Last week, the Open Government Partnership held its 6th Global Summit 2019 in Ottawa, Canada. It brought together governments, civil society and academia to examine responses to emerging threats to democracy. Three priorities have been identified: participation, inclusion and impact. According to José María Marin of Transparency International, ‘the quest for greater inclusion must go hand-in-hand with robust anti-corruption measures. Corruption, if unattended, will undermine efforts to make governments more participatory and inclusive’. Marin identified three ways in which civil society and governments can fight corruption and at the same time promote inclusion:
– Make information on beneficial ownership of companies open to all;
– Ensure that politicians work for all and not only for some; and
– Strengthen the voices of the unrepresented, especially those of women.
For further details, please refer to article at https://voices.transparency.org/ogp-summit-fighting-corruption-and-promoting-inclusion-this-is-how-b9172fcd8264.
The Government has indicated that the signing bonus of US$18 million received from ExxonMobil’s subsidiaries has since been paid over to the Consolidated Fund. There was no official announcement at the time the money was transferred more than two years after it was deposited into a special account at the Bank of Guyana. Neither the State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA) nor the Transparency Institute Guyana Inc. (TIGI) appeared to have been aware of the transfer, based on statements they have issued recently. Nonethe-less, this is good news for those who over the years have fought so hard to ensure strict adherence to the constitutional provision requiring ‘all revenues or other moneys raised or received by Guyana’ to be paid into the Consolidated Fund. Section 38(1) of the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act offers no discretion in relation to the timing of any payment to the Fund since it uses the words ‘fully and promptly’. We must now move to the next stage and arrange for the renegotiation of the agreement with Exxon to enable Guyana to obtain a better deal for the exploitation of its oil resources for the benefit of all of its citizens, as belaboured in several of our previous articles…..