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…media, fiscal managers, public procurement officers, to be trained in transparency in public procurement
The United States (US) Embassy in Guyana has announced a Notice of Funding Opportunity for Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) to participate in a project to strengthen the capacity of the Government of Guyana to improve the transparency of the fiscal management of natural resource funds used for public infrastructure projects.
A grant for up to $100,000 USD will be awarded through the Department’s Fiscal Transparency Innovation Fund (FTIF). The period of performance is 12 months while the deadline for applications is Monday, June 21, 2021. Notification of project approval and award signing is expected by September 2021.
According to the project background, Guyana, the third poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere but sits atop a vast and largely untapped wealth of natural resources. The document states that explosive growth in extractive industries — including an offshore discovery of at least 9 billion barrels of recoverable oil and gas reserves since 2015 — has poised Guyana for transformational development.
By 2025, it is expected that Guyana will be on track to earn more than a billion dollars in annual revenues from its offshore production. It is public knowledge that the Guyana Government intends to use some of its natural resources revenues to fund public infrastructure projects, particularly roads, bridges, and airports.
However, it was pointed out: “…managing revenues from these natural resources for the benefit of all Guyanese has proven an immense challenge for the country’s government. In spite of legislation, weak internal controls and a lack of inter-agency cooperation make the fiscal management of procurement funds susceptible to misuse and the public procurement process vulnerable to unfair dealings.”
As such, the goal of the project is to strengthen the capacity of the Government to improve the transparency of the fiscal management of natural resource funds used for public infrastructure projects.
To achieve this, the project will focus on the following objectives: increase Government’s capacity to transparently process tenders for public contracts which are funded from the natural resources fund, and build the capacity of the news media to more effectively engage the Government in the transparent formulation and oversight of public procurement contracts and management of public procurement funds.
Activities expected include consultation with the Attorney General, Minister of Finance, the Public Procurement Commission, National Procurement and Tender Administration, and other relevant government organizations.
There will also be the development of a handbook of standard operating procedures for the transparent management of the public procurement process based on a consolidation of local laws and practices. The handbook will be used to train government fiscal managers, public procurement officers, and the news media in the standard operating procedures for fairness and transparency in public procurement.