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Guyana’s temporary suspension from EITI, responsables will be held accountable: Pres. Ali – Kaieteur News

Guyana’s suspension from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) unacceptable – Prsesident Ali

President Mohamed Irfaan Ali
President Mohamed Irfaan Ali (Kaieteur)

Kiana Willburg, Kaieteur News

Energiesnet.com 02 24 2023

 President, Dr. Irfaan Ali has vowed to expose and hold accountable, those individuals who are responsible for the country’s temporary suspension from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

In a video statement released yesterday, the Head of State said his government is committed to upholding the tenets of transparency and accountability, adding that no effort will be spared to bring the country in line with its reporting requirements.

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 fiscal year January 2020-December 2020. It said too that the deadline for the publication of the outstanding report remains December 31, 2022.

However, Ali in his address stated that the country has an extension for submission in May 2023 from the EITI Secretariat. He pledged that this would be met. The Head of State also shared his understanding of the root cause for the suspension. Ali said: “I have made it clear that it is unacceptable to have a delay in the submission of the report. Notwithstanding, the fact that an extension was given by the EITI secretariat for it to be completed by May this year we still should have been in a position to have the report submitted.”

Aside from the fact that all reporting countries were given an extension in 2019 as a result of the pandemic, and in Guyana’s case, extensive floods that obstructed data collection, Ali said he will not tolerate delays in the presentation and submission of the nation’s report. Further to this understanding of the reasons for delay and subsequent suspension, Ali said an independent administrator was hired to work on the report but the Terms of Reference (ToR) for the consultant was held up by the Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) which consists of members of civil society, government representatives and industry players. He said the MSG’s approval was 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.”

Be that as it may, he added, “I am pleased to say this has been sorted and the work on completing the report will be done expeditiously, long in advance of the extended period that was approved by the EITI Secretariat. Ali said the irresponsibility displayed in missing the deadline is unacceptable and would not reoccur. He said, “Persons will be exposed and held accountable.”

On 28 April 2022, Guyana was also found to have achieved a fairly low overall score (52 points) in implementing the 2019 EITI Standard. The Validation Report outlines the full assessment of Guyana’s compliance. It is based on extensive stakeholder consultations and a review of three templates namely “Outcomes and impact”, “Stakeholder engagement” and “Transparency”. The Board decision, including corrective actions needed before Guyana’s next Validation, is published in the decisions register.

Validation is the EITI’s quality assurance mechanism to assess implementing countries on their ability to meet the provisions of the EITI Standard. The Validation of Guyana commenced on October 1, 2021. A public call for stakeholder views was issued on September 1, 2021. Stakeholder consultations were held virtually on October 11-29, 2021. The draft Validation report was finalised on December 6, 2021. Following comments from the Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) January 31, 2022, the Validation report was finalised for consideration by the EITI Board.

kaieteurnewsoinline.com 02 23 2023

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