On December 20, 2019, Guyana became an oil producing nation. In anticipation of first oil, the Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana (GCRG) established, in January 2019, a sovereign wealth fund (SWF), known as the Natural Resource Fund (NRF), for the management of petroleum revenues. Following the rules set out in the NRF Act 2019 can help to safeguard against the resource curse1, as well as ensure that petroleum revenues benefit both current and future generations. In establishing the NRF, GCRG committed to managing the Fund according to the principles of good governance including transparency, and accountability, and international best practices including the Santiago Principles.2 To ensure transparency and accountability, the NRF Act 2019 requires several reports on the NRF to be published, including, but not limited to:
- Reports from the Public Accountability and Oversight Committee, Macroeconomic Committee and Investment Committee;
- Reports on withdrawals from the NRF, to be included in the annual budget proposal and, if needed, in a Supplementary Appropriation Bill;
- Annual reports of the NRF, including audited financial statements;
- Quarterly reports and financial statements of the NRF; and
- Monthly reports of the NRF.
These reports will allow the public to monitor deposits in, and withdrawals from, the NRF so as to ensure that petroleum revenues are being managed according to the provisions of the NRF Act 2019. However, these reports may not contain sufficient information to allow one to determine how government revenues that are deposited into the NRF are calculated. As such, the Report on Petroleum Production and Revenues (RPPR) serves to bridge this gap by providing regular updates on petroleum production and revenues. The regular publication of the RPPR will allow for greater transparency in this new sector of the economy, ensuring that the public is fully aware of the amount of petroleum being produced and revenues being generated. Such transparency is important, given the magnitude of revenues that will be generated from this resource.