Home Letters Peter should not be taking fall for Paul in CPI position
Guyana’s loss of two points on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index 2021 (CPI) poses a few intriguing questions. Did the arrest of APNU+AFC’s Winston Jordan on charges of Misconduct in Public Office in December 2021 affect the standing of the nation? Has corruption in the Public Sector increased? Has perception increased? In seeking answers, I first looked at how the country’s score is tabulated and the Global Index compiled.
“The Index scores 180 countries based on perceptions of public sector corruption, using data from 13 external sources, including the World Bank, World Economic Forum, private risk, consulting companies, think tanks, and others. The scores reflect the views of experts and businesspeople.”
What’s the source of this?
What I found was that there was a natural time lag. The Trinidad Guardian’s report on that nation’s movement on the CPI stated Trinidad & Tobago Transparency Institute said the score of countries in 2021 was based on data from the year 2020. Transparency International’s local arm, Transparency Institute Guyana Inc. (TIGI), never offered any information on this time gap. Is this a ‘not-so-transparent’ attempt to smear the present People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration for Granger’s sins?
The data submitted to TI for 2020 surely included the attempt by APNU+AFC to firstly rig and then brazenly steal Guyana’s National Elections, using Clairmont Mingo’s fictitious numbers and information that Guyana was run without parliamentary oversight (financial and otherwise) for 635 days. This is specifically between the 21st day of December 2018 and the 16th day of August 2020, when $419 billion was expended during that period.
Those two events would suffice to drop Guyana a few points.
However, I would ask if TIGI reported any or all of the scandalous acts of the APNU+AFC Administration.
Let me give a few examples of what I am talking about.
The Granger Administration began by removing eight (8) containers containing steel owned by BK International from the Ministry of Public Health compound worth millions of dollars. This was done in the first week after the Government had been changed. Further, they gave themselves a 50% pay raise. They fired 192 Amerindian Community Service Officers. They spent over a billion dollars on Durban Park. They gave GRA tax write-offs to companies that financed APNU+AFC’s 2015 campaign. The APNU+AFC Administration entered the 3-year pharmacy bond contract between the Ministry of Health and the Linden Holding Co. for a house in Sussex Street; that is particularly egregious. They paid $1.7 billion as a settlement to BK International for Haags Bosch without an attempt to defend the Government’s position or the taxpayers’ monies. They made a costly but mysterious wind farm deal with APNU+AFC financier Lloyd Singh. They procured $605M drugs from Ansa McAl without following the procurement laws as confirmed by the Public Procurement Commission (PPC).
Additionally, they closed several GuySuCo Estates and callously dismissed over 7000 workers. They enabled exorbitant rental of residences for Ministers as policy. Further, Granger made an arbitrary appointment of James Patterson as Chairman of GECOM, in violation of the Constitution. David Patterson, then Minister of Public Infrastructure, handed a sole-sourced $148M contract for feasibility and design studies for the new Demerara River Bridge to Dutch company Lievense CSO. They repaid RUDISA’s (US$16M) claim without any negotiations for a debt repayment schedule, and even though the company owed and appears to still owe millions of dollars in taxes to Guyana. They issued two fuel licences for the importation of fuel to companies that are made up of persons related to top officials and relatives of officials of the Government who have no fuel bonds, storage facilities, or offices.
Further, HDM labs medical supplies was handed a sole-sourced ‘emergency’ drug supply contract worth $366.9M from the Government. Valerie Patterson, while serving as Minister responsible for Housing, gave her husband millions of dollars in housing construction contracts. Government contracts were awarded to Cathy Hughes’s company, Videomega, while Hughes was still involved in the day-to-day running of that company.
Winston Jordan et al played an integral part in the APNU+AFC’s attempt to hide the US$18M signing bonus paid by ExxonMobil. APNU+AFC officials authorised NICIL to transfer numerous plots of State land to APNU+AFC officials and cronies. Further, over 300 want-of-entry vehicles seized by the GRA were sold by Winston Jordan, without going to tender or public auction, to cronies and officials of APNU+AFC. Approval and non-accountability of NICIL and SPU loan of $30B for GUYSUCO. Simona Broomes’s child received a scholarship payment of over $20 million that she did not qualify for, and that payment was made directly into her account instead of to the institution, as per norm.
In light of the preceding and the fact that Winston Jordan’s charges would most likely not be included in the 2021 Index, I can only wonder how much of these events were reported to Transparency International by TIGI, and I would now ask that Transparency Institute Guyana Inc. make public its reports to the parent body for the years 2015 to present.
Further, I ask that they issue an official clarification of the time lag in reportage and calculation of the CPI, as the Trinidad chapter proffered without prompting.
Peter should not be taking the fall for Paul in a matter as important as our CPI position.