The National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC) has submitted 2 crucial oil sector draft bills to the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.
They are the Petroleum Act and the Petroleum Revenue Management amendment bills.
Gichira Kibara, NCAC Chairperson presented the two documents to Minister Ruben Madol Arol Kachuol in Juba on Tuesday.
The NCAC is mandated by the 2018 revitalized peace agreement to draft, review and complete amendments of various legislations to bring them in conformity with the peace deal.
Mr. Kibara said the oil sector laws have been reviewed to strengthen transparency and accountability.
He stated that this is to ensure “those who are investing in the production of petroleum can be held accountable for any activities of pollution or any damaged to the communities where they carry out the activities [and to] ensure that the public benefits from the activities of the petroleum sector.”
The NCAC boss also mentioned that the two draft bills have tightened the bolts on how oil money shall be channelled into public cauffers, rather than individual bank accounts, and to prioritize the health of communities in oil-producing areas.
“To ensure that there is no pollution, the environment is protected, the rights of the communities who lives in the petroleum areas are protected and that the revenue coming from the petroleum industry is properly managed and not diverted from the account for the revenue management in the central bank,” he added.
The Minister of Petroleum said the bills have also clearly stipulated the mandates of relevant public institutions dealing in the management of oil and its proceeds.
“In terms of strengthening the role of the ministry in overseeing the whole sector, we have made changes to ensure that everybody within the petroleum sector accounts to the Minister of Petroleum,” Puot Kang stated.
In June, Minister Puot raised concerns over the management of oil revenues – especially the overlapping role of the Nile Petroleum Cooperation.
The NCAC is authorized by the peace deal to draft and complete the Constitutional Amendment Bill, relevant national security legislations and any other reforms relevant to the peace agreement.
The body disclosed that it is currently working on amending the Election Act.