to expand while becoming competitive and financially independent.
Government was mulling a 30-day payment period for Guyanese who supply goods and services to its oil and gas sector, following complaints of the long wait for payment.
The LCS in its Friday statement said it wrote to contractors and sub-contractors instructing them to implement an amendment to their five-year Local Content Master Plan.
“The updated five-year plan must now include a payment period of between 30-45 days upon the correct receipt of an invoice. Contractors and sub-contractors have shown their willingness to cooperate with this new requirement and have already moved to make the amendment to their Master Plans” the LCS outlined.
This will in turn see Guyanese having timely and appropriate access to contract and payment terms that facilitate competitive funding and expansion.
The Secretariat underscored that suppliers have an obligation to submit correct invoices and encouraged continuous training and suppliers’ engagement forums to ensure it is done.
These forums will be aimed at upskilling suppliers in areas of the correct preparation of invoices and tenders, and to be appraised of any upcoming procurement opportunities offered by the companies.
Suppliers who continue to encounter issues with the prolonged issuing of payments are asked to contact the Local Content Secretariat or utilise the Grievance Redress Form.
Guyana’s Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo had said that the government intends to close loopholes being used to frustrate and circumvent the requirements of the Local Content legislation, especially as it relates to extended waiting periods for payment
“… So, there are several things we identified, and we will close those loopholes, the same way we will close the loophole on bundling of contracts and on long payments… They can’t pay local companies in 90 days. I don’t care who defends that, Exxon or not… we will close this. However, this is a work in progress as we try to improve on the legislation,” the Vice President had stated.