In a thought-provoking letter to the editor, Joel Bhagwandin, a local financial analyst, has advocated for the de-recognition of the Oil and Gas Governance Network (OGGN). His letter delves into the heart of OGGN’s legitimacy, bringing to light a series of serious allegations and concerns.
Drawing from his recent writings, the analyst directed his attention to the OGGN’s claim of being a 501(c)(3) organization under the United States tax laws. He highlighted the organization’s alleged failure to fulfill the requirements that come with this status, specifically focusing on the lack of published financial statements, income tax returns, and bylaws on the OGGN website. According to Bhagwandin, these are essential obligations for organizations operating under the 501(c)(3) umbrella.
His scrutiny then widened to encompass a detailed exploration of the alleged violations committed by the OGGN which included covert political campaigns– he said the OGGN has been engaging in a hidden political campaign in Guyana, a practice prohibited for organizations holding a 501(c)(3) status. Bhagwandin also highlighted e**xcessive lobbying activities** noting that the OGGN has exceeded the permissible limits for lobbying activities, another violation of its non-political designation.
Moreover, the financial analyst pointed out that the OGGN has refrained from disclosing or sharing a copy of Form 990, a crucial financial reporting document required of 501(c)(3) organizations and has not reported employment, income, or excise tax liability, and has also failed to disclose this information to the public as mandated.
Bhagwandin also maintained that the OGGN’s disregard for its obligations casts doubt on its moral standing and ability to influence governmental decisions.
In closing, he made an earnest plea to the government to reconsider its recognition of the OGGN as a legitimate stakeholder group, contending that its actions and behaviours have eroded its credibility and authenticity as a responsible advocate within the oil and gas sector.