The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (Part II)

This column has been hesitant to comment on the recent visit to the Houston headquarters of ExxonMobil by five Ministers of the Government, the Petroleum Advisor to the President and two staff members of the Ministry of Natural Resources, until the fact are known as to the purpose for the trip and the source of funding. We now know that the purpose was to obtain an update on progress being made by the U.S. oil giant in relation to the extraction of crude oil in Guyana’s waters and that the trip was funded by ExxonMobil.

Several concerns arise from the above disclosures. First, both the Government and ExxonMobil should have been aware that it is highly inappropriate from an ethical and moral standpoint for latter to fund the trip. The agreement with ExxonMobil is in the nature of a procurement contract, and our Procurement Act prohibits the acceptance of gifts and other favours from suppliers/contractors. Such acceptance has the potential of influencing decisions in favour of suppliers/contractors, hence a potential conflict of interest. Additionally, the Integrity Commission Act has a schedule of Code of Conduct that prohibits the acceptance of gifts and other favours. The Code has since been revised and gazetted but the related amendments to the Act are yet to be tabled in the National Assembly.

Second, in an apparent attempt at damage control, Government officials have indicated that the cost of the trip will be included in Exxon’s investment to be recovered against revenue when production begins in 2020. This explanation should be rejected since the U.S. oil giant’s investment cannot include expenditure incurred on behalf of the Government of Guyana. A competent and independent auditor is more than likely to reject such an expenditure as a charge to Exxon in its books. This practice can also open the floodgates for all sorts of government expenditure to be incurred and included in Exxon’s investment.

Third, there is ….


Second revisit of the procurement of drugs and medical supplies

Last Wednesday, the cities of San Francisco and Oakland in California filed separate lawsuits against five oil companies – ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP and Royal Dutch Shell –  seeking compensation to protect them against rising sea levels which they blame on climate change.

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The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (Final)

You can see the effects of climate change and scientists have clearly said what path we have to follow…All of us have a responsibility, all of us, small or large, a moral responsibility.

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The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

(Part III) Climate change is no longer an issue of the future. It is here and is staring at us as we witnessed the catastrophic effects of Hurricane Harvey that descended upon Houston, Texas, causing damage estimated at US$90 billion and a death toll of at least 70.

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The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

A country’s natural resources, such as oil, gas, metals and minerals, belong to its citizens.

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Revisiting the Georgetown metered parking project

Where public resources are concerned or where the public interest is involved, there must be the highest degree of transparency in relation to the actions of both elected and non-elected public officials.

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