If taxpayers’ moneys are involved in a national project, then it is only reasonable for them to be able to know the inner workings of the contracts governing the use of those moneys.
This perspective was recently put forward by Head of Transparency Institute Guyana Inc. (TIGI), Dr. Troy Thomas, in an interview with Kaieteur News.
The anticorruption advocate opined that it does not make sense that government officials are able to know about these contracts and the taxpayers are left in the dark.
He believes that this state of affairs needs to be changed.
Some of the contracts which are yet to be released despite several requests by the media in the past two years include those with BaiShanLin Forest Development Inc, Vaitarna Holdings Private Inc. and the contract governing the Sanata Complex deal and the Marriott Hotel.
“Our position on contracts is that we shouldn’t have secret contracts. You can make exceptions for security issues because those are sensitive but why should the Marriott Contract be secret? Anything where taxpayers’ moneys are being used should not be subject to secrecy. Why are people in government so privileged to know about it and we, who are putting the money there and put them in the seat of government can’t know what it is?
“That does not make any sense. So that is an important issue for transparency. The more people are aware of these things, the more scrutiny a government can come under, and the less likely you are going to have certain things happening, corrupt acts happening.”
“I am not saying it is going to wipe it out but it is certainly going to make it much more difficult. So the refusal to release those things could be questioned,” the University of Guyana lecturer added.