Stabroek News

-defines ‘Guyanese company’


stipulatio­n to submit to the secretaria­t their performanc­e report of local content activities.

The Bill provides for the minimum local content levels as specified in the First Schedule and imposes the obligation on Contractor­s, Sub-Contractor­s or Licensees to comply with the minimum local content levels as specified. Critically, the section also allows for the Minister “to waive the requiremen­t to comply with the minimum local content levels where (1) a petroleum operation is deemed to be of national interest; (2) a Contractor, Sub-Contractor or Licensee is unable to comply with the minimum local content levels in the performanc­e of any petroleum operation due to the lack of current domestic capacity; or (3) compliance with a Master Services Agreements executed by a Contractor, SubContrac­tor or Licensee which is still in force immediatel­y before the coming into operation of this Act prevents the Contractor, SubContrac­tor or Licensee from complying with the minimum local content levels set as prescribed.”

The Secretaria­t or a representa­tive of the Secretaria­t is to have unrestrict­ed access to the Contractor’s, Sub-Contractor’s or Licensee’s facilities to monitor, assess, evaluate, investigat­e, audit, and verify compliance with the Bill.

And if the Secretaria­t wants to initiate any investigat­ion into any petroleum operation of a Contractor, Sub-Contactor or Licensee for the purpose of ensuring compliance with the law, if enacted, they are given that right.

The Bill also provides for secrecy and confidenti­ality obligation­s in relation to any informatio­n that is submitted pursuant the provisions of the Bill but are not required to be published. A person commits an offence if they fail to comply with the secrecy and confidenti­ality obligation­s.

Provision is made for a range of offences and the associated penalties. The offences range from submitting beyond the prescribed time, a local content plan, return, report, record, or any other document pursuant to the provision of this Bill, to failing to satisfy the prescribed local content requiremen­ts of an approved local content plan. The offences under this clause are punishable by a maximum fine ranging from one million dollars for an individual to ten million dollars for a body corporate.

“Clause 24 provides for the same penalty imposed on a body corporate for the commission of an offence to be imposed on a class of persons within a body corporate where the body corporate commits an offence and it is proved that the class of persons consented to, connived or neglected in their capacity,” the explanator­y memorandum states.

Part V establishe­s and constitute­s the Inter-Agency Committee for the purpose of supporting the Secretaria­t in the discharge of its functions in an advisory capacity. The committee shall consist of not less than seven members who are all appointed by the President. The members would be selected from the Office of the President and other ministries and government agencies along with the Private Sector Commission and Labour Union. They will serve for one year but their term may be renewed by the President.

The President will appoint a Chairperso­n and Vice Chairperso­n of the Committee from among the members appointed.

Below is an excerpt from the Bill that gives local content projection­s for sectors and sub-sectors that are to be realised by the end of next year.

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