Gov’t respects sanctity of contracts – Harmon

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Even as the State Asset Recovery Agency (SARA) has been publicly commenting on the awards of oil blocks near to ExxonMobil’s Stabroek Block, Government spokesman Joseph Harmon has emphasized that the administration respects the sanctity of all contracts.

“We have not had a report from SARA with respect to the nature and extent of their investigation. Let me say from the outset that when we came into office, we made it clear that we respect the sanctity of contracts,” Harmon, the Director General of the Ministry of the Presidency told reporters at a post-cabinet media briefing on Friday.

However, he made it clear that if there is evidence to prove that there was any illegality in the award of the contracts, then action will be taken.

“…and in fact, the agencies, such as SARA or any law enforcement agency, discovers that in the award of those contracts there was something illegal or there was a fundamental breach of some part of our law, that the Government will be prepared to throw its weight behind the agency to ensure that we have an outcome that is in the interest of the people of Guyana,” Harmon said.

“Of course it has to be based on evidence which comes before us.

“We have to be guided by evidence that is adduced and produced by the agency – SARA – and then they will lay the report through the respective Government Minister and Cabinet will deliberate on the matter.

“So we’re not saying here now whether this is right or that is wrong. This is information that is there in the newspapers. We will be guided by evidence which is produced by the State Asset Recovery Agency or any other law enforcement agency for that matter in Guyana that speak towards wrongdoing, illegality and that will determine in our view, the situation which amounts to a changed circumstance.”

Harmon explained that once the SARA report reaches Cabinet, the findings of the investigation will be made public.

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