Local content plans will now be included in bids – Secretariat Head

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As part of efforts to boost local content, the Director of the Local Content Secretariat Martin Pertab says that companies will have to show how they plan to utilise Guyanese goods and services when submitting bids for projects.

The new Local Content law provides increased benefits for Guyanese nationals and companies in the oil and gas sector, regulating how foreign companies should operate here.

As per the law, a Local Content Secretariat has to be set up to develop and maintain a Local Content Register of Guyanese nationals for employment and Guyanese companies from which goods and services may be procured.

And Pertab, who was recently appointed the Director, said that the secretariat has been working assiduously to institute the various provisions detailed in the new law.

At the sidelines of the International Energy Conference at the Marriott Hotel in Kingston, Georgetown on Wednesday, he told the News Room that new bid evaluation and procurement guidelines have been crafted.

And already, some companies have been engaged on the updated guidelines. The updated guidelines, Pertab noted, includes a focus on ensuring that companies indicate their local content plan for the projects they are interested in working on.

“So by virtue of that, local content will be included in all projects going forward,” Pertab highlighted.

For context, the law states that local content refers to the monetary value of inputs from the supply of goods or the provision of services by Guyanese nationals or Guyanese companies and includes local capacity development through knowledge transfer.

And the law does detail that contractors, sub-contractors, and licensees must submit procurement plans that cater for the inclusion of Guyanese nationals and companies.

Pertab explained, however, that the secretariat will only be monitoring these updated procurement plans and not awarding contracts. He was also keen to point out that before these guidelines were rolled out, companies were duly consulted.

The body has also been empowered to investigate companies, guaranteeing that the plans and commitments to local content that they have provided are indeed accurate.

“The Act empowers us to investigate, request any information whether confidential or not,” Pertab stressed.

The Local Content law, which has been the subject of robust discussions between the government, the local private sector and other stakeholders, was enacted on the last day of 2021. (Vishani Ragobeer)

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