Conflict of interest legislation needed in Guyana – US Embassy deputy

first_imgOutgoing Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) of the United States Embassy, Bryan Hunt, is of the view that there needs to be adequate conflict of interest legislation in place for Guyana to be deemed transparent and accountable.His comment comes one month after criticisms were levied over Junior Natural Resources Minister Simona Broomes’ current oversight of the mining sector, knowing that she has a history in mining and that upon taking office, she divested ownership of her mining operations to her children.The US Diplomat during an exclusive interview with Guyana Times said he believes Guyana needs to have ‘conflict of interest’ legislation that applies to all elected officials and senior public servants in order to ensure that conflicts of interest do not exist in the execution ofJunior Natural Resources Minister Simona Broomestheir duties as well as to avoid perceived conflicts of interest from arising.“So I would urge the government, which has made a commitment to looking at these issues, to move forward as quickly as it possibly can, to put in place conflict of interest legislation that would apply to all public office holders, not only those in executive branch but members of the parliament, members of the judiciary, the senior public service, to make sure that we deal with this problem of perceived conflict of interests between people’s personal lives and their public responsibilities,” he outlined.Hunt went on to say that until this is done, there will continue to be problems regardless of which administration is in power in Guyana.Minister Broomes mining interests came under scrutiny last month after information surfaced suggesting she was granted another Mining Permit H43/MP/000 by the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC). However, Broomes at a subsequent press conference clarified that no new mining permit was granted, noting that it was a transfer of her dredge to her daughter, whose name is also Simona Broomes.US Deputy Chief of Mission Bryan HuntWhile Broomes, who spent some 28 years as a miner, is maintaining there is no conflict of interest since her mining interests are now being handled by her children, many still believe that once she is the government minister responsible for the mining sector, her presence could influence decisions in her children’s favour.However, when questioned about these public concerns, President David Granger had told this newspaper there is no need for the minister’s removal, noting that this will be done only if a conflict of interest situation arises.“We have a draft code of conduct and if any situation (of conflict of interest) were to arise, I’m very confident that she’d either be put in another place or she would demit office but that situation hasn’t arisen at the present time,” the Head of State remarked in response to the calls for Broomes’ removal.However, while the president has said he awaits a clear case of conflict of interest involving the minister, Guyana Times was able to obtain a copy of an ‘application for permission to operate dredge or specified machinery’ dated March 4, 2016, in the name of Simona Broomes. The document contained National Identification Number 11383803.Upon investigations this publication was able to confirm that the ID number is that of Simona Judie Broomes, the full name of the Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources, contradicting what Broomes had earlier said, that it was her daughter who was named in those documents.On the other hand, the US official further underscored the importance to have public disclosure legislations to enhance transparency and accountability.“We need to see public disclosure legislation that is not only on the books but is actively enforced, again not just for the executive branch officials but across the board for all public office holders at all levels, all public servants at all levels, the judiciary, etc, so that we can be confident that people are fully disclosing what outside business interests they have and that they are taking the necessary steps to either divest themselves of those business interests or ensure that their public duties do not in any way benefit their personal business interests,” Hunt posited.He added too that such legislation is just as critical for members sitting in the Opposition as it is for those in Government.According to the outgoing DCM, Guyana has had a long-standing problem with transparency and in his opinion, among the basic problems is the fact that there is no Public Procurement Commission.He said that it is absolutely critical, as the country moves forward, to see the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) move immediately to appoint the membership or to put forward the names of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Opposition’s membership so that Parliament can move expeditiously to approve the members put forward.“Without that Public Procurement Commission, it is going to be exceptionally difficult to ensure transparency throughout the procurement system here in Guyana,” he remarked.Moreover, Hunt posited that with Guyana entering phase where it is going to have a significantly increased state resource-base that needs to be managed effectively, government should not procrastinate on putting such measures in place.“We need to see some very quick forward action on these issues especially with the sector of increased oil and gas development, increased resources coming into the State’s treasury; we can’t afford to continue to operate as if these are not serious issues in Guyana because I think they have been serious issues for a long time, and the importance of these issues are going to grow” the outgoing US diplomat stated.last_img read more

