President, Dr. Irfaan Ali has assured that the individuals responsible for Guyana missing its reporting deadline to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), thus resulting in a temporary suspension, will be held accountable for the reckless endangerment of the nation’s credibility.
The Head of State made this promise today via a video-recorded statement to members of the media.
Guyana was reportedly suspended after it failed to submit a report documenting revenues received by the state from the extractive sector for the period 2020. EITI, on its website, said that Guyana is not eligible for an extension of the reporting deadline for the fiscal year January 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020. It also said that the deadline for the publication of the outstanding report remains December 31, 2022.
Ali said work has begun to ensure Guyana is brought into compliance with the reporting requirements. He said the report will be submitted long before May 2023.
The CARICOM leader also laid the blame squarely at the feet of the Multi-Stakeholder Group which consists of civil society actors, government officials, and industry stakeholders. That group is responsible for supporting the work program of the local EITI chapter.
During his preliminary investigation, Ali said he discovered that certain actors within the MSG delayed the approval of Terms of Reference (ToRs) for the Independent Administrator that was hired by the government to prepare the 2020 report. Ali found it alarming that the ToRs were held up for four months.
The President said, “This begs the question whether there are persons in that group with ulterior motives. It was only after four months that we were able to have the Terms of Reference agreed upon with two persons abstaining. It is unacceptable to put a country’s reporting framework at stake; to try to damage the government’s credibility is not being a good citizen.”
With the foregoing settled, Ali said work will be fast-tracked to ensure Guyana gets its report in by or before May.
Ali said the irresponsibility displayed in missing the deadline is unacceptable and would not recur. “Those persons responsible for this will be exposed and held accountable,” the Head of State concluded.