– says Chris Ram on Finance Minister Jordan’s response to signing bonus scandal
‘Dangerous’, is the way Chartered Accountant, Chris Ram has described the attitude of Finance Minister, Winston Jordan’s response to the ExxonMobil signing bonus scandal.
Ram said that the only description for this attitude is unmitigated arrogance and a display of ignorance of what constitutes a democracy. He reiterated, “It is more than worrying – it is dangerous.”
Kaieteur News asked Ram if the Government could be forgiven for the manner in which it has chosen to handle this matter, especially with ministers stating that they are not ashamed of what they did.
“This is not a matter of forgiveness. It is not even only one of a sustained pattern of lies and deception by key Ministers over close to 28 months. Under section 85 (a) and (c) of the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act, indictable offences appear to have been committed for which substantial penalties apply.”
“To return to the question, the essential fabric of a government is its relationship with citizens which is grounded in trust and that has been irrecoverably severed. How can anyone be forgiven if they are incapable of remorse, penitence, shame and embarrassment?”
The Chartered Accountant also criticized the money from ExxonMobil which was going into a special account. Ram insisted that the Consolidated Fund is the only and constitutional place where it must go.
It was only a few weeks ago that Ram commended the government on ushering the return of transparency with the promised release of the ExxonMobil oil contract this month. In light of this signing bonus with the USA oil company, Ram said that the administration has revealed its true self and his kudos was premature and misplaced.
Jordan had dismissed signing bonus issue when he addressed the House on Friday last during the budget 2018 debates. He had said that the document which proves that the government is setting up an account at Central Bank to receive the signing bonus from ExxonMobil could have been kept under lock and key.
Jordan said, “Signing bonus seems to be a big issue. I don’t know why they calling it a leak. If we didn’t want a document in the open we would have pressed it under secret and made certain only certain people saw it. But it was open. The letter that was put in today’s (yesterday’s) paper was there since last year…”
The economist added, “Ask yourselves why it suddenly appeared in the papers today (yesterday). We don’t care. If whoever leaked it felt that that is the approach to how government business is done well so be it. It is out there.”
Sep 22, 2018The 2018 Indigenous Heritage Games (IHG) was officially kicked off by Minister of Indigenous Peoples Affairs, Sydney Allicock yesterday morning at the at the Everest Cricket Club (ECC) Ground,...
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