The Guyana Government has committed to setting up a body to monitor the management of proceeds generated from the emerging Oil and Gas Industry. The Public Accountability and Oversight Committee is being facilitated under the recently tabled Natural Resources Fund (NRF) Bill.
During the presentation of the 2019 National Budget on Monday afternoon, Minister of Finance Winston Jordan explained that the committee will comprise a wide cross-section of stakeholders.
“The Committee will be mandated to report on the Fund, including the investment of petroleum revenues as well as the utilisation of withdrawals from the Fund, which are to be invested through the National Budget,” Jordan told the house.
According to the NRF Bill, the 22 member committee will also seek to ensure that the fund is managed transparently, in keeping with good governance and international best practices.
In updating the nation of the administration’s efforts to manage oil revenues Jordan indicated that the Fund directly meets 21 of the 24 heralded Santiago Principles, which are intended to ensure transparency, good governance, accountability and prudent investment practices.
The other three will be met upon implementation of the Fund, once the bill is passed
“Petroleum revenues will form part of our national patrimony,” Jordan surmised.
Alternatively named the Sovereign Wealth Fund, the NRF is intended to stabilize the country’s economy through diversification and to generate wealth for future generations.
According to the bill, the committee will comprise nominated representatives from civil society organisations, the bar and press associations and even women and youth representatives.
Guyana is preparing for first oil in the first quarter of 2020