Gov’t officer had tendered resignation prior to going on Exxon trip

A member of the government contingent to ExxonMobil’s Houston, Texas headquarters had tendered her resignation from the Natural Resources Ministry one month prior to the visit.

Technical Officer at the Ministry of Natural Resources, Teresa Gaime was part of the eight-member delegation, which included five government ministers, which attended an annual partnership meeting with ExxonMobil at its Houston, Texas Campus from August 10 to August 11 of this year.

Apart from Gaime the delegation comprised Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman, Foreign Affairs Minister Ministers Carl Greenidge, Finance Minister Winston Jordan, Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson, Business Minister Dominic Gaskin, Presidential Advisor Dr. Jan Mangal, and Guyana Energy Agency technical officer Kiran Mattai.

ExxonMobil has said that the meetings provided exploration, project development and local content updates as well as capacity building and technical training hosted by officials of the ExxonMobil Development Co. and Exxon-Mobil Gas and Power Marketing Co.

Government has been criticised for allowing the United States oil giant to pay for the trip, with former Auditor General Anand Goolsarran calling the move improper while urging that the Guyana government reimburse the company.

Gaime’s participation is now attracting attention in light of her having already tendered her resignation from the post at the ministry before going on the trip.

Sources told Stabroek News that Gaime tendered her resignation in early July of this year, giving the Ministry of Natural Resources three months’ notice as per requirement of her terms of employment.

“My issue is she should have never go (sic) to Texas as a technical officer for oil,” one source said.

“She knew that she was leaving the job and still went on the trip in the capacity of technical officer. Why? Why didn’t the ministry send someone who would later benefit from all the skills and training they said they had?” a member of civil society questioned.

Stabroek News reached out to Gaime for a comment but calls to her phone were not immediately returned.

Gaime is said to be working for a consultancy, Dochas Consulting.

The consultancy office was also called yesterday and a female informed that Gaime “is not available at this time.”

While this newspaper was not able to establish when the consultancy was formed, its website has a 2015 copyright and lists a range of services it provides. “Dochas Consulting is a social enterprise that provides professional and consultancy services to governments, businesses, and international organizations seeking to establish and grow businesses, increase community resilience, decrease disaster risk, and build economic and social foundations across the Caribbean. Our team works in the international development and business, disaster risk management, social development and education sectors. We provide project management (including monitoring and evaluation), policy development and review, training, and analytical services. We are au fait with results-based management, have an in-depth and first hand understanding of donor policies and approaches, and serve as local focal points for your businesses and projects,” it states.

“Dochas Consulting is based in Guyana, with networks across the Caribbean and headed by a team with a proven record of delivering complex, multi-million, multi-country initiatives. It was born of a commitment from two young women to contribute to the development of their country and region, who returned home having qualified themselves academically in the US and UK and gained considerable experience in the international development and government sectors,” it adds.

The company states that it is also passionate about working with vulnerable women and girls and that it provides mentors, builds skills sets, and seeks to create safe spaces for young girls in the formal Child Protection System in Guyana.

“Being of service to others is at the heart of who we are, and so our work with vulnerable girls is a key part of what we do. We are thus giving of our time and using our talents to support the girls with whom we work, and have further committed to contributing at least 5% of all revenue earned doing consultancies to help expand our work with and support of vulnerable girls in Guyana,” the company’s profile notes.

Gaime is listed as an Executive Associate of the company and her profile is also listed.

“Teresa Gaime is a dedicated, service-oriented young woman who seeks in every area of her work to ensure that the client’s best interest is the paramount consideration. She has spent most of her working years in high level positions advancing the rights of children and families, and enabling their empowerment,” it says.

“Knowledge and skills of psychology, situational analysis, monitoring and managing development projects, and issues in local and international politics, social development and human rights were gained through both her undergraduate and graduate studies in international relations and social policy and development respectively. Tremendous practical depth has been added to her knowledge over the years and she is, without question, highly proficient in leadership, teamwork, human resource management, capacity building and networking,” it further states.

“A consummate professional with the academic acumen to support her skills, she has aided the development of Child Protection policies in Guyana, advanced ideas for parenting education, coordinated national public awareness campaigns on social issues, and spearheaded the management of three Childcare Institutions for six years. Her passion for finding solutions to social issues including gender-based violence, youth empowerment and education has guided her affiliation to a number of non-governmental and community-based organisations over the years. Believing firmly that knowledge gained is only valuable when shared and that we each have a social responsibility to the most vulnerable amongst us, volunteerism has remained a hallmark in Ms. Gaime’s life,” it adds.

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