Oct 02, 2022 Editorial
Kaieteur News – What nonsense is this? What is stirring in the heads of those controlling Chinese companies that they could harbour the idea that they could come up with any cock-and-bull cover (‘Chinese firms bidding for gas-to-energy project seek to distance themselves from shady past of affiliated companies’ -KN September 30) to get another fast one over Guyanese and their leaders? The Guyana Government should not give any such defenses (‘seeking to distance’) a hearing, and be rid of these people. Companies that cheat are bad for Guyana, and we already have enough of them. For the biggest project to date, only those corporate entities with a clean track record of doing the right things should show their faces here, and be given consideration for their bids. Those three Chinese should be told to get lost, their bid documents shoveled into the garbage bin. The Wales gas-to-energy project is already riddled with disputes and quarrels, so there is neither time nor place, for matters to be made worse by the presence of companies like these, be they Chinese or from any other country.
We take note that it was not the parent companies that were tarred with the dreaded mark of blacklisted. That said, we still put forward what reasonable people would support. It is that the failures of subsidiaries point a hard finger also at those that own them or exercise significant control over them. In the simplest wording, shifting blacklisting to be neatly limited to any one of the subsidiaries only is an exercise in dodging and disowning. The result in this instance is that it does not help, does not make the case of the parent companies any more wholesome. In fact, we make the point that the distancing of the parent companies from the frauds of their subsidiaries only serves to make matters worse. It would have been better to own up to serious error, and take it on the chin. Like former United States President, Harry Truman, once famously said: “the buck stops here.”
Some things cannot be compartmentalised, which is what these Chinese parent companies are struggling to do with their subsidiaries. The freedom to offer bribes to officials is not assumed by company underlings on their own, but by corporate chiefs with great decision-making power. They know that this is the way to move human and procedural objects out of the way, and get them to see bids a certain way. That is, move them along and make things happen, like project awards. Further, falsifying documents and fraudulent practices do not spring up overnight in the minds of company officers, but are a product of the clever, likely criminal, fashion in which business is conducted, and succeeds.
Some other things also must be said most frankly. Companies from some countries are well known for pushing the envelope all the way into the deep, dark side of wrongdoing, by way of tricks and deceits. In addition, some countries have not paid much attention or, to be more candid, have given short thrift, to cultivating a culture of clean practices. Clean funds, clean books, clean visions, and the clean practices that flow almost reflexively from such foundations are not a high priority. Or as some may insist, not a priority at all. This is where the record can come back to haunt and undermine, with past actions (only the ones found out) a company’s worst witness and a nightmarish enemy.
We at this paper think that only Chinese companies with histories that are spotless should be allowed to participate in the bidding for any part of the Wales GTE project, meaning, the Natural Gas Liquids Plant. Though Guyana has had a worrying linkage with Chinese companies, and unsavoury ones from elsewhere, we still would not paint all of them with the same brush. This is only fair and proper, and that is what we, as Guyanese, insist upon with this costly and controversy shrouded Wales GTE project. It is that we, too, must get what is fair and proper in our projects. It begins and ends with companies that are clean and aboveboard, from their uppermost tier (parent company) to those lower on the organisational chart (subsidiaries).
Exxon has to put up a sign board across the Demerara Harbour Bridge to tell Guyanese what % of revenue we are getting from the Stabroek Block!
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