The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a global body that promotes accountability in the exploitation of natural resources, has urged Guyana to reform systems which prevent it the production of accurate reports on revenues received from oil and the mining sectors.

Recently, the EITI published Guyana’s 2020 report which contained several recommendations from the international body, one of which included the need for the implementation of a unique identification numbering system for all government agencies. It said government agencies in Guyana, including the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), Guyana Gold Board (GGB), National Insurance Scheme (NIS), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), face significant challenges in identifying taxpayers for payment records.

Instead of utilizing the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) as required by the Income Tax Act (2019), these agencies rely on names or different reference numbers. This approach EITI said has resulted in inconsistencies and variations in records, leading to inaccuracies in compiling reports revenues received. Moreover, it emphasized that such a practice hampers the accurate identification of taxpayers and active licence holders within the extractive sector.

Further, it noted that the absence of unique identifiers like the TIN, dates of birth, addresses, and national identification numbers poses considerable challenges for the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) in accurately matching records. Consequently, compiling revenues collected by different government agencies from a single taxpayer becomes inaccurate. This limitation it said hinders the materiality analysis, preventing the precise identification of extractive entities that make significant contributions to government revenues. Furthermore, it said it complicates the selection of major stakeholders for reconciliation efforts.

To address these challenges and improve accountability, the EITI report recommended a comprehensive study of Guyana’s existing revenue collection system. This study would aim to identify areas for improvement and efficiency. Specifically, the report proposes the implementation of a unique identification numbering system for all government agencies. This system would standardize the identification process and ensure accurate matching of records. The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) was urged to take the lead in implementing this recommendation, which has the potential to enhance revenue compilation, transparency, and accountability within the extractive sector.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here