Tomorrow, the National Assembly is set to witness the presentation of several pivotal bills, as disclosed by the Minister of Legal Affairs and Attorney General, Anil Nandlall. These legislative initiatives represent the government’s commitment to modernizing Guyana’s legal landscape in line with the nation’s rapid development.
Among the notable bills scheduled for consideration are the Data Protection Bill, the Electronic Communication and Transaction Bill, the Real Estate Bill, the National Compliance Bill, and the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Amendment Bill.
The Data Protection Bill, which was initially published on April 15, seeks to safeguard individuals’ privacy and regulate the collection, retention, processing, utilization, and dissemination of personal data. In addition, the bill upholds various data protection principles, including fairness and lawfulness of processing, purpose limitation, data minimization, accuracy, integrity, and confidentiality.
The Electronic Communication and Transaction Bill, introduced in 2019, aims to facilitate and regulate secure electronic communications and transactions, ensuring their legal recognition. The bill also endeavors to bolster the legal and business infrastructure required for secure electronic commerce and enhance the efficiency of governance through electronic records and filing of documents.
Completed in April, the Real Estate Bill 2023 encompasses provisions to regulate real estate agents’ operations and functions, establish registration and qualification requirements for real estate agents, and implement a robust reporting mechanism for transactions conducted by real estate agents.
Furthermore, the tabling of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Bill 2023 and the Guyana Compliance Commission Bill 2023 represents a crucial step by the Government to implement outstanding recommendations from the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). These bills aim to rectify identified deficiencies and bolster Guyana’s AML/CFT framework. Of particular focus in the amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering Bill is the empowerment of authorities to forfeit assets and seize proceeds of crime, which will be presented to the National Assembly before the CFATF evaluation in September.
The Attorney General also disclosed that the Single Window Bill, which introduces a single-window electronic processing system to streamline the cumbersome planning process, will make a return to the National Assembly. This system is anticipated to enhance business efficiency, especially in the burgeoning housing and construction industries.
Previously, the Single Window Bill underwent review by a Special Select Committee and is now poised for potential passage tomorrow. As the National Assembly convenes, these pivotal bills hold the promise of transforming and fortifying Guyana’s legislative landscape to align with the nation’s continued progress and growth.