The Government of Guyana through the Ministry of Natural Resources has allocated and approved the sum of GY$20 million (US$100,000) to kick start the establishment of a Local Content Secretariat. This was announced by Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat during the consideration of estimates on Tuesday for Budget 2022.
The Secretariat will be a key component under the recently passed Local Content legislation which President Irfaan Ali assented to in December. The governing body will be tasked with developing and maintaining measures for the effective implementation of local content by contractors, sub-contractors and licensees. It will develop and implement strategies that will give preference to or ensure equal treatment of Guyanese nationals and companies; conduct market analysis; make recommendations to the minister; develop formats for local content plans and reporting; develop guidelines, including those for local content reporting, procurement, evaluation, training, research and development, partnership and joint ventures, and financial and insurance services.
In addition to this, the secretariat will be tasked with developing and maintaining the Local Content Registers of qualified Guyanese nationals and their companies; recommending for approval or refusal, local content master plans and local content annual plans and proposals for modifications to the master and annual plans; develop auditing procedures and conducting regular audits for the purposes of monitoring and ensuring compliance with this legislation; measuring and reporting on the local content performance of contractors, sub-contractors or licensees.
The creation of these registers has already commenced, Mr. Bharrat had stated.
Further, the body will undertake public education and awareness campaigns and report to the minister on the performance of its functions and the general administration of the legislation.
The landmark Act paves the way for local companies and citizens to participate in no less than 40 critical areas in the oil sector which government and a number of private sector stakeholders say will ensure international oil companies and their contractors utilize more local services and products.
For instance, by the end of 2022, Guyanese should provide 90% of office space rental and accommodation services; 90% for janitorial, laundry, catering services; 95% pest control services; 25% medical services; 20% aviation and support services and 75% local food supply. These are just a few of the services highlighted in the first schedule. Through capacity building, the government hopes to expand the list of services provided under the schedule.