The rule of law – inefficiency and corruption in the export of timber logs to Asia
By Janette Bulkan
In the article ‘The rule of law? – not in the forest sector of Guyana’ published by Stabroek News’ In the Diaspora on Monday 16 January 2012, I outlined the simple ways by which some traders export timber logs illegally. In today’s article, I show some of the inefficiencies in the semi-computerised systems used by the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) and Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), including its Customs and Trade Administration (C&TA). I show also some of the ‘small piece’ payments which lubricate the flow of documents for timber export through the government bureaucracy. And I mention the alleged forest offences for which the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) is imposing undocumented administrative penalties disproportionate to the nature of the alleged offences.
Guyana scores poorly in most international indices on quality of governance including those on ease of doing business. The tradition of numerous government licences to start and operate a business goes back to the post-Independence Burnham regime.
Rationalization of the licensing requirements has been slow during the years of PPP government from 1992. ‘An entrepreneur can expect to go through 8 procedures requiring an average of …..To continue reading, login or subscribe now.