Govt ready to defend Ministers

first_imgPrivate criminal charges…as AG cites possibility of DPP trash chargesWhile it is hoping to avoid the court steps altogether, the Government stands ready to defend two sitting Government Ministers, who had private criminal charges filed against them just days ago. This was the position taken by Attorney General Basil Williams during a Saturday morning press conference. While he expressed confidence in the innocence of the two Ministers, Williams was nevertheless hopeful that the charges die a legal death at the hands of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).Public Health Ministers Volda Lawrence“Fortunately, our Constitution established the independent office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, imbuing her with total power over all prosecutions whether undertaken by her or by some other authority,” Williams said.“If charges are initiated by others, the DPP can discontinue them or take them over to continue them. In other words, of the office of the DPP has a proactive duty to patrol the corridors of justice.”According to Williams, current and former Public Health Ministers Volda Lawrence and Dr George Norton were not accused by any agency of a criminal offence. As such, he expressed confidence in their survival. “I have confidence in my Ministers. No established investigatory or prosecutorial agency said anything about them. The former Minister was charged after extensive investigation and advice from the Police legal advisor, Justice Claudette Singh. That was after much deliberation.”But Williams also threatened that Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo can also face private criminal charges. This is even though Jagdeo, a former President, is covered by immunity from prosecution.Article 182 (1) of the Constitution of Guyana states: “Subject to the provisions of Article 180, the holder of the Office of President shall not be personally answerable to any court for the performance of the functions of his office or for any act done in the performance of those functions and no proceedings, whether criminal or civil, shall be instituted against him in his personal capacity in respect thereof either during his term of office or thereafter.” However, Williams on Saturday said the DPP has been asked by the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) member of Parliament Anil Nandlall to reconsider her charges against former Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh and former head of National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), Winston Brassington. In this light, he said the Government would expect no lesser treatment for the “charges she did not institute lest the floodgates open to create a festival of private criminal charges even against the Leader of the Opposition.”The Special Organised Crime Unit had recently instituted charges against former Finance Minister, Dr Singh for misconduct in public office. In addition, former CEO of NICIL, Winston Brassington was also charged.The PPP had followed suit with charges against Norton and Lawrence. The court heard that Minister Volda Lawrence, while being and performing the duties of Public Health Minister of the Government of Guyana, between January 16, 2017, and February 16, 2017, wilfully misconducted herself in a way which amounted to an abuse of public trust without reasonable excuse or justification.Moreover, Minister Lawrence was accused of authorising the unapproved single sourcing and purchase of drugs and medical supplies for the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation from ANSA McAL Trading Limited, for the excessive sum of $605,962,200.Norton, on the other hand, was also accused of wilfully misconducting himself in a way which amounted to an abuse of public trust without reasonable excuse or justification, when he authorised or caused the rental, of the property known as and situated at 29 Sussex Street Albouystown, in the city of Georgetown from Linden Holdings Incorporated, a Limited Liability Company, for the sum of $12,500,000, exclusive of Value Added Tax, per month, by way of a written Agreement of Tenancy at an excessive rate of rental.Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan had granted two summonses for the respective Ministers, ordering them to appear before the court on April 24.last_img read more

Huskies $10,000 fundraiser raffle taking place this Sunday

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Huskies will be doing the draw in their $10,000 fundraiser raffle this coming weekend.The Huskies are using the raffle to raise money for the upcoming 2018 Alberta Junior ‘B’ Provincials, which the team will be hosting next year. There are only 4,000 tickets for the raffle in total, with a grand prize draw of $10,000 taking place at the North Peace Arena on April 30th.Huskies President Mike Bacso says that there are only 1,000 tickets left for the draw, which happens this coming Sunday at 7:30 p.m.- Advertisement -Tickets are $5 each, and can be purchased in a number of ways. The Huskies will be selling tickets at both Save-On Foods and Ernie’s in the Totem Mall on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and again at Ernie’s on Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m..For more information, or to buy tickets, contact Huskies President Mike Bacso at (250) 794-1777, or via the Huskies’ Facebook page.last_img read more

