Global extractive industries transparency watchdog lifts Guyana’s suspension

Last Updated on Tuesday, 4 July 2023, 21:09 by Denis Chabrol

The Norway-headquartered Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a global watchdog against corruption in Guyana’s oil and gas, mining and quarrying, forestry, and fisheries sectors, has lifted its suspension this country after Guyana met the deadline to submit its 2020 report.

“The Secretariat can confirm that Guyana published its 2020 EITI Report on 30 June 2023. Thus, the condition for lifting the suspension has been met,” EITI said in a brief statement.

EITI’s Board temporarily suspended Guyana on February 1, 2023 for failing to publish its 2020 EITI Report.

That organisation said that in accordance with the EITI Standard, it was agreed that the suspension would be lifted if the EITI Board was satisfied that the outstanding EITI Report was published within six months of the deadline.

The Ministry of Natural Resources said government has already begun working on the 2021 report.

According to that ministry, government would continue to work closely with all stakeholders to strengthen systems, improve reporting mechanisms, and promote the sustainable management of Guyana’s natural resources.

Government hailed the lifting of the suspension as “demonstrating the country’s commitment to transparency and accountability in the extractive industries.” The Ministry pointed out that the report was submitted one month ahead of the deadline due to hard work by a number of stakeholders. “Without compromise, this report’s submission was done one month ahead of its July 30, 2023 deadline — made possible through diligent work done by the Government of Guyana through the Ministry of Natural Resources, the EITI Secretariat and all relevant stakeholders,” the ministry said in a statement.

The Guyana government had blamed mainly civil society activists, Mike Mc Cormack and Vanda Radzik, for inducing the suspension by haggling over the terms of reference for the Independent Administrator, the United Kingdom-headquartered BDO UK, an international network of public accounting, tax and advisory firms- which compiled GYEITI’s previous reports.

In turn, those activists had cited the prolonged absence of the Executive Director of the Guyana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GYEITI), Dr Prem Misir as part of the reason for the delay in getting the report off the ground.