Nov 24, 2022 News
Kaieteur News – Following the recent announcement by the World Bank that they have disbarred a Spanish consultant for corrupt practices in a Guyana US$20 million project which was to improve the country’s oil and gas management capabilities – the Government of Guyana (GoG) on Wednesday disclosed that they had terminated the services of the consultant since September 2020.
The World Bank disbarment means that the consultant, Carlos Barberán Diez, a Spanish national, and his controlled affiliates, AC Oil & Gas SL and AC Oil & Gas Emirates LLC, are ineligible to participate in projects and operations financed by the bank for the next three year. The APNU+AFC Coalition had secured the US$20 million loan to improve the country’s oil and gas management capacity under the project title “Petroleum Resources Governance and Management Project.”
The project which was launched in 2019 was created to support the enhancement of legal and institutional frameworks and the strengthening of the capacity of key institutions to manage the oil and gas sector in Guyana. The Ministry of Natural Resources in their press statement highlighted that the consultant was hired by the previous administration and explained that on January 31, 2020, Barberán Diez was awarded the contract to provide consultancy services under the portfolio of ‘Natural Gas Negotiations Specialist’.
It was further explained that the consultancy came into effect on February 3, 2020, and the objectives of this assignment were to provide advisory services and technical support towards the establishment of a natural gas negotiations function within the then-defunct Department of Energy under the Ministry of the Presidency.
However, owing to the consultant’s conflicts of interest and solicitation, his contract was terminated on September 13, 2020, the government noted.
On November 16, 2022, the World Bank had announced the debarment with conditional release of Barberán Diez in connection with a corrupt practice as part of a Guyanese US multi-million project. It was disclosed that in 2020, Barberán Diez approached four consulting companies involved in Guyana’s oil and gas sector and used his position in the project to directly offer his services and solicit future payments from each of these companies. “In exchange, he offered to influence procurement processes under the project in their favour. Although INT [Integrity Vice Presidency] found no evidence of payments made to Barberán Diez by any of these companies, such a solicitation constitutes a corrupt practice under the World Bank’s Procurement Regulations and Anti-Corruption Guidelines,” the World Bank said.
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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