Guyanese should take charge of oil audits – Gaskin

first_img…says foreign companies should not lead the processWith the recent announcement made by the Department of Energy to hire an overseas firm to assist with the auditing of the pre-contract costs for oil recovery, outspoken economist and social commentator, Ramon Gaskin, has said although Guyana lacks the capacity, no overseas company should be allowed to take full charge of this audit.Economist Ramon GaskinGaskin’s argument is premised on the fact that only Guyanese will have Guyana’s interest at heart. He questioned whether there is any guarantee that an overseas firm, especially one that may have connections to oil companies operating here, will look out for Guyana’s interest.“I do not have any confidence in any overseas company to look out for the interest in Guyana,” he said, while recalling that a few years ago; a Canadian-based company was hired to look into the tax regime of the gold mining sector and did nothing for Guyana.“The only thing they came up with was to reduce the royalty of Omai, a Canadian company operating in Guyana. Therefore, I am saying, I have zero confidence. We have to have Guyanese to look out for Guyana’s interests. We cannot go to that route again,” he asserted.Gaskin, a former presidential advisor, believes nothing is wrong with hiring an overseas company to assist Guyanese in understanding the more complex issues in oil and gas, but he thinks Guyanese should remain in charge of the entire auditing process.He said, “Guyanese have to be in charge. We cannot put foreign people to audit the foreign people, they are all the same. We’ve had that experience before. We cannot go there again.”Head of the Department of Energy, Dr Mark Bynoe told sections of the media that the plan is to hire an overseas company that would assist both the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Auditor General’s Office to conduct the audit of the pre-contract costs.The controversial US$460 million pre-contract costs that ExxonMobil has charged Guyana is yet to be audited. Finance Minister Winston Jordan is aware of the concerns that the sum is inflated and has noted that there is nothing much that could be done at this time.The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has responded to a request for help to audit all costs to be recovered by ExxonMobil. GRA’s Commissioner General, Godfrey Statia said the IMF will be lending its expertise to audit the controversial pre-contract costs.Statia said the IMF and the World Bank would be training GRA officers in the areas of petroleum accounting, cost recovery audits and other tax-related matters. He said help would also be provided to develop a risk assessment strategy for the sector.It has been reported that the IMF and other institutions will be tasked with auditing, examining and verifying all available documentation and records necessary for charges and credits relating to the contractor’s activities under the Petroleum Agreement.This means all books of accounts, accounting entries; material records and inventories, vouchers, payrolls, invoices and any other documents, and correspondence will be requested and checked thoroughly.Chartered Accountant Christopher Ram had called for the US$460 million pre-contract costs to be audited. Based on his examination, he said the numbers were not adding up.Ram said ExxonMobil is represented by three companies as the contractor for the Stabroek Block – Esso, CNOOC, and Hess. Using the financial statements of Esso and CNOOC, the only ones which were publicly available, he pointed out a few important things.He highlighted for example, that the combined expenditure of Esso and CNOOC at December 31, 2015, was $26 billion with reported losses of $21 billion, giving a total of $47 billion. In United States dollars, using a $200 exchange rate, Ram said that gives a total US$245 million, well short of the $460 million that the Government accepted in the Agreement with ExxonMobil.To make up the total of US$460 million, Ram said Hess alone would have had to spend, in contract costs, some US$215 million or approximately $46 billion, which he opined would defy logic. Ram stressed that the only satisfactory and acceptable resolution of this matter is a special audit independently undertaken.last_img read more

