The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Private Sector Commission (PSC) indicated, following a meeting Tuesday, that they have aligned on matters related to local content and will move together to find resolutions.
The meeting involved discussions about the unbundling of contracts to allow greater participation by Guyanese businesses. The private sector has complained about contract bundling, arguing that it prevents up-and-coming Guyanese businesses from participating because it lumps multiple services into a single contract. Companies in the sector tend to bundle contracts to be efficient.
The government does not quite agree, and has issued guidelines through the Local Content Secretariat encouraging companies to unbundle contracts as far as reasonably possible.
The government and the PSC also agreed that companies in the sector are being made to wait lengthy periods to receive payments for their services. The government and the PSC resolved to examine a 30-day payment period for small and medium-sized businesses.
A joint statement from the PSC and the government also indicated that there is a greater need for awareness of local content issues and greater participation by members of the business community. They agreed to convene a one-day forum in September to discuss local content matters further. They will also collaborate on conducting outreaches across the country aimed at sensitising Guyanese about the local content legislation and opportunities therein.
As part of efforts to strengthen the Local Content programme and enable more opportunities for Guyanese businesses, Mr. Bharrat invited the PSC to be part of an ongoing process that the Ministry is leading to examine the current schedule in the Local Content legislation and propose changes that can be examined.
The PSC, through its Local Content Advisory Group, has been engaging the Local Content Secretariat on a monthly basis to share information and discuss local content issues.
The meeting involving these resolutions was held in the Boardroom of the Natural Resources Ministry in Georgetown and was attended by Chairman of PSC, Mr. Paul Cheong; Chairman of PSC’s Local Content Advisory Group (LCAG), Mr. Shyam Nokta; LCAG Member, Mr. Joel Bhagwandin; Executive Director of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Mr. Richard Rambarran and Executive Director of the PSC, Mr. Ian Chung. The Ministry’s team included Director of the Local Content Secretariat, Mr. Martin Pertab; Senior Petroleum Coordinator, Mr. Bobby Gossai; Head of Compliance, Mr. Mark December and Legal Officer, Mr. Michael Munroe.