The second draft of Guyana’s Local Content Policy has finally been for the public’s perusal.
Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin has given Guyana Standard his take on the content of the document and the areas he feels still need to be addressed.
Gaskin, who was recently handed the responsibility to manage the completion of the policy, said that he would like to see more dialogue from stakeholders. He is also desirous of providing a broader platform for discussion on the fundamental aspects of local content.
The Business Minister said, “I am interested in knowing what the public feels is the best way for us to implement local content. I want to hear from the people, if they want the policy to be inserted into existing legislation such as the Petroleum Act, or let it be embodied in future contracts. I am also interested in knowing if Guyanese really want this policy to become legislation or just stand as part of our menu of regulations.”
The Minister acknowledged that the document does not set procurement and employment targets.
Gaskin said, “The issue of employment targets, that is, what percentage of Guyanese should oil companies hire for their operations is an important one. If we dictate that the companies must hire a huge Guyanese workforce then what would this mean for other workers needed in other sectors we are trying to build? I am just saying that it is something we have to consider in this discussion.”
Trinidadian Local Content Expert, Anthony Paul was contracted by the coalition government back in 2016 to draft a local content framework for Guyana. He is also the author of Ghana’s rigid Local Content Policy.
Guyana Standard asked Minister Gaskin if Government communicated to Paul, what it wants the Policy to look; he responded in the negative.
He explained that the Chatham House Advisor, who came to Guyana with his years of expertise, was asked to make an assessment of Guyana’s systems and regulatory bodies, and create a policy that takes those factors into account.
Minister Gaskin said that his Ministry is preparing to host several rounds of consultation on draft framework. (See link for a copy of the document: https://www.nre.gov.gy/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Guyana-Draft-Local-Content-Policy-for-the-Petroleum-Sector.pdf)