Gov’t ‘has use for Dr Mangal’ but not to give directions – Harmon


A day after the Ministry of the Presidency issued a sharp statement distancing itself from public statements made by Presidential Petroleum Adviser Dr Jan Mangal, the Government shied away from saying Dr Mangal’s contract could be in jeopardy.

“…the extent to which Dr Mangal continues to provide advice to his Excellency the President, I believe to that extent we have work, we have use for Dr Mangal; whether in fact he makes statements in his own private capacity that’s another matter,” Joseph Harmon, the Minister of State and the Government’s Chief Spokesman said Thursday, 08 February 2018

In a statement Wednesday evening, the Ministry of the Presidency stated: “The Ministry of the Presidency puts on record that Dr. Jan Mangal, Presidential Advisor on Petroleum, is not authorised to speak on behalf of His Excellency, President David Granger or the Government of Guyana.”

The statement followed media reports of Dr Mangal telling a University of Guyana forum that the 2% royalty Guyana will receive from oil production was below international standards and that public pressure can force a renegotiation of the contract.

Minister Harmon said he could not pronounce on the continuation of Dr Mangal’s contract, but that whether it will be extended would be based on the “terms” of him being an adviser to the President “and not so much about what he says to whatever audiences.”

Harmon said that because of Dr Mangal’s expertise and so on, “as a citizen of the country he is free to give advice internationally and to the nation as a whole.”

The Minister said Dr Mangal’s advice on petroleum is not the only one the President receives and what the President chooses to do with the advice, whether to reject or accept, is up to the President.

Harmon added that as an adviser, Dr Mangal does not speak for the President of the Government and as such his job does not entail directing or giving directions.

“So it is not for the advisor to be making a statement for the President; the President makes his own statements and the Minister of State makes these statements as the Chief Government spokesperson,” Harmon stated.

Dr Mangal is an oil and gas professional, who has worldwide experience with oil majors and governments, a background in project management, decision analysis, facilitation, project economics, and a PhD in offshore geotechnical engineering.

On his LinkedIn profile, Dr Mangal said he is “currently focused on ensuring Guyana’s oil resource benefits the people and future generations.”

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