Even though it recognizes the importance of a gap analysis, the Ministry of Natural Resources will still forge ahead with consultations on the draft policy in the absence of said study. This much was noted in a statement by the Ministry which comes on the heels of an exposé in a section of the media that the targets in the draft policy were plagiarized from Ghana’s Local Content Regulations.
Specifically, the draft document notes that in the initial years, Front End Engineering Design (FEED) for onshore, offshore, Liquefied Natural gas facility, and detailed engineering gas gather facilities should see 20 percent, 10 percent, 10 percent, and 20 percent use of Guyanese respectively. A perusal of Ghana’s regulations would show that the exact words and numbers were used.
Even a spelling error in Ghana’s Regulations under the category Marine Operations and Logistics Services was copied into Guyana’s draft policy. In the regulations, it is noted that Ghanaians should be able to supply “Driving” or ROV or submersible operations. Instead of “Driving”, it is supposed to be “Diving”. (In some cases, divers are used to assist some types of remotely operated vehicles.)
In its statement, the Ministry said that while a gap analysis is critical, in the interest of time and the urgency in having a robust local content policy in place, which would then serve as the principal driver of the legislative framework, “the Ministry has opted for the broad-based consultation process. The idea is for stakeholders to come up with both realistic and pragmatic targets. To date, this consultative process is ongoing.” It therefore means that the Ministry is expecting citizens to propose realistic targets even though there is no independent study available on the current human and business capabilities and deficiencies on the ground.
During the reign of the coalition administration, it had come under heavy criticism for producing a policy that was not grounded in a realistic assessment of the needs of the country. (See link: https://www.guyanastandard.com/2019/01/17/draft-local-content-policy-not-grounded-in-realistic-assessment-of-guyanas-needs-world-bank/)
Such an assessment remains outstanding.