The coalition administration has a packed legislative agenda for 2019. This was revealed by President David Granger during his recent address to the National Assembly.
The Head of State highlighted several pieces of legislation which is on the government’s agenda, the first of which was the Public Debt Management Bill. This, he said, aims to address procurement system reforms. It is also intended to enhance improved expenditure planning, management, and execution of the public sector investment programme. The President added that the bill “will be introduced to ensure improvements in Guyana’s financial management.”
The Natural Resource Fund Bill will also be introduced. This Bill, President Granger stated, will place the administration of the Fund under the Bank of Guyana, “and will require parliamentary approval for withdrawals”.
The Mining Act and its Regulations are being comprehensively overhauled to ensure that mining is better regulated to “ensure safety, efficiency and environmental sustainability,” the Head of State explained. This move will see the Mining (Amendment) Bill and its companion Regulations being introduced in the National Assembly in the first quarter of 2019.
“Amendments will also be tabled in respect to the Guyana Gold Board Act and its Regulations. New regulations to reduce the use of mercury in the mining sector and to ensure better environmental practices on land and water resources will be also introduced in 2019,” the President stated.
Aimed at providing the Courts with gatekeeping functions to distinguish between frivolous or vexatious applications, the President noted that the Judicial Review Bill will be tabled.
The Head of State added that an Intellectual Property Rights Bill is also expected to be brought before the House to upgrade intellectual property rights legislation. This comes after decades of lobbying. He indicated that the Integrity Commission (Amendment) Bill will also be laid before the National Assembly. This aims to amend the schedule of declarants to more accurately reflect today’s range of senior public officers.