The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is “appalled” that the Government of Guyana has been receiving millions of dollars from donor partners like the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to prepare for the oil industry and yet, to date, the administration is unaware of the skills needed in the respective ministries and agencies that will engage in and monitor the sector.
To highlight the “shocking nature” of the matter, the UNDP said that no one in the government can competently say how many economists, contract analysts, geologists, environmentalists, and other technical personnel are needed to boost the manpower at the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, and the Energy Department. These are just three agencies which will have crucial roles to play in monitoring the oil and gas sector.
In a document seen by the Guyana Standard today, the UNDP said, “The number, kinds, and levels of experience Guyana needs for the oil sector can only be determined through competency mapping exercises. These competency maps, as we recommended in 2015, are useful to avoid costly redundancy… It was expected that at least, some part of the donor funding in the last three years would have been used to conduct the competency mapping exercise.”
Considering the state Guyana now finds itself in, the UNDP recommended that local authorities engage competency development experts “with a sense of urgency” on this matter. The UNDP said that the mapping exercise needs to be conducted within the next month and a half if Guyana wants to have any shot at all in properly managing the resources to come.
The UNDP said, too, that the skills map which would be done by the experts will also serve to support local content. It opined that this information will also be useful in designing training programmes, informing the population as to the kinds of skills and services needed, and in managing work permits.