Local content regulator eyes doubling bid advantage for Guyanese companies

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Kemol King
Kemol King is an independent journalist with six years of experience in Guyana's media landscape, contributing to OilNOW on a freelance basis. He covers the oil & gas sector and its impact on the country's development.

Guyana’s Local Content Secretariat is contemplating boosting the competitive advantage already afforded to Guyanese companies in oil sector procurement. 

According to Director, Dr. Martin Pertab, the Secretariat plans to do this through procurement and bid evaluation guidelines issued to companies in the sector.

The guidelines require companies to score bidders in multiple categories, including local content. The local content category currently carries a weight of 5% of the total score. So, if a bidder has a Local Content Certificate, that bidder automatically gets five points.

Addressing the Local Content Summit in April, Dr. Pertab said, “We are looking at ways to see whether or not we can increase that to 10%, allowing local companies to place in a better advantaged position that would allow them to compete.” 

The Secretariat grants the Local Content Certificate to companies that meet the definition of a Guyanese company in the Local Content Act. That definition includes a 51% Guyanese shareholding requirement and Guyanese quotas for management and staff. 

Over 800 already certified companies are poised to benefit from this potential guideline.

Foreign companies can also benefit from local content certification by partnering with Guyanese firms, as has been the case with many joint ventures. 

The Secretariat may also issue a stricter policy regarding timelines for payments to Guyanese companies. President Irfaan Ali had said at the Local Content Summit that government believes the 45-day limit, currently in companies’ Local Content Master Plans, is too long.

Government is also looking to add new categories to the 40 outlined in the Local Content Act, in which quotas are set aside for Guyanese companies to benefit from. Attorney General Mohabir Anil Nandlall said an amendment to the law is likely this year.

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