From 1 January 2021, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) has made it pellucid that Guyana and its other 54 members will be required to publish new and amended contracts, licenses and agreements concluded with extractive companies. The international transparency watchdog said that countries are also encouraged to publish contracts before that date.

It reminded that the requirement to publish new contracts and contract amendments was introduced in the 2019 EITI Standard and represents a major step forward in extractive sector transparency.

In the absence of this type of disclosure, EITI reasoned that many contracts remain unpublished, increasing the opacity of the extractive sector and making it more vulnerable to corruption. It contended that large sums are at stake in extractive agreements while adding that contract transparency creates a powerful disincentive for officials to conclude extractive contracts that are partial or result in personal gain.

Along with deterring corruption, EITI said that publishing contracts can help the extractive sector to fulfill its potential to contribute to development.

To date, 37 countries that implement the EITI Standards have disclosed some or all extractive contracts.
While this progress is welcomed, the international watchdog said that much remains to be done to ensure that there is a comprehensive and accessible record of all extractive contracts. Beyond disclosure, it stressed that efforts still need to be made to ensure that contract information can be used and that it informs debate on policy options, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic


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