A Guyanese Engineer with years of experience working in the United States Department of Energy says the leadership and will to enforce regulations will determine if Guyana is to avoid the misfortunes that have befallen many oil producing countries around the world.
Dr. Vincent Adams, who hails from Linden in Guyana, has 40 years of experience in the public and private sectors in the environmental management, groundwater and petroleum production fields, including 30 years in the US Department of Energy. He told OilNOW during an interview at the Guyana Marriott Hotel on Tuesday, that his work experience in the US has taught him that more important than what is on paper – as far as rules and regulations go – is the will and ability to enforce them.
“You may have a bill on paper with high ethical standards, but it doesn’t mean anything if you do not enforce it, and have the leadership with the will to make sure that it’s enforced, and hold people accountable. So I think that’s where the big change is gonna have to come,” he pointed out.
The lack of leadership and will to enforce regulations and hold persons accountable, he said, have been major contributing factors to widespread corruption and chaos seen in several oil-producing countries around the world. “As you know, that’s been one of the major causes of the downfall of a lot of the other countries. You know…corruption was rampant and we cannot afford to let it go,” he stated.
Dr. Adams said while employed by the US government he was even skeptical about “taking a soda” from those he oversaw because of the ethical standards that exist, stressing that the mere perception of corruption was enough to raise eyebrows. “You literally can’t even take, probably a soda from the people you are overseeing like an Exxon or whichever company. It is not even breaking the rules – the standard should be an appearance…just an appearance,” he stated.
Dr. Adams said his examination of the Petroleum Commission of Guyana Bill, which is currently before a Special Select Committee in Guyana’s Parliament, shows that it has some of the ethical requirements for the Petroleum Commission that would be on par with similar regulations in the US. However, he maintains that serious attention must be paid to the willingness to enforce regulations and hold persons accountable, if Guyana is to truly benefit from oil revenue.