Neymar banned for three Champions League matches over ref rant

first_img0Shares0000Neymar (left) watched PSG’s March 6 defeat to Manchester United from the stands © AFP / FRANCK FIFELAUSANNE, Switzerland, Apr 26 – Neymar was suspended for three Champions League matches by UEFA on Friday for a foul-mouthed tirade at match officials following Paris Saint-Germain’s shock exit from this season’s tournament to Manchester United.The Brazil star missed the 3-1 Champions League second leg last 16 defeat on March 6 through injury, but told match officials “to go fuck yourselves” on social media after watching on from the sidelines at the Parc des Princes. Neymar was found guilty of “insulting/molesting acts against match official”, European football’s governing body announced in a statement after opening an inquiry into his outburst on March 22.The 27-year-old, who will now miss half of PSG’s group stage matches in the Champions League next season, was angry with the award of a decisive injury-time penalty which Marcus Rashford scored to send United through.“It’s a disgrace. They get four guys who don’t understand football to watch a slow motion replay in front of the TV,” Neymar wrote in Portuguese on Instagram after the game.He had watched on incredulous from the sidelines as United were awarded the spot-kick for a debateable handball via the video assistant referee (VAR) system, allowing Rashford to fire United into the quarter-finals on away goals.Neymar was reportedly so enraged by the decision to give the penalty that he had to be restrained by PSG staff to stop him entering the referee’s dressing room.United were given the spot-kick after Presnel Kimpembe was judged to have handled Diogo Dalot’s shot.PSG made Neymar the world’s most expensive player in 2017 by signing him from Barcelona for 222 million euros as they stepped up their bid to win a maiden Champions League title, but they have now lost in the last 16 in three straight seasons.Injury has already ruled Neymar out of several key European matches for PSG, the forward missing the last 16 second leg tie against Real Madrid in 2018, then both legs against Man United at the same stage this season.In June last year, his teammate Gianluigi Buffon was handed a three-match suspension after a tirade against referee Michael Oliver following his former club Juventus’ similarly dramatic quarter-final defeat by Real Madrid.Former PSG defender Serge Aurier was the first player to be banned by UEFA for comments made on social media in 2015.Neymar’s ban comes on the eve of his return to PSG’s starting line-up after injury for Saturday’s French Cup final against Rennes.He made his first appearance since January 23 as a second-half substitute in Sunday’s 3-1 win over Monaco as PSG celebrated clinching a sixth Ligue 1 crown in seven years.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

EARAGAIL ARTS FESTIVAL PRESENTS THE FANTASTIC ‘IMAGINARIUM’

first_imgOne of the highlights of the Earagail Arts festival is Imaginarium, presented by landscape theatre company LUXe.It’s all-weather, post-modern, mixed-media, multi-spiritual, performance art.This processional spectacle involves walking over uneven ground at night and invites strangers to gather together to make an illuminated journey though the starry Imaginarium in search of celebration. Participants should dress for the weather and bring their lantern, water boots and refreshments to share – from wine to cake, tea, biscuits or whatever takes their fancy for a feast under the starry sky.Lantern making workshops will take place prior to the event in selected locations and places can be booked via the website www.eaf.ie.Car-sharing is encouraged as parking for this celebration is limited by ticket. Imaginarium takes place in Ards Forest Park, Creeslough, Co, Donegal on Saturday, 26th July.Gates open at 9pm with the show due to start before 10pm. Tickets cost €20 per car. For full details on the Earagail Arts programme visit www.eaf.ie. Earagail Arts Festival is funded by The Arts Council of Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Donegal County Council.EARAGAIL ARTS FESTIVAL PRESENTS THE FANTASTIC ‘IMAGINARIUM’ was last modified: July 3rd, 2014 by StephenShare 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:BusinessEntertainmentFeaturesnewslast_img read more

McHUGH’S ASTONISHING ATTACK ON EUROPEAN LEADERS

first_imgFine Gael TD for Donegal North East, Joe Mc Hugh, has launched an astonishing attack on the leaders of France and Germany.Mr McHugh said that the image of Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy supposedly running the show in Europe is not helping to the public’s perception of how the EU is involved in our affairs.Deputy McHugh said: “Irish people have been bombarded in recent weeks and months by television images of the French and German leaders heading up crisis meetings on the eurozone. “One would be forgiven for thinking that they are calling all the shots, but the reality is that all members of the European Union enjoy common status.“Europe has provided, and continues to provide, a huge amount of support to Ireland. As a result, the ECB and the European Commission play a major role in our affairs. But this isn’t a one way street.“Significant progress has been made by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, and the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, at renegotiating the EU/IMF deal. These discussions are ongoing, and I believe they will continue to deliver better results for Ireland.”The Donegal TD added: “Ireland is working with our European partners, and this work and the relationships that Ireland has built across Europe are vital in securing our return to prosperity. But the principle of multilateralism is weakened in the public mind by daily images of the Merkozy duet apparently running the show. “Irish people are understandably dismayed at the repayment of Anglo bonds and a certain level of euro scepticism is not surprising. But the reality is Ireland needs to continue to work with our European counterparts. This will be to our long term benefit. Communicating this message to the public is a challenge, and I believe that the perception that the management of the eurozone is the preserve of two political figureheads is not making this process any easier.”McHUGH’S ASTONISHING ATTACK ON EUROPEAN LEADERS was last modified: November 3rd, 2011 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:donegal north eastEUJoe McHughlast_img read more

