Jagdeo says SARA too biased to probe PPP/C oil block awards

-open to review by independent firm

Bharrat Jagdeo

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo yesterday said the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) will support an investigation of the award of several oil blocks shortly before the 2015 general elections once it is led by an internationally recognised firm and not the State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA), which it believes is biased.

“If you want to do an investigation, do the investigation, we will support it, but hire an impartial firm to do it. It can’t be SARA. SARA is not impartial… The PPP has nothing to hide…I am not worried,” Jagdeo told a press conference he hosted yesterday at his Church Street, Georgetown office.

“For any investigation into oil and gas contracts, the award of contracts, what took place at the negotiations, etcetera, for that investigation to have credibility, you cannot have SARA do it. You have to have an international organisation that has a well-known record of established transparency,” he added.

New York-based Bloomberg News last week revealed that SARA Director Professor Clive Thomas had confirmed that an investigation was launched into the awards of the blocks. Thomas subsequently told this newspaper that it was specific information from several “whistleblowers” that sparked the investigation, which began close to a year ago, into the issuance of about 20 oil exploration licences here…..

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