An enormous number of sinecures have been created by the administration over the past decade. Some of these have been within identifiable ministries, agencies and departments. Others were not so easily identifiable, being hidden within the bulk allocations of the above. The utilization and control of these were always under the aegis of the political directorate or party in power.
If enough research and adequate investigations are conducted many of the contingencies fund advances would reveal several inappropriate expenditures being a significant part of the party’s political propaganda machinery. That machinery took various forms such as outreaches and unbudgeted gifts to communities which the administration wanted to influence.
There have been several acts of omission as well as acts of commission. I referred in my earlier contribution to the Synergy agreement with Motilall which indicated both aspects. In that agreement it seems evident that the administration was compelled to compensate Motilall for his efforts in introducing the main contractor in spite of warnings from individuals and organizations. The administration was told that there was no proof of Synergy’s performance on any similar contract in the United States or elsewhere as claimed by them. Because of what has since occurred, I suggest that it may be instructive to examine the contract to see whether the following were enshrined therein:
A clause dealing with the bonding of the contractor in terms of the entire contract payment or part thereof.
What was the link between the mobilization advance and the assets or equipment the contractor was obliged to have on the ground at the time of payment of such advance.
What was the arbitration clause in terms of a fracture or non-performance , inclusive of protection of the contractor for non-payment by the administration based on the contractor’s performance
The last of these would have established a level playing field for both parties and such a clause should probably include the element for arbitration under the rules of the International Chambers of Commerce or similar international rules as well as under the laws of Guyana.
In the fiasco with Synergy I have not read any media report about an intervention by the administration before the courts for non-performance. I have however read of an approach by the contractor to the High Court by way of a writ in which the contractor succeeded and had an order to remove equipment from the site. Surely if the mobilization advance by the state purchased the equipment and this was permitted under what appears to be an incestuous agreement there should have been some addendum to the contract or a side letter speaking to such agreement to protect what was more or less the state asset for the execution of this contract. In this fallout it is reported that the administration had to post police guards in order to regain state control of the relevant equipment. This act now appears to be in defiance of the court order. This act in itself may come to haunt us in our relationship with other international investors. Insidious and incestuous relationships can only lead to the outcomes we are experiencing.
Several utterances and promises have been made over decades of the need to examine, amend, revise and or rewrite our constitution and I submit hereunder a panel of jurists Parliament may wish to consider to assist the nation in these efforts. The panel comprises of the following persons : Mr. Brynmor Pollard, Dr. Barton Scotland, Dr. Bertrand Ramcharan, Dr. Fenton Ramsahoye, and Dr. Mohammed Shahabudeen. These gentlemen are eminently qualified to deal with these tasks with the level of urgency they deserve. I do not consider myself a male chauvinist but I believe that these gentlemen with their collective experiences could readily advise Parliament and the nation on the tasks at hand. We are perched on a precipice, let us not fall into the valley especially since many of our leaders are trying to whip up racial sentiment detrimental to our national unity and wellbeing. We are flooded on all sides and parliament should be seized with the urgency of our needs and do not allow the nation to falter.
Henry O. Bovell