DONEGAL FAMILY INCOMES ARE A NATIONAL DISGRACE, SAYS PRINGLE

first_imgWe’re not getting enough of this…INCOMES in Donegal are a national disgrace, says a local TD, who has highlighted the fact people here earn just eight per cent of the national average income.In response to a recent report on 2012 income trends, Deputy Pringle points out the fact that Donegal’s disposable incomes are consistently lagging behind the rest of the country.The report, which was published by the Western Development Commission this week, analyses 2012’s CSO figures on income levels across regions in Ireland. It noted that while Galway maintained the highest level of disposable income at €17,735 per person, Donegal had the lowest in the Western Region at €15,921 per person. This figure represents 81.8% of the State average.According to Deputy Pringle, ‘the findings come as no surprise to the people of Donegal. The report highlights that regional disparities have been widening since recovery began and that while unemployment might be declining it is happening at a much slower pace than the rest of the country.’‘It’s clear from this report that Donegal is a low wage county. There aren’t many well -paying jobs or even full time jobs when you compare it to other regions in Ireland’ says Pringle.He continues, ‘The report showed just how significant social transfers are to household incomes in Donegal which make up 41% of household disposable income: the highest in the country. That’s why income supports such as Jobseekers and Farm Assist are vital to people in Donegal but Budget 2016 failed to address this and so has the Government overall.’ ‘Regional inequality needs to become a priority for the next Government. Prioritising roll out of broadband to the peripheral regions first, working its way towards more developed areas is a good start. Development of local, sustainable rural jobs is a must and support for a biomass sector could facilitate this’ says Pringle.‘Instead, the Government is obsessed with bringing in quick and easy jobs without any concern for the quality of those jobs. This is coming at the cost of the employee who ends up in more precarious work as a result and even more reliant on income supports. Seasonal workers and part time workers in Donegal are continuously coming across this trend’ concludes Pringle.DONEGAL FAMILY INCOMES ARE A NATIONAL DISGRACE, SAYS PRINGLE was last modified: October 23rd, 2015 by John2Share 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:donegalincomesThomas Pringlelast_img read more

Driver caught zooming past gardai at 75km OVER the speed limit

first_imgA speeding motorist was detected by garda traffic controllers in Buncrana accelerating far beyond the speed limit.The Traffic Unit in Lisfannon last night caught a vehicle travelling at 155km/hr in an 80km zone.The driver now faces a speeding fine. Gardai shared a photo of this incident as a warning to other drivers to obey the speed limit. Driver caught zooming past gardai at 75km OVER the speed limit was last modified: November 3rd, 2017 by Rachel McLaughlinShare 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:garda trafficlast_img read more

