Before beginning today’s article, two issues raised recently in the print media are worthy of comment: the extension of Baishanlin’s State Forest Exploratory Permit (SFEP); and the Presidential Inauguration expenditure.
There must be no compromise on integrity, no allowance for arrogance, no room for violation of mutual respect; there will be no sacrifice of our values on the altar of political expediency…No one is exempt from the measure of value based leadership…All my considerations are character driven.
Last week, we began a discussion of the Auditor General’s 2014 report which was laid in the National Assembly two Thursdays ago.
It was recently drawn to my attention that I had made a mistake in a number of my articles when making reference to the Public Corporation Act of 1988 and that there was an amendment to the Act which I did not take into account.
Corruption is an insidious plague that has a wide range of corrosive effects on society.
Before proceeding with today’s column, the recently announced 50% increase in the salaries of Ministers has created, quite justifiably, a tsunami of criticisms and condemnation from all sections of the Guyanese society.
Before proceeding with today’s article, a few days ago, it was reported that Transparency International released its Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2014.
Last week’s article on the role of the Permanent Secretary and Regional Executive Officers (REOs) in our system of public financial management generated some positive reactions.
With the change in administration following the May 11, 2015 national and regional elections, several Perma-nent Secretaries and Regional Executive Officers (REOs) have either been replaced or have resigned because they were candidates for the opposition political party.
Last week, the Institute of Internal Auditors Local Chapter held a two-day workshop/seminar under the theme, “Transparent Governance (Accountability for Public Funds; Internal Audit Impact in Financial Integrity).
As the announcement came that the Government has agreed to introduce a river taxi service across the Berbice River, I could not help but reminisce about the time when the Transport and Harbours Department was operating a ferry service from Rosignol to New Amsterdam.
(Part II) Last Monday, the National Assembly resolved itself into the Committee of Supply to consider the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for 2015.
Following the Minister of Finance’s presentation of the 2015 Budget on 10 August 2015, the National Assembly began a week-long general debate on the budget speech, as provided for by Section 71 of the Standing Orders of the National Assembly.
Last Monday, the Minister of Finance presented the 2015 Budget to the National Assembly in keeping with the requirements of Article 219 (3) of the Constitution.
Last week, we discussed the Government’s decision to pay over all proceeds from the Lotto funds to the Consolidated Fund.
According to news reports, the Minister of Governance, Raphael Trotman, announced that the proceeds of the “Lotto Fund” will be paid directly into the Consolidated Fund and that the Minister of Finance would issue the relevant order soon.
Last week article’s generated quite a discussion in the media and elsewhere. We did indicate that several key items in the plan will have to await the approval by the National Assembly of the 2015 Budget.
Today marks the 70th day since Guyana held its 2015 national and regional elections.
Today’s article focuses on three events that made the news during last week.
Last Friday, there was a launching of my book entitled “Public Accountability at the Crossroads: the Guyana Experience” under the auspices of the Transparency Institute Guyana Inc.
Last Friday, the National Assembly approved of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Bill 2015 which had been the subject of bitter disagreement since 2012 between the previous Administration and the then political Opposition.
The new Administration has announced that it is reviewing the performance and efficiency of publicly owned entities, statutory bodies, projects and activities financed by or through public funds.
Last Wednesday saw the opening of the eleventh Parliament of Guyana with the much-welcome fanfare, pomp and ceremony, following the 11 May 2015 national and regional elections.
Reports emanating from the Office of the Presidency indicated that several persons have had their contracts terminated for blogging and fictitious letter-writing in the print media on behalf of the then ruling party.
Last week, we carried our first article since the new Administration took up office following the 11 May 2015 national and regional elections.
Monday, 11 May 2015, was a historic day for Guyana, as citizens across the length and breadth of Guyana came out in their numbers to cast their votes for the political parties of their choice.
This column joins the several individuals and organisations, including the diplomatic community, in congratulating the APNU-AFC coalition on winning the 2015 general and regional elections.
Today is Election Day. It is the sincere hope of this column that peace will prevail in an atmosphere free of fear or intimidation, as citizens proceed to cast their votes for the political parties of their choice.
This is the fourth part of a series of articles on public financial management in Guyana’s post-Independence period.
This is the third article in a four-part series on the above subject.
About a week ago, the ruling party placed an advertisement in the Kaieteur News highlighting an article in the Guyana Chronicle dating back to November 1992.
Last week, we began a discussion of Guyana’s public financial management systems in both the pre-1992 and post-1992 periods.
Guyana has had a sad history of public accountability since it attained its Independence.
The head of NICIL, Mr. Winston Brassington announced that the Marriott Hotel will open its doors next month.
So far, we have carried two articles on the Administration’s efforts to access $3 billion from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) to accelerate its housing programme in an apparent attempt to secure a political advantage in the run-up to the national elections.
We must set our face sternly against corruption and extravagance. We cannot have a Cadillac style living with donkey cart economies.
Last week, we discussed the Court ruling on the excess expenditure of $4.554 billion that the Minister of Finance had authorised without prior parliamentary approval.
Last Friday, two news items caught my eyes. The first was the Chief Justice’s ruling that the Minister of Finance violated the Constitution by authorising withdrawals from the Consolidated Fund without parliamentary approval, thereby causing excess expenditure totalling $4.554 billion to be incurred during the first half of 2014.
Before we begin our final in a four-part series on the above subject, I refer to the comments of the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on our two recent articles on the Fibre Optic Cable Project.
Last week, we began a discussion of our country’s performance on governance, transparency and accountability in 2014.
Last year around this time, we carried three consecutive articles entitled “Governance, Transparency and Accountability: Priorities for 2014”.
Last week, we began a discussion of the Government’s ICT programme which effectively commenced in 2010.
Good and honourable intentions, vigorously pursued to finality, are more likely to produce the desired outcomes.
Last week, we discussed the 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index which rated Guyana at 124 out of 175 countries surveyed with a score of 30 out of 100, the lowest in the Caribbean, except for Haiti.
Democracy and accountability are the twin sides of the same coin. Democracy facilitates accountability which in turn facilitates development.
On 29 November 2014, the Government announced a five per cent increase in the wages and salaries for public servants earning in excess of $50,000 per month and an eight per cent increase for those earning less than $50,000, retroactive to 1 January 2014.
Last week, we discussed the reason the President cited for proroguing Parliament as his belief that the Parliamentary Opposition wanted to disrupt Government’s business by forcing a debate on their no confidence motion.
So the President has made good his threat to prorogue Parliament! He suspended the proceedings of the House for an unspecified period, although constitutionally a prorogation cannot exceed six months.
Some years ago, when I was at the Audit Office, a letter was mistakenly sent to the Attorney General.
This is our third in a series of articles on the above subject.