Deliberations on the current and capital estimates for budget 2019 are set to close today. Yet, most ministers have said little or nothing about their plans to use part of their allocations to strengthen systems for the monitoring of the oil and gas sector. According to Opposition Parliamentarian, Irfaan Ali, this was one of the most disappointing issues that raised its head from Monday to now.
Ali told the Guyana Standard that Ministries and other statutory agencies are not only expected to deliver on their mandate, but considering the massive oil wealth to come, all stakeholders, and the citizenry at large, must be assured that there are checks and balances which will be put in place to guarantee accountability, including independent oversight of the sector.
The Opposition Member said that the assurance must come in the form of control systems which are designed using a risk analysis and management approach. He said that the Government should have in place, a regulatory framework and instruments such as policies, regulations, guidelines etc in the pipeline.
The Parliamentarian said, “We should have heard about this in the House but the Government failed to do so. We also heard nothing about the operating policies and procedures including Standard Operating Procedures that they are going to use much less by what time they will be in place in the relevant agencies… We should have heard also of allocations to increase staffing across various bodies to ensure the support system for this sector will be a strong one.”
The Opposition Member said that the APNU+AFC Party continues to prove how “horrible it is at governing…” He concluded, “We are heading for disaster…”