September 29, 2016

IDB should investigate its Guyana office

Dear Editor,
I refer to Carl Lucas’s letter in the Guyana Times of Wednesday, March 16, 2016 captioned “Apparent lack of transparency in IDB procurement for forensic auditors.”
I wish to express my disappointment in the IDB’s involvement in this process. Previous letter writers have also expressed concerns of the UNDP’s handling and involvement in the Amerindian land titling project. I wish to join Lucas in requesting the IDB to make public the process that was employed for hiring of these firms to conduct the forensic audits and the cost.
International financial Institutions like the IDB & UNDP have a duty to be impartial and maintain a high degree of integrity beyond reasonable doubt. Regrettably this is what is unfolding at the IDB’s local office.
I am informed as well that the IDB bypassed transparent procurement processes for the hiring and payment of current staff at the Office of Climate Change (OCC) from proceeds of the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF) for which the IDB is managing.
I am also asking IDB to make public the names of the staff at OCC that was hired post-May 2015 and are currently being paid by the GRIF funds and the process that was used to hire these personnel.
Note, I am not asking for their salary so this should not be confidential data but rather an opportunity for IDB to come clean on its procurement process.
Again, I have not seen one public advertisement for any of these posts so let’s get the information from IDB.
I was shocked to hear in the Budget debate that one of IDB’s former staff Jonell Christain Leich is now head of OCC and is one of four top paid persons at the Ministry of the Presidency.
The question in one’s mind is that there seems to be some cohort relationship between IDB and the Government with the IDB facilitating dubious financial payments to the Government like the forensic audit payments.
I am calling on the IDB board to investigate the handling of these matters by the local office and it’s Head Ms McKonnon. I am also calling on Transparency International (Guyana) to investigate these matters at the IDB Guyana Office.

Yours faithfully,
James Conellius

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