When it comes to local content, many countries have tried and failed at finding the right balance of incentives or penalties to ensure companies comply with the requirements for training and hiring citizens as well as using indigenous companies for goods and services.

But Dr. Remi Piet, a research associate on political economy and foreign policy at the Florida International University, firmly posits that if one has to look at penalties to ensure adherence, “that means that you have already failed…” Expounding further, the industry expert said this means that the objective shared by both government and company to really develop a solid local workforce and ecosystem to support the oil sector has not been achieved.

He said the local content objectives not being achieved could very well be the fault of the company but at the same time, stressed that one has to examine why this is so before hurrying to apply a penalty. Dr. Piet also alluded that the government can also be at fault if it is not committed to its role, that is to say, ensuring elements of progress are achieved.

The industry expert said it would be prudent for the government to play its part in being attentive by examining all the reasons why a target may not be achieved by the company and engaging in a consultative process on how improvements can be made within a particular timeframe.

“So I am saying, going with just a number or target for the company to achieve and then putting a penalty for failure without a real fruitful engagement and transparent engagement is not that helpful for Guyana. There are a series of methodologies that can be used but there also needs that commitment from the government and different organizations in Guyana to induce dialogue,” the expert concluded.
He believes Guyana can benefit more from this approach.


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