The Alliance For Change (AFC) on Friday calls for the resignation or removal of Guyana’s Head of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), Dr. Prem Misir, and reinstate Dr. Rudy Jadoopat.
Earlier this year, Dr. Misir replaced Jadoopat after the government did not renew his contract and started searching for a new Head.
Misir was selected after he was ranked as the top candidate, and Minister of Natural Resources Vickram Bharrat defended the appointment, noting that the process was done transparently and openly.
“In view of what is happening at GY-EITI since the removal of Dr. Rudy Jadopat, the PPP Government has hardened its position to disassociate from the global body, not wanting to live by the high standards it sets,” AFC’s Leader Khemraj Ramjattan noted at a press conference.
According to Ramjattan, Guyana’s 4th EITI report is due on December 31, 2022, and from “all appearances, that report is nowhere near completion” by Dr. Misir and his team.
Moreover, the AFC Leader accused Minister Bharrat of bypassing the Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG), which ought to have prepared and approved the terms of reference for the procurement of independent administrative service and appointed the services of 2021 administrator BDOLLP without any international tender process.
In light of this, the AFC said that the handpicking of BDOLLP is a violation of EITI standards and fears that the “complete inexperience and incapacity” of Dr. Misir in this specialised area might cause Guyana to be expelled from the international body.
RELEASE OF MINING CONTRACTS
To this end, the AFC - a minority party in the Opposition Coalition - called on the government to release all large-scale mining contracts to the public.
This is an area Guyana has been struggling with. In fact, EITI had given Guyana a “fairly low” score of 52 points for implementing its 2019 EITI Standard, which calls for disclosure of disaggregated revenue receipts and contracts in the oil, gas, and minerals industries.
“Guyana as a country nor her countrymen will not benefit from such concealment but only the corrupt few who are friends, family, and favourites of the PPP,” Khemraj claimed.
He added, “Not only must transparency be a practice in this sector, but the scrutiny from especially important Parliamentary Natural Resources Sectorial Committee. The AFC repeats that, to date, this committee has not met since the installation of the government.”