National, News

Kiir separates ministerial powers

By Charles K Mark


President Salva Kiir Mayardit issued a presidential order on Wednesday evening separating the powers of the Minister, Undersecretary, and Director General in the ministry of petroleum.

The head of state exercised powers vested on him in pursuance to the provisions of Articles 97, 3 and 106, 4b of the transitional constitution as amended and based on the recommendation of the Minister of Petroleum to clearly separate roles.

According to the presidential order, the institutional reforms are to ensure transparent, accountable, efficient, and effective provision of services to the oil and gas sector.

Paragraph 5 of ministerial orders number RSS MPM J-O-M 02-20 16, dated February 16, 2016, on the functions, powers, and duties of the Director General of the Petroleum Authority were also revoked.

The order then equipped the Minister of Petroleum to provide leadership in public affairs to achieve the policy objectives of the national government with respect to petroleum resources.

The minister is also expected to collaborate and establish good working relations within the ministry and with other relevant line ministries, including counterparts from other countries.

“Perform any public or political role as may be required by law or delegation on behalf of the government, signing a negotiated oil and gas agreement with oil and gas companies that are willing to invest in the oil sector of South Sudan upon approval of the National Oil and Gas Commission,” the order explained.

Meanwhile, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Petroleum, being the Chief Accounting Officer of the Ministry, is directed to ensure effective use of the resources budgeted under the ministry and grant approval to the budgets of the joint operating companies in a timely manner upon recommendation of the Budget Committee.

The undersecretary is also responsible for the day-to-day management and administration of the Ministry of Petroleum.

“Coordinate and handle communications between the Ministry of Petroleum and the oil and gas operating companies and ensure timely feedback to the operating companies,” Kiir directed the undersecretary.

According to the presidential order, the undersecretary will also chair the Committee for Marketing and Sale of government entitlements to crude oil in accordance with international best practices and the law and thereafter issue the final letter of award to the successful bidder.

He or she will also ensure that the procurement of goods and services by oil operating companies is compliant with open, transparent, nondiscriminatory, and competitive tendering procedures.

This includes adherence to the local content requirements where appropriate and thereafter granting approval in a timely manner.

The Director General or petroleum authority is responsible for the day-to-day petroleum operations in the oil-producing areas.

He or she is mandated to coordinate with the Undersecretary on the development of petroleum infrastructure, such as transportation, processing, and refining.


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