Jul 07, 2017 News
– Foreign panellists stress at local forum
With Guyana now moving to set in place the necessary laws and regulations to govern the emerging oil and gas sector, it’s going to take more than that to stop corruption.
This is the opinion of Vicky McPherson, a Shareholder in the Global Energy & Infrastructure Group and the Africa Practice Group at the international law firm, Greenberg Traurig.
“The most important thing to acknowledge about corruption is that you can have all of the laws and regulations in place, but if you don’t have the leadership and the personal conviction to not steal from the public coffers, none of this matters,” she said.
McPherson was at the time responding to a question posed by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the State Assets Recovery Unit (SARU) Aubrey Heath-Retemyer, on whether there has been any attempt to safely determine the level of involvement of larger countries in corrupting smaller oil-rich states.
This statement would come at a time when Guyana is moving to put in place the necessary laws, policies and regulatory bodies to govern the emerging oil and gas sector. These would include the Local Content Policy, the Sovereign Wealth Fund, and the Petroleum Commission Act, among others.
McPherson, who appeared as a panellist at the “Public Corruption and the Oil Curse” symposium held at Le Meridian Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Georgetown yesterday, told Heath-Retemyer that she is not aware of any “quantifiable” report, and outlined several factors that can prevent corruption from outside sources. These factors, she said, include Civil Society and a Free Press.
“The things that distinguish many developing countries from others in terms of how corrupt their system becomes after the discovery of oil and other natural resources, are those two factors…whether or not civil society is active and vocal of the development of that industry, and whether the press will report what it ultimately will find – if it’s doing its job.”
McPherson said also that citizens have a major role to play in ensuring transparency.
“If the citizens demand transparency, that will go a long way in terms of ensuring that the government and those who benefit from government contracts do not personally benefit to the detriment of Guyana as a whole,” she said.
Echoing McPherson’s view that laws will not be enough to combat corruption was David Holukoff, the Director of Grant Thornton in the British Virgin Islands.
The firm is regarded as the world’s seventh largest professional services network of independent accounting and consulting member firms which provide assurance, tax and advisory services to privately-held businesses, public interest entities, and public sector entities.
“It’s not just about laws, because there is always a loophole…When we’re doing our forensic investigations, it’s about the will and the leadership from the top…and the unwillingness to accept corruption and chase after and get rid of the bad players,” he said.
Apr 22, 2021By Zaheer Mohamed Kaieteur News – Region Six East Berbice Corentyne were crowned champions of the Guyana Police Force Commissioner T20 Cup following an 11-run win over Tactical Service Unit...
Apr 22, 2021
Apr 22, 2021
Apr 22, 2021
Apr 21, 2021
Apr 21, 2021
Kaieteur News – The richest and most absorbing philosophy book – “Being and Time” – that has been written was... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – As undesirable as it may be, governments of Caribbean countries that are not... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]