PPP denounces ‘lies’ about Exxon’s oil contract disclosure
…says Ministers deliberately lying or unable to comprehend simple English
The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has firmly denounced, as an absolute falsehood, the contentions peddled by the Coalition Government that the Jagdeo Administration passed, in 1997, an amendment to the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act which prevents the disclosure of the ExxonMobil contract.
The PPP statement, made over the weekend, echoes similar sentiments voiced by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo over Government spokespersons’ views on the non-disclosure of the contract it has inked with ExxonMobil for oil production in 2020.
In a public missive released over the weekend, the PPP said, “This ridiculous assertion has been parroted repeatedly by several members of the Coalition Government, including Ministers Raphael Trotman, Dominic Gaskin and Khemraj Ramjattan.”
According to the parliamentary opposition, “This lie is either peddled deliberately, or is yet another exhibition of the extravagant incompetence about which we regularly complain in respect of this Government.”
In this instance, according to the PPP, it is simply an issue of ministers of the Government deliberately lying, or being unable to read and comprehend the simple English language in which Section 4 of the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act is expressed.
According to the PPP, this section of the Act expressly authorises disclosures such as the ExxonMobil contract, not prohibition, “as these incompetent Ministers have been asserting.”
It was reported by the opposition party that Government spokespersons in their assertions, “attribute this prohibition as an amendment to the law done in 1997 by President Bharrat Jagdeo…Even this they got wrong. Mr. Jagdeo was not the President in 1997.”
The party reiterated, as was done by Jagdeo earlier in the week, that “the 1997 amendments do not prohibit the disclosure of such information…Therefore, these Ministers have been shamelessly misleading the nation over the last several months on this issue.”
It was also pointed out that although this lie has been comprehensively exposed, Kaieteur News, in its Sunday September 10, 2017 edition, in a letter titled ‘This government had adopted Jagdeo’s secrecy mentality’, written by “Rudolph Singh”, the lie continues to be repeated.
“This same level of lies and misinformation is being repeatedly peddled by the Guyana Chronicle…In its 9th September 2017, edition, under the caption ‘I have nothing to hide’, the Chronicle quotes extensively from a report submitted by Sukrishnalall Pasha, a Commissioner on the Public Procurement Commission (PPC), in respect to the controversial purchase of $632 million of drugs by Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) without the resort to any form of tender.”
It was, however, noted that this report is confidential and was apparently submitted to the Clerk of the National Assembly.
“How Chronicle got a copy of the report (since they are quoting from it extensively) remains a mystery.”
The State-run daily newspaper is quoted as saying, “Pasha’s 30-page minority report is expected to be submitted to the National Assembly by the Opposition – the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) – with the intention of countering the substantive report prepared by the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) on GPHC’s multi-million drug purchase.”
According to the PPP, “this is another vulgar lie…The PPP has not seen this report, and has not been asked to submit same to the National Assembly. Indeed, we shall attempt to secure a copy of the same from the National Assembly in due course.”
The party has since surmised that “lies, falsehood, and the refusal to make public information to which the public is entitled have now become a staple in the daily diet of this Administration….Ministers of the Government, the Department of Public Information, Kaieteur News, David Hinds, Freddie Kissoon and others are all outlets through which these lies and misinformation flow.”