Months after major lobbying for the unbundling of contracts in Guyana’s oil and gas sector, President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Timothy Tucker has indicated that there has been no major changes when it comes to this practice in the supply chain. The outgoing President of the Chamber made this revelation to this publication during an exclusive interview today.
For readers unfamiliar with the term, contract bundling refers to the procurement of various goods and services under a single contract.
Tucker, who has spent most of his term as GCCI President lobbying for maximum local content benefits, led a team of private sector representatives in months of advocacy last year against notable contract bundling practices in the sector. Their position was that such a practice makes it difficult for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to participate fairly in the sector.
Following various complaints from the business community last August, GCCI had released a statement calling on the Local Content Secretariat to delve into these practices, making it abundantly clear that it is something the Chamber cannot support. Shortly after, a meeting was hosted by the Ministry of Natural Resources with members of the private sector, where it was stated that while oil companies are not necessarily bundling contracts with ill-intent -but to have a more efficient procurement process, the practice of lumping multiple services into a single contract sets unrealistic expectations for up-and-coming Guyanese businesses. As such, guidelines were issued through the Local Content Secretariat encouraging companies to unbundle contracts as much as they can.
Speaking to this publication, Tucker cited that while there has been “minor unbundling” of contracts in the sector, the Chamber has been consistently following up with the government on the issue. However, Tucker said he and his team were informed that there is a “cycle that it has to go through” which may take some time. He stated that he expects to see more unbundled contracts being issued in the next few months.