May 13, 2017 News
By Kiana Wilburg
May 11, last, marked two years since the APNU+AFC coalition assumed office. With this in mind, a number of critics believe that the time is opportune for Guyanese to reflect on how far they have come from being engulfed in the
darkest days of corruption.
Specifically speaking to this point recently was head of Transparency Institute Guyana Incorporated (TIGI), Dr. Troy Thomas.
Dr. Thomas said that when one compares the period under the PPP and now, it is clear that Guyana has emerged from the “poisonous shadow of corruption” and has moved on to “the brink of an anti-corruption era”.
The anti-corruption advocate said that Guyanese have seen some important steps being made by the Government in an effort to show that it intends to move the nation forward. He said that this can be seen in Government’s move to establish a State Asset Recovery Agency (SARA) and ensuring that legislation has been passed to support it.
Thomas said, “I don’t necessarily think that the SARA Bill is perfect. There have been criticisms by some, and this was not reflected in the final draft of the Bill. Nevertheless, the initiative is an excellent one. TIGI focuses on stamping out corruption and SARA represents an important step where that is concerned, so I think it is an important achievement. I hope that they give all the support that is needed to ensure that it is properly set up.”
The TIGI head also said that compared to the era under the PPP, the current government has set itself apart by leaps and bounds, showing that it is willing to investigate allegations of corruption.
“Over the last year, we have seen a commendable effort on the part of the government to show that it has the willingness to be an administration with a difference, and really try to move the nation in a direction of anti-corruption.”
Dr. Thomas noted, however, that as the Government makes an effort to move the country forward, it must also not see itself as being removed from the standards it is setting for others.
In this regard, he said that one cannot overlook the Sussex Street storage bond deal.
“If we are talking about changing our attitude towards corruption and bringing a culture of anti-corruption, then that deal is one we cannot shy away from. We have to look at it. It makes you wonder how we are selecting what issues we are going after. Because, the selection of which issues you go after could also be deemed as corrupt. I am not saying that it is, but this is an important factor to consider.”
Be that as it may, Dr. Thomas also praised the Government for pushing consultations on the Code of Conduct for Ministers and other officials.
“We made some comments on the draft code of conduct. And there is still left to be seen what changes will go into the final document. But even the code of conduct has been languishing for quite some time. And if we are really serious about it, we would not rush it, but we would be eager to get it done.”
Dr. Thomas said that while Guyanese would have seen a number of great things being done by the Government, there remains room for much more improvement.
He concluded, “In spite of our skepticism, we can’t deny the fact that some good things have happened when it comes to the Government trying to remove Guyana from those very dark, dark days of corruption. What it has accomplished in two years in this regard, is commendable.”
DECEPTION & CORRUPTION getting WORSE by the minute in GUYANA.
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