It is most unfortunate that Guyana has been suspended from EITI (Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative). EITI is touted as the global standard to promote the open and accountable management of oil, gas, and mineral resources. Member countries file reports on management (sales and revenues) of resources.
Blame game is going around on Guyana’s suspension from the body. That will not change the status of the local unit of EITI affiliation with the international body. Ultimately, local administration of EITI and the government are responsible for the status of the entity. Instead of saying who is at fault, every effort must be made to restore good standing of Guyana in EITI. That can only be achieved with co-operation from all stakeholders and the present national coordinator Dr. Prem Misir (if he still is – reports indicate he has been missing in action). Assistance should be sought from the previous NC, Dr. Rudy Jadoopat, to help restore Guyana’s accreditation in EITI.
Both Drs. Misir and Jadoopat are very competent in management and paperwork; Misir is known to be a prolific writer though not in the field of EITI. Jadoopat is very experienced in the EITI area having worked three years as coordinator and completing necessary paperwork to gain accreditation for Guyana – a major accomplishment for which he must be recognized. Guyana met annual standards under his watch. Dr. Misir is a management specialist; it is not clear why the paperwork was not completed timely. Since this is a new venture for Guyana, Jadoopat should be approached to lend a helping hand.
The President is commended for publicly announcing a commitment to do everything possible to restore Guyana’s standing (accreditation) in the global body. He (as Presidential candidate) and the ruling PPP ran on a promise to be open and transparent in governance. Accountability and transparency are critical for good governance and responsible management of extractive natural resources. The local arm of EITI and the government should never have allowed Guyana to fall short of EITI standards. Now that it has unexpectedly happened, regardless of who is at fault, everyone should work collaboratively and expeditiously to address the problems that need resolution. EITI accreditation is an extremely important recognition; continued suspension will negatively impact Guyana’s nascent mineral and energy industries. Loans and investments as well as purchase of Guyana’s resources could be affected
Guyana must do all that is required to regain EITI accreditation!
*Dr. Bisram studies International Economics and Development