11 Years! Oeiras – A Mega-Event Portuguese Style

first_imgEditor’s note: Groundspeak Lackeys are traveling thousands of miles from H.Q. this year to share smiles, shake hands and make geocaching memories at more than a dozen Mega-Events worldwide. Nate, aka Nate the Great, attended the Mega-Event 11 Years! Oeiras – Portugal on May 1st in Lisbon, Portugal. Nate has been a Lackey since 2003 and guides new Groundspeak development as a Product Planner. This is Nate’s account of his trip.Lackey – Nate the GreatI’m more than 8000 miles from home and among 500 of my closest friends (whom I just met today), in a park outside Lisbon, Portugal having my caricature painted while the DJ spins a-ha‘s “Take On Me.” The absurdity of the situation is enough to keep me grinning like a lunatic for the 10 minutes it takes to complete my portrait. A geocacher swoops in smiling, snaps a picture of my Trackable Lackey nametag, high fives me and then disappears into the crowd. The artist complains: “Please, try and sit still.”Geocachers: iURKings Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedGroundspeak Weekly Mailer – February 24, 2011February 24, 2011In “Groundspeak’s Weekly Newsletter”A Lackey’s “Thank You” after Attending a Mega-EventApril 1, 2011In “Community”Night Caching in Portugal – A Lackey’s Mega-Event ExperienceMay 20, 2012In “Community”center_img It’s difficult to sit still at a Mega Event.Culture shock? Geocaching is culture. When you’re on the road and feeling out of place, attend a geocaching event and you feel right at home. Witness the familiar cast of characters: the frenetic first-to-finder with smartphone glued to his hand, the prolific cache hider with more Tupperware in the woods than smileys, and more cachers with muddy boots than a pack of school kids on holiday. Except for the lovely shushing sounds of Portuguese being spoken all around me, I could be anywhere right now.Nate is not picturedAn adventurous spirit is naturally shared by all people, but the Portuguese in particular have exploration baked into the national identity. Age of Discovery explorers like Vasco da Gama brought fame and riches to Portugal from the 15th century to the 17th. You can’t go anywhere in Portugal without tripping over a monument commemorating this voyage or that. Chances are good you will find the solution to a mystery cache on your way down, too. Nowadays you can buy detailed topographical maps at the corner store. This may help explain the huge growth of geocaching in Portugal in the last couple of years as cachers find expression for their urge to explore, and are impelled to rediscover their own backyards. As a country with more than its fair share of enticing and historical backyards, Portugal is ground zero.Or maybe geocaching is just fun. Why overthink it.Geocacher TZR I’m back in the States now, sifting through a notepad of hastily scribbled ideas for improving Geocaching.com. Yes, I admit to an ulterior motive for my presence at the Mega. No, my motive wasn’t only to stuff my face with roasted pork on a spit (heavenly), or to avail myself of local geocachers’ hospitality (limitless), and certainly not to hear 80’s music while becoming a cartoon (bizarre).  I wanted to connect with geocachers and learn more about what Groundspeak does right and what we can work to improve. I have learned in my experience as a Lackey the best thing I can do for geocachers is show up and take notes and then help the website match up with how the game is already being played by those muddy boots on the ground. Because cachers in Portugal are at the leading edge of innovation in geocaching, I have my work cut out for me.Muito obrigado for the Mega, Portugal!11 Years! Oeiras – Portugal Mega -Event sponsored by GeocacherZONE.You can also find a Lackey at one of these upcoming Mega-Events:New York, USA – ASP GeoBash 6Ontario, Canada – COG Spring FlingSalzburg, Austria – Pinzgau 2011Pennsylvania, USA – GeoWoodstock IXOhio, USA – Midwest GeobashWales, UK – Mega Wales 2011Wisconsin, USA – West Bend $1000 Cache Ba$hHQ in Washington State, USA – Groundspeak Block PartyNordrhein-Westfalen, Germany – Geocoinfest EuropaCatalunya, Spain – Mega Event CatalunyaSouth Carolina, USA – Geocoinfestlast_img read more

Venus Williams Ordered Coffee in the Middle of US Open Match and the Delivery Went Hilariously Wrong

first_img coffeecoffee breakus openUS Open 2019 First Published: August 29, 2019, 8:16 AM IST Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. Almost everyone needs that dose of caffeine to jolt them in a sluggish afternoon at work, sometimes even during a tennis match. And so it was for multiple-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams, a known bean lover, during her second round US Open loss to fifth seed Elina Svitolina. During the match, Williams clearly needed the coffee boost as she ordered a cup from her entourage in the stands as she lost the first set. But the delivery of the coffee from the stands to the 39-year-old former champion remained unsuccessful at first as the unfortunate ball boy who was tasked with handing over the cuppa briefly stole the show. As Williams’ entourage handed the ball-boy the cup, the former US Open winner was already making her way into the tunnel and off the court. By the time he caught up, Williams had already made her way towards the locker room.Unsure what to do, the bespectacled helper at first tried to follow Williams down the players’ tunnel during the break in play after the first set, then paused in front of the restricted area.Caught in a spot of bother, the crowd came to his aid as the spectators signalled to him to leave the cup on the player’s bench on court.As Williams returned from the bathroom break, the coffee sat there. But it did seemed to work for her, at least for a while. Williams raced to a 3-0 lead in the second set, before Svitolina fought back and took the second set 6-4, the score line identical to the first set. Perhaps, the coffee effect had worn off by then?It’s also not the first time Williams has ordered a coffee mid-match.During a changeover in a match against Donna Vekic at the Cincinnati Masters earlier this month, Williams had asked her coach to get her a cup of coffee.Players – they’re just like us!@Venuseswilliams calls down her coach and requests a midday pick-me-up ☕️#CincyTennis pic.twitter.com/86OjTgm6yW— WTA (@WTA) August 15, 2019 Her coach had come over to offer some mid-match pointers, but Williams had only one thing on her mind: coffee. He said, “OK, I’ll go and get it”.The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) dropped its ban on caffeine in 2004, but it remained on the monitoring list from 2009. last_img read more