No on Measure L

first_imgThis is the political mechanism that would do what Compton Assemblyman Mervyn Dymally couldn’t – get LAUSD’s board members a huge salary. Why else would the school board not be fighting this, when members are resisting every other reform-minded initiative that stems from City Hall? Councilman Jose Huizar, the former school board president, is the force behind Measure L, but it’s not part of the mayor’s takeover bid. Even the reforms in Measure L that sound promising are illusory. The term limits apply only to terms that begin after the election – incumbents would get 12 more years in office. And the $1,000 caps on donations to school-board campaigns won’t stop special interests from bundling their contributions. Measure L is about as honest as its predecessor, Measure R, which last year used misleading advertising to trick voters into thinking they were cleaning up City Hall instead of giving the ineffective council four more years to do nothing. The school board is supposed to be a citizen oversight panel, and members are paid as such with salaries of $24,000 a year. But instead of policymakers, board members have become micromanagers. THERE’S been little campaigning or debate about Measure L on Tuesday’s ballot, and that’s exactly what proponents want. That’s because on its face, Measure L looks like a solid good-government initiative. It imposes spending limits in Los Angeles Unified school board races and limits board members to just three terms in office. But that’s just the sugar coating on the otherwise bitter pill proponents want voters to swallow. The heart of Measure L is the creation of a compensation committee that would be able to set board members’ salaries at any level it wants, with no limit. They don’t deserve more money, and this measure would allow them sky’s-the-limit salaries. It doesn’t set a figure. It doesn’t even set a maximum. Vote no on Measure L.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Crystal Palace transfer report: Former Chelsea and Newcastle star on radar

first_img Demba Ba 1 Crystal Palace are considering a move for former Chelsea and Newcastle striker Demba Ba.According to reports in Turkey, the Besiktas man is open to a move back to the Premier League and a reunion with Alan Pardew could be on the cards.Eurosport Turkey are claiming that Ba could be on the move again this summer, having only joined Besiktas from Chelsea last year.Ba scored 23 goals in 39 appearances for the Istanbul club as they finished third behind city rivals Galatasaray and Fenerbahce in the Super Lig.last_img read more

GAA: NAOMH MHUIRE GAA CLUB NEWS

first_imgNaomh Mhuireu8 Coaching will take place on Wednesday from 6pm to 7pm and on Saturday from 10am to 11am. The under 12s training is Monday and Wednesday next week at 7. Loads of information and pictures on the Naomh Mhuire Bord na nOg facebook page – make sure to check it out. Naomh Mhuire Bord na nÓgThe seniors and reserves both recorded good victories last weekend against Malin. This weekend is a home fixture to MacCumhaills on Sunday with 1:30pm and 3pm throw in. Peil na mBan: Comhghairdeas to the Donegal u16 team who are in the Ulster final. Well done to our girls playing with the team – Caroline Sharkey, Erika Hanna, Sarah O’Gara and Jade O’Donnell. We have entered a new u13 league for girls which starts in Sept and all girls will be notified about training times in due course. The ladies have two league games left, both are at home to Bundoran and Killybegs and we hope to get them played in the next two weeks. Training for U-16’s, minors and ladies takes place Tuesday and Thursday at 8pm. We need to get all the girls out as U-16 and minor competitions are starting soon.The 2nd day of the 5th in the Naomh Mhuire Surf Day series in Carrickfinn is set for Friday 20th July, 2pm to 8pm. A superb day was had by all on the first surf day on 28th June, and many are booked already for the 2nd session. Booking is essential and slots are available in 3 age groups and times. Slots will be filled on a first come first served basis: 5 – 8 years – from 2 till 4pm, 8 – 12 years from 3 till 6 pm, 12+ from 4pm till 8pm. Please text your name and age (if under 12) to 087 9540756. Book early to avoid disappointmentA course in child protection and good practise in the GAA will be held in the clubhouse. Anyone interested in doing this worthwhile course contact Childrens Officer, Dónal O’Séarcáigh. This course covers all from Adult to u/age mentors in every aspect of their roles within the club. It is a two hour course.Lotto details for week 4th July. Jackpot 2300 euro. No jackpot winner and two match 3 winners: KevinWhite – loch an Iuir and Claire Sharkey – Anagaire. Numbers drawn were 2-3-4-7. Next 100 club draw is 25th July, Sellers get collecting and have returns in on time.Check out details on www.naomhmhuire.ie.  GAA: NAOMH MHUIRE GAA CLUB NEWS was last modified: July 10th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:GAA: NAOMH MHUIRE GAA CLUB NEWSlast_img read more