“Admittedly, some ministers of the coalition administration are doing more outreaches than the previous government. One gets the impression that some of them are very much involved in their ministries, but having said that, there is still too much secrecy. Information that the public needs in a timely manner continues to see delays.”
This perspective was offered recently by Executive Member of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), Dr. David Hinds. In an interview with the Guyana Standard, the political commentator contended the APNU+AFC’s approach to governance “gives one the impression that it is running a lodge; a secret society of some sort.” He also accused the government of failing to be forthcoming on issues of national importance.
Expounding further on this matter, the newspaper columnist reminded that it took civil society to expose the fact that the administration collected a US$18M signing bonus. He said, too, that when the people called for the Guyana-ExxonMobil contract to be released, the government stalled for months and offered all manner of excuses.
The political commentator added, “And when it was made public, they still withheld certain documents like the Production License and the Bridging Deed. What is also disturbing is that they appointed Dr. Mark Bynoe as head of the Energy Department but said nothing about how they arrived at this decision. Even the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Energy with Trinidad, this was only released after it was signed. Why not before? These are horrible signs.”
Given the aforementioned, Dr. Hinds concluded that there is an over-centralization of power in the presidency. He also bemoaned the fact that all the members of the coalition are left in the dark when it comes to crucial issues on oil and gas. Dr. Hinds warned that this does not send the right signal to the populace.
“As it stands, this government does not know what widespread consultation is. It is functioning as a single party. I just feel that the notion of a coalition government without consultation leaves us with a sham. Democratic decision making is not taking place. And we need to get rid of this secrecy. Government is not a lodge. It is an open institution that is there to represent the people…”
In no uncertain terms, Dr. Hinds concluded that the government is falling down tremendously on the matter of open governance.