Oil and Gas Consultant, Anthony Paul is one of Chatham House’s most respected experts on Local Content Policies. In fact, Paul was one of the most influential authors on Chatham House’s Local Content research paper. (http://www.chathamhouse.org/sites/default/files/publications/research/2016-07-13-local-content-decision-tree-marcel-tissot-paul-omonbude.pdf)
In that document, the Trinidadian warned that badly defined terms are characteristic of poorly designed local content policies. He said that such flaws always lead to complications. Because of this, Paul stressed that it is imperative for governments to have strong and consistent definitions of the terms: local content and local company or supplier.
But the second draft policy Paul prepared for Guyana does not reflect principles or standards he advocated for in Chatham House’s research paper.
In Guyana’s draft policy, Paul defines local content as the sum of the inputs of local goods and services, including employment, provided in oil and gas operations. (https://www.nre.gov.gy/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Second-Draft-Local-Content-Policy-Framework.pdf)
But this definition pales in comparison to those made by Paul in Local Content Policies for other jurisdictions. In Trinidad and Tobago’s Policy for example, Paul defines Local Content as: “Maximizing” the level of usage of local goods and services, people, businesses and financing. (http://www.eisourcebook.org/cms/December%202015/Trinidad%20and%20Tobago%20Local%20Content%20Policy%20Framework%202004.pdf)
In Ghana’s Policy, Paul defines Local Content as: the maximum level of use of Ghanaian local expertise, goods and services, people, businesses and financing in oil and gas activities. (http://www.eisourcebook.org/cms/December%202015/Ghana%20Local%20Content%20Policy%202010.pdf)
In the policies for Ghana and Trinidad, Paul calls for the maximum use of local goods and services but fails to capture same in Guyana’s draft policy.
As for the definition of a local company, Paul notes in Guyana’s draft policy that this is to mean, “Companies beneficially majority owned by nationals”.
Again, this definition, by industry standards, is lacking. It fails to address if the company must be registered in the country or not as well as what percentage of the workforce must be local.