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Broomes should go – says Transparency International

Junior Natural Resources Minister Simona Broomes

Junior Natural Resources Minister Simona Broomes

Transparency International says that the case of conflict of interest involving Junior Natural Resources Minister Simona Broomes is real and she should be moved from the Ministry.

The statement comes on the heels of a report carried on Demerara Waves which details that the Minister has present personal interests in the mining community.

Information has surfaced showing that she applied for permission to conduct mining activity on someone else’s property while being a minister of that sector.

Demerara Waves Online News was able to independently confirm that veteran miner, Edward Hopkinson granted Broomes permission to mine on his property at Puruni. The application by Simona Broomes (National Identification Number 11383803) is dated March 4, 2016.

Government has stated that they see no case for a conflict of interest.

But Transparency International in a statement a clear conflict of or “related party” interest would exist whenever matters affecting the mining operations of the children of Minister Broomes are either handled or contributed to by Minister Broomes.

“One should also be wary that junior officers might feel obliged to act in a manner that gives favorable treatment to people associated with or related to the Minister, even (or especially!) in matters for which the Minister would have declared conflict of interest,” the release stated.

broomes_permissionIt was stated that “the popular recommendation at present is that Minister Broomes be moved to another ministry. This recommendation is rooted in the experience of the recent past combined with current low level of accountability to the people. Against this backdrop, intolerance of a more nuanced alternative is understandable.”

President David Granger recently stated that Questioned on the issue on Thursday’s taping of Public Interest, President David Granger expressed his willingness to once again transfer the Minister if a conflict of interest situation arises.

“We have a draft code of conduct and if any situation were to arise, I am very confident she [Broomes] would be put in another place or she would demit office but that situation hasn’t arisen at the present time,” the President stated emphatically.

Mr Granger said that despite the concerns raised and a call for her to be removed from office, he does not see the need to do that.

“The functions she performed at the Ministry does not necessarily come into conflict with the fact that her children own that property. Minister of Natural Resources is an experienced Attorney and I’ve asked him for his views and I will be guided by his advice but at present I do not see any need to remove her,” President Granger added

  • Lancelot Brassington

    In a country with Guyana’s small population a reason can always be found why someone should not hold some position. Maybe Gaskin should not be a government minister because he is Granger’s son-in-law. Maybe Phillips should not be Chief-of-Staff because he served in the army under Granger. Maybe the same should go for Harmon. Maybe Texiera should not have been Minister of Health because of her chain smoking or Home Affairs Minister because of her love of ‘illegal’ language. Perceived special interests or unwholesome linkages can be found anywhere by someone who is hell bent on finding them. It seems to me that by coming clean Ms Broomes denied others the opportunity to bust her. Nonetheless they are still determined to have the last word. Or are they implying that she threatened or coerced Hopkinson?

    • Emile_Mervin

      The issue is about potential for conflict of interest. Google ‘conflict of interest’ for a broad definition and you won’t need the list to which you adverted. BTW, Gaskin may be Granger’s son-in-law but Gaskin represents the AFC in the coalition government. Note I said ‘coalition government’ because this is not Granger’s government. To fire or move Gaskin, Granger has to consult the AFC. The AFC can recall Gaskin without needing Granger’s approval. Ergo, the son-in-law reasoning SHOULD not apply here!

      • KassemB

        ‘The issue is about potential for conflict of interest. Google ‘conflict of interest’ for a broad definition … ‘
        It wasn’t broad when the PPP was in power
        Are you still at Law School?

  • Emile_Mervin

    Simona Broomes for Junior Minister of Communities. One cannot have ministerial oversight for an area in which one has or had an investment or, as a result of being named a minister, hand off such investments to children and still retain ministerial oversight for areas elated to such investments.
    There is a draft Code of Ethics, and while we await its move from draft to legislation, it should at least contain clear positions on conflicts of interest pertinent to elected and public officials. Did the coalition or Ms. Broomes read the draft copy? If not, then they need to read it and apprise themselves of the guidance or stipulations it provides.
    What is definitely emerging as worrisome, though, is the appearance of the Minister applying for mining permission as recent as March, this year. I say appearance, because I did read a copy of the application and the name Simona Broomes appears on it. But then I also read where the Minister shares the same first and last name as a daughter, so who exactly applied?
    I continue to be appalled at the missteps by the coalition, which are making it look clumsy.

    • Col123

      EM: a lazy criticism …of a serious issue..where is the fire?

    • KassemB

      ‘ But then I also read where the Minister shares the same first and last name as a daughter, so who exactly applied?’
      The Form do not ask for address or data of birth
      Most parent now will start giving new born the same name as father or mother.

      • MEMES Unlimited

        Sir, the undeniable clue is related to the Nat I.D. # which indicates clearly; data of the person as to age, fingerprints, and other individual discernable markers in the database….you are correct.

        • KassemB

          Point taken but when one is checking public documents as what appear in the above as example, you cannot compare fingerprints, etc.
          Age on the Form may help

  • KassemB

    ‘Broomes should go – says Transparency International’
    Are you expecting the President to loose face and credibility on this one?

  • Col123

    The bottom line is that, this hoopla is a symptom of the death of progressivism for Guyanese …nowhere to go… nowhere to hide in this cemetery!…no hope for those alive…not a pit latrine as Guyanese hero Freddie would say…

  • Truth !

    harCON/MUM,broomes,volda,beaton,mahender,harding,cornette must all go
    if they don’t go then granger should go
    granger appears weak,deceitful,hypocritical,puppet – like,condones slackness
    trotman is not qualified to rule on this mattah
    i don’t trust trotty since d gomattie affair – he lost all credibility and respect
    then he gat d balls to hallah and bawl out ‘ trust us ‘
    they r all a bunch of scamps and crooks
    regret voting coalition – kick dem out next time

  • Col123

    Your opinion seems like a proposal for a huge bureaucracy …this is cut an dry… nepotism has no place in governance…more and more, it seems like comments in this media are written with kith and kin bias…on issues which affect progress in Guyana

    • MEMES Unlimited

      Sir, your blog is summarily defined and certainly highlights the problem…it is nepotism, indeed!!! Hold the fire to the feet of ALL the politicians across the divide.