Latest update May 31st, 2023 3:04 PM
Mar 29, 2023 Features / Columnists, News, The GHK Lall Column
Kaieteur News – What did businessman, banker, consultant, auditor Mr. Floyd Haynes and his auditor team do? What did this Guyanese brother do to the PPP Government and Exxon? Where did he and his group of auditors put matters, left matters, that there is this telling void of space and silence hanging, months passing?
Disclaimers first. I know nothing, have no special intelligence. Discernments come from assembling the pieces in this fascinating Guyanese canvas. Call it intuition; or the mosaic theory gained from association with the Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA) program. I call it commonsense. I continue with this audit of Exxon’s billions billed to Guyana. All Guyanese-PPP, PNC, AFC, and the others-should be take this hard position: those bills are mine. Guyanese: stop pounding each other, recognise real enemies, know exploiters and self-enrichers at the nation’s expense.
Whatever Mr. Floyd Haynes and his team did with that audit, the results may have stirred trouble. It has setback the Hon. Vice President’s schemes by a mile, delayed by a season his sparking victory speech about the clean corporate ethos of America’s Exxon. The wish is that he is half as committed (even a quarter) to Guyanese interests, prosperity. Whatever little Mr. Haynes dug up as questionable, or inexplicable, has tied Exxon and the PPP Government into knots. I come to this conclusion because of the audit timeline, which has now taken on a peculiar glint; sinister, it must be said. First, it was four months to September’s end. Then, it was December, with chatter from known characters about preliminary report to be ready, and then readying to update the Guyanese people. It is now March going into April, and the 2023 calendar is rapidly losing pages. Seven months past due reduce both the Julian and Gregorian calendars to what mocks time, and makes Exxon, Guyana’s Vice President, and President Ali (Dr. Transparency) all look bad. Who is scratching whose back? Who is running interference for whom?
Frankness doesn’t do well when honey coated. They look bad because the delays make them look as though they all have things to hide. Plenty of things. Try this one about millions in Yankee money that Exxon cannot explain, and which the mighty VP is left to search for his tongue, his balance, and his versions of facts about what is really going on with this audit. I don’t care if it is as minute as a million dollars flagged, a nothing percentage, and which Mr. Haynes and his team placed before the Guyana Government. It still comes across as having a certain smell, possessing disfiguring wrinkles, and leaving a bile-filled taste for Guyanese. Bluntly, a million US in expenses claimed and up in the air is a lot of money for poverty plagued Guyanese (to me, it is).
Now, if Mr. Haynes and company red-flagged multiples of millions in suspect spending that does not pass muster, then the Guyana Government and Exxon have their work cut out for them, and need much time to concoct smokescreens. What happens if it is so many millions of audit findings that greedy Exxon has its back to the wall, and the PPP Government in a hole, that neither can face the Guyanese public. Meaning, no soothing explanations of how what happened could have happened. Computer glitches and adding machine failures sound lame to even a dumb country boy like me.
For discussion’s sake, we have this audit of US$7.3B that should have been done and delivered, as promised repeatedly. In the event that the audit team had difficulty with a few hundred million (only), then there is appreciation for the bind that the Dr. Vice President,(the Transparency Excellency) and Exxon find themselves in, and must manipulate. If Exxon accepts, it looks like it tried to cheat and rip Guyanese a new one. If Exxon decides that it has to tough it out by challenging, then time is needed. Months and more months to conjure some bizarre billing story; or force the helpless PPP Government to dodge and delay more. All this could possibly explain these inordinate and inexplicable, and now unacceptable, delays in sharing the Floyd Haynes audit report. Sorry, Messrs. Ali, Alistair, and the almighty one. Suddenly, all these fine fellows, these fine feathered friends of Guyanese, don’t look too appealing. Why no audit report eight months after it was due?
None of this is book sense, simply commonsense, which beats any other kind of sense. If the audit report gives a clean bill of health for Exxon, then come clean with it before the Guyanese people. Since that has not happened, then the Vice President may have gotten more than he bargained for in the Floyd Haynes audit. I remember that one which should be familiar to Darren Woods and Alistair Routledge, but wasted on the limited in the PPP. It is from the Scottish Shakespeare, Robert Burns: ‘the best laid plans of mice and men….’ In place of men, I substitute snakes. Never thought that an audit could cause so much twisting in the wind.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of this newspaper and its affiliates.)
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