The current structure of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) does not support for the monitoring of the extractive sector in a transparent and accountable manner. This was noted in Guyana’s inaugural report for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
The report was prepared by Rached Maalej, an Independent Administrator attached to UK accounting and business advisory firm, BDO LLP.
Maalej noted that GGMC is currently divided into five technical divisions: the Geological Services Division, the Mines Division, the Environment Division, the Petroleum Division, and the Land Management Division. It was noted that each division needs a complete overhaul.
Further to this, the independent administrator said that while improvements are urgently needed at GGMC, the government’s efforts to create a new body named the Petroleum Commission of Guyana remains in limbo.
The Petroleum Commission of Guyana Bill (2017), once enacted into law, will allow the Commission to monitor and ensure compliance with the policies, laws and agreements for petroleum operations. It will be tasked with ensuring compliance with health, safety, and environmental standards. It will also monitor and regulate the exploration, development and production of petroleum in Guyana. Maalej noted that such a body would be crucial to complementing the work of GGMC’s Petroleum Division.
Considering the important role GGMC will have as one of the reporting entities to Guyana’s EITI Secretariat, in monitoring the oil sector, and working alongside the Commission when it comes on board, Maalej recommended that a thorough review of the current organisational structure of GGMC be undertaken with a view to identifying governance structures which are best suited for greater accountability and transparency in all extractive industries, especially for the petroleum sector.
The Guyana Standard was able to confirm with GGMC Commissioner, Newell Dennison that the entity is aware of the weaknesses identified and a review